Hillcrest businesses: Homeless are not welcome

Businesses hire private security to move homeless

SAN DIEGO - Hillcrest businesses are spending thousands of dollars to move the homeless off their streets. 

They say they don’t care where they go, but the new private security team will make sure they don’t stay in Hillcrest.

“Businesses are fed up,” said Hillcrest Business Association Executive Director Ben Nicholls. “Homeless people are often times in the businesses panhandling. That’s scaring customers away.”

The HBA will spend upwards of $80,000 a year for daily patrols by City Wide Protection Services.

“We’re not out here just trying to bully people. There are options. We are just out here for the businesses,” said Lt. Jose Guadarrama.

Nicholls said the HBA tried helping them directly through outreach and direct engagement.

“That hasn’t worked,” he said. “And it is not the job of the business community to solve this homeless problem for San Diego.”

City Wide Protection Services said demand for their officers is so high, they are looking to hire more trained staff.

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