Austin Businesses Sound Alarm over Homelessness Hitting ‘Boiling Point’

A homeless man sleeps in front of his tent along Van Ness Avenue in downtown San Francisco, California on June, 27, 2016. Homelessness is on the rise in the city irking residents and bringing the problem under a spotlight. (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH …
JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

The homelessness problem is getting out of hand and increasing the risk of danger, a steakhouse owner in Austin, Texas, said recently.

“Our biggest thing is this isn’t safe for anybody, and that includes the homeless population,” Vince Young Steakhouse’s Executive Chef Phillip Brown told KXAN.

On Twitter Wednesday, Brown shared photos he took of a large cardboard box behind his restaurant where people had set up camp:

While there are now more police in the area, Brown said, “They can’t be everywhere all the time.”

On January 25, Austin police arrested a homeless woman who reportedly confessed to stabbing five women in the famous Sixth Street area of the city, according to Breitbart News.

Austin police Chief Brian Manley said when an officer approached one of the women, she was “lying on the ground in a pool of blood.”

“The witnesses described seeing the suspect, after passing their group take a swing, hitting at the victim, hitting the victim and the victim falling to the ground,” he stated.

For Brown, problems regarding the homeless issue escalated a year and a half ago when an alleged homeless man began knocking tables over on the restaurant’s patio, then hit him in the head.

At the hospital, the chef received 13 stitches.

However, Mayor Steve Adler told KXAN Monday that Austin is one of the safest big cities in America and said people should not automatically link the homeless to violent crimes.

“We have a challenge. We’re attacking it, not hiding it,” he commented.

In November, Craig Staley, co-owner of Royal Blue Grocery, said the homeless population grew somewhat empowered after the city council voted to weaken ordinances regarding panhandling, lying on sidewalks, and camping in certain public areas.

Staley noted that his employees were being confronted more often and shoplifting had also increased.

“When we first opened our store last decade, if you had trouble with someone that was homeless, you’d say, ‘You can’t sit there,’ and they’d say, ‘Okay, sorry.’ And now it’s, ‘Screw you.’ They changed the world downtown in about three weeks,” he said.

Brown knows the problems will not be fixed overnight but explained that he has become weary of dealing with them on such a frequent basis.

“We just want some support and feel that we are being cared about, that our opinion does matter,” he concluded.


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