Homeless problem disturbs Ashland businesses

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Monday, April 16, 2012

A survey of Ashland business owners found concern for safety due to homeless loiterers downtown.

Business owners reported they had been spit upon and their tires slashed. They said residents and tourists often are harassed by panhandlers when they walk through downtown, chamber board member Lisa Beam told the City Council earlier this month.
[Oregon Shakespeare Festival Executive Director Paul] Nicholson wrote that while some people are trying to escape homelessness, others choose to be disruptive and tend to congregate in front of OSF's Black Swan Theatre on Main Street, where they often are under the influence of intoxicants.
They harass OSF patrons and employees, and intimidate people by aggressively asking for money, Nicholson said. This has led many people to avoid the sidewalk and plaza area in front of the theater, and some patrons have said they are reluctant to return to Ashland.

Read more at The Mail Tribune.

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