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Hillcrest cracks down on disruptive homeless, aggressive panhandlers

Photo credit:
San Diego Union-Tribune

Panhandlers have asked for change from diners in restaurants, according to one business official. A furniture store owner said he has found homeless people napping in his showroom and sleeping on his doorstep. Another shop owner said he has to constantly clean human waste from the alley behind his business.

“I think it would be safe to say that the business community has lost patience,” Hillcrest Business Assn. Director Ben Nicholls said.

The association in the affluent San Diego neighborhood has hired a new security firm that will begin cracking down on troublesome homeless people in the neighborhood beginning Monday.

Santee-based security company City Wide Protection Services will provide day and night patrols around Hillcrest, focusing on people who are disruptive or seen sleeping on private property.

Nicholls acknowledges that the stepped-up effort is not an ideal solution because it could pit neighborhood against neighborhood, causing homeless people to move but without creating a long-term solution, “It’s frustrating, because we are all just pushing the problem out,” he said.

Read the full story on the L.A. Times.