Growing homeless encampment on East Lake Street is impacting local businesses.

Growing homeless encampment on East Lake Street is impacting local businesses.

Jamal Tashtoush, the owner of A & J Fish and Chicken in Minneapolis, has been facing a rough couple of weeks. He expressed feeling nervous and scared due to what he believes is an increase in crime and a decrease in sales since a homeless encampment appeared behind his restaurant. Tashtoush mentioned that he has observed a significant drop in sales, by 25%, within just two weeks. Despite the decrease in foot traffic, he has been investing in additional security measures and spending hours cleaning up around his business to maintain safety and cleanliness.

Another local business, Duke’s Cars and Towing, is also experiencing challenges. Yasmin Vanesa Cano, the manager, shared concerns about safety and security issues, stating that individuals from the encampment have attempted to break in by smashing windows. Cano described the situation as crazy and dangerous, leading to slower business operations and feelings of insecurity among employees.

The impact of the homeless encampment is not only affecting businesses but also nearby residents. The Romero family mentioned that they have limited their daughter’s activities, such as riding her bike, due to safety concerns. Minneapolis police have responded to incidents in the area, including a shooting on Saturday morning and a fatal shooting on Monday. Tashtoush emphasized the need for the city to address the situation and take action to improve safety and security.

Despite the challenges faced by businesses and residents, Tashtoush remains hopeful for the future. After 29 years on Lake Street, he expressed a desire for things to return to normal, where he can interact with regular customers and feel safe in the community.

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