Several restaurants in City Heights, San Diego are reporting negative effects on their business due to the increasing prevalence of homelessness in the area. One restaurant owner, Rodonia Attic, runs a family-owned restaurant called El Borrego on El Cajon Street. She disclosed that although the area has improved over the past years since they opened the restaurant in 2005, she has recently observed more and more homeless people passing by the restaurant.
Attic related an incident that happened last month when a woman entered the restaurant and tried to steal money from one of the containers of chips while asking for food. Luckily, her employee stopped her from doing so. However, the woman became aggressive and started screaming, cursing, and even threatening to burn down the restaurant. Sadly, such incidents have made it difficult for restaurants to operate smoothly and attract customers.
Ms. Attic stated that her family cares about their safety and that of their customers. Although she knows of other companies in the area who are facing similar problems, they have not received much help from the police. Despite calling them numerous times, the police have not been responsive during or after such events. Attic is hoping that more can be done to prevent such incidents in the future.
Furthermore, Attic has no problem with the homeless and would like to help if she could. However, some homeless people with mental issues can be unpredictable, and it’s challenging to estimate how they would react in different situations. For now, the restaurant owners in City Heights are trying to weather the storm and find ways to protect their customers and businesses.