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December 27, 1985
Law graduate is reclaimed from the streets

by Brian Kates
Gary Doe, the Columbia University law school graduate who has been wandering the streets since he failed the bar exam last May, has been found and was enrolled yesterday in a mental health rehabilitation program. The 28-year-old Doe (not his real name), wearing tattered clothes, was found wandering in Grand Central Terminal by George McDonald, an advocate for the homeless. McDonald had obtained a warrant so police could bring Doe before a judge to determine if he is competent to take care of himself. McDonald, who ran unsuccessfully this year for City Council president, said he spotted Doe about 4 p.m. Thursday while he was trying to gather information about "Mama," the homeless woman who died in the terminal on Christmas. He said it took him an hour to persuade Doe to seek treatment. In a phone interview from her home in Phenix City, Ala., Doe's mother, Ruth, told the Daily News: "I'm so happy I can't find words. We were so worried about him the whole time. This is like a Christmas present." She said she "shouted and hollered and jumped up and down" when she heard the news. McDonald, who championed Doe's case at the mother's request, said he had only seen pictures of Doe. "It was a shock," McDonald said. "All of a sudden the man I had been describing to others materialized before my eyes. I told him he owed it to his mother and his friends to come out of the streets." Doe was taken to The Bridge, an adult mental health rehabilitation center at 325 W. 85th St. Peter Beitchman, associate executive director of the program, said Doe "came to us willingly and is participating in the program." He added that a full course of treatment has not yet been determined and that Doe is "just cooling out for a while." Doe, whose plight was first made public by Daily News columnist Bill Reel, graduated from Harvard in 1979. After earning a law degree from Columbia University he begain working for a Miami law firm, earning a reported $42,000 a year. But last May, after failing the Florida bar exam for the second time and breaking up with his girl friend, Doe came north and took to the streets of Manhattan. Rachel Kemp, a former Harvard classmate and one of about a dozen friends who had joined McDonald in searching for Doe, said she spoke to him yesterday by phone for an hour. "He sounds fine," she said. "He said he's getting involved in the program there (at The Bridge). It was like any old day back at school."

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