After homeless ordinance passes, some business owners have mixed emotions


LAS VEGAS (CNN) – About thirty steps through an alley, is the walk Saleemah Abare’s clients take to get to the parking lot.

“You can see the needle top right there, I don’t know what happened to the needle,” Abare, a local barber, said.

She tries to keep it clean for her clients.

“Feces on the side of the walkway. It was throw up too one day,” she added.

Not typically in the job description for a barber.

“I changed my hours so I can try to leave before the sun goes down,” she said.

She says that’s usually when homeless people begin to set up camp for the night on her corner of Garces and Las Vegas Boulevard. Some, she says, mind their own business, others don’t.

“My biggest concern is my safety, being a woman, closing up,” she said.

As a business owner, she’s pleased to see the city approved the ordinance that makes it a misdemeanor to sleep on the streets, but as a compassionate human being, she has empathy for some of the folks who are down and out.

“Where are they going to go? What are they going to do? Where are they going to sleep?” she wonders.

Trinidad is one of the many homeless people in the valley. He reminds us every person has a different story.

“There’s a lot of good people out here,” Trinidad said. “They’re just going through a hard time.”

Over in the arts district, Derek Stonebarger shares the same mixed emotions.

“The mayor herself said it was flawed,” Stonebarger said.

As a business owner and mover and shaker in the neighborhood, he questions if the law will work.

“It’s difficult to enforce a law like this, especially when you get into, I believe, just all of the possessions of someone,” he said.

He, like the mayor, says this isn’t an ideal solution and is not the end-all-be-all fix, but it has sparked a serious conversation that he thinks could amount to real change.

“I just hope that we all work forward towards a real solution that works for everyone,” he said.

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