Anonymous letter to Monona business asks owner to get rid of homeless person behind building

The people behind the letter say they will not support the business until the homeless man is gone

MONONA, Wis. — An anonymous letter that was shared on Facebook has gone viral after the daughter of the owner of Exhaust Pros expressed her anger and frustration over what was said.

Krisann Hopwood’s dad, Jim Malcheski, has served the Monona community for almost 30 years. Hopwood said when she saw the letter that asked them to get rid of the homeless person who sleeps behind her dad’s building, she was “heartbroken.”

“They are still humans and this letter, to me, tried to take that dignity away from them,” Hopwood said.

Hopwood works closely with the homeless community and for the past several years, has been an advocate for them.

The letter has no name attached and no return address. Hopwood said, “I wish that you would have had the courage to come forward and to talk to my dad, to talk to the other business owners, to express your concern instead of it coming to this.”

Friends of the State Street Family saw the letter and posted a message on its Facebook page saying that COVID-19 displaced many homeless people when everything shut down. People, like the homeless man referenced in the letter, are trying to find somewhere else where they can access resources.

The vice president wrote:

“We are disappointed reading this letter. Not so much due to the lack of compassion (which is terrible), but more so because of the assumptions and lack of understanding this person(s) has regarding our friends. And in a time where we see some pretty awful things happening around us due to assumptions and lack of understanding, we feel this letter is reckless and harmful.”

We learned that the homeless man’s name is Robert Limbach who ended up on the streets after a series of back luck.

“This is the most logical place for me, the safest,” Limbach said.

According to Margo Atkinson, co-owner of the neighboring business Momentum Art Tech,  Limbach doesn’t bother anyone and doesn’t drink or do drugs. She said he is just looking for a safe place to stay, which he has found behind Exhaust Pros.

“Bob is one of our friends,” Atkinson said. “Unfortunately, he is homeless. He has run into a situation where he is now on the streets. He has not always been on the streets. Bob stays here and he looks after everything for us. He makes sure nobody messes with our murals.”

Limbach said he is aware of the letter that was sent.

“I’m concerned that I’m out here. I really am,” he said.

“He’s just a human being trying to live and it’s a shame that people would look at him and say that he’s a menace. No, he’ trying to live,” Atkinson said.

Hopwood said she hopes that whomever was behind the letter comes forward so she can help educate them and help them understand what life is like in Limbach’s shoes.

“They’re not scary,” Hopwood said. “They’re human.”