People on streets need help, business says

Superior Screen Printing shares warehouse space with Ungalli Clothing Co. in the former Cumberland Street cineplex building and owner Dave Christen said the property is a favourite spot for people to "shoot up" with drugs, fornicate and defecate.
"It's just very hard for small businesses right now with the economy, and everybody I know who's in a small business is just trying to survive and get through," Christen said.
"This (vagrancy) is just adding more to the issues we already have and something needs to be done."
Christen described a sad and tragic scene that he and his staff must contend with daily.
"People come here and shoot up and drink and every day we're picking up booze bottles, syringes and garbage," he said. "Our administrative staff is female so I can't even have them here before nine o'clock (because I get there at 9 a.m.) and they can't stay after 5 p.m. because I don't want them to be here alone."
Christen added, "We've had people just walk in, they'll just take stuff and they get a little aggressive. People were having sex right in front of our store at two o'clock in the afternoon one day. People are sleeping (on the sidewalks) or leaning over like zombies."
The print shop also has shop dogs on the premises and Christen says they can't take them anywhere near that area to relieve themselves because they're stepping on syringes and feces left behind by people.
Christen says he would like the city to talk about ideas and possible solutions that will help the people on the streets.
"(The city) is not helping them. They are just enabling them by giving them tents and food," he said.
"They're not helping them with any support for their addictions and they're not helping the small business owners. They won't offer security and won't even give us a garbage can so that we can (properly dispose) of the garbage the people leave behind. The people who should be coming up with solutions aren't. They're not helping us."
Christen called the situation "out of control."
He suggested that the people in the encampments, specifically those battling addictions, could use some social support and "a place" to heal, recover and find their place back in the community.
"The location is what brought small business here but it's the social issues that are driving businesses out and (business) people are looking to move away," he said.
"These people are in not-ideal conditions with the way their life is right now and I do have empathy for them because they do need help, but I don't know what to do to help them. Nobody's doing anything."

Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal