street fights

Two Psychotherapists and Trash Bins Are Defeating the Rats of Sterling Place

Photo: Google Maps

Rats on Sterling Place in Prospect Heights are coming up against what may be their most formidable enemies yet — two psychotherapists. Patch reported on Thursday that Kamy Wicoff and Jesse Hendrich, presidents of the Sterling Place Block Association, have taken the city’s unruly rat situation into their own hands, which has also meant mediating the human tensions behind the rat-related problems. “It wasn’t the rats,” Hendrich said of his motivations. “It was what the rats were doing to my neighbors.” (But it was also the rats.)

The two therapists began conducting rat surveys — walking the block to note rat sightings and trash conditions — and organizing their block to start containerizing their trash. The trick, they said, was a matter of the right approach with neighbors: “We’re not the rat police. We’re rat partners,” Hendrich told Patch. They estimate that they’ve gotten around 60 percent of the block in as rat partners on their rat campaign. To help offset costs for residents, Hendrich submitted an idea for city-subsidized garbage bins in the participatory budgeting system. As one rat partner commented, “We can lose a single parking spot for this.”

Two Psychotherapists Defeating the Rats of Sterling Place