Restaurant Owners Express Safety Concerns Over Homeless People From Dunsmuir Shelter

Omni - May 18, 2011

A couple who has been running a Taiwanese noodle restaurant in the 500 Block of Dunsmuir say their window was broken many times and just last Saturday, it was broken twice and they are fearful for their safety.

Two other adjacent restaurants have also had similar experiences.

Yu Ying Wu says their business has been there since September 2009 and public order was fine until February 2010, when the building across from their restaurant was turned into a homeless shelter. She hopes City Hall can help by sending more police officers to patrol the area.

Councillor Kerry Jang said he has been in touch with the victims and measures will be taken to improve the management of the temporary shelters.

“I really applaud the owners for coming forward and contacting us, so we’re able to resolve their problems. We want to make sure that if it is really homeless people causing problems that we’re there to stop them from doing that kind of stuff and to make the entire neighbourhood safe,” he said.

The VPD says it has received 29 complaints of disturbance in that area in the past three years and that number is not particularly large. People are encouraged to report this kind of incidents and if the number of complaints goes up substantially, police will consider stepping up patrol.

“If people have concerns and they are seeing behaviour that might be concerning to them, phone 911. Our officers will go, we’ll investigate. We want to hear the concerns of business owners and people who work and live in the area and we want to be able to help them out,” said Constable Lindsay Houghton.