June 24, 2010
Police confirm a man was trespassing early Thursday morning at the construction site of the Landmark Hotel.
The confirmation is the culmination of complaints by business owners on the Downtown Mall who said many homeless people break into the construction site for shelter.
Chas Webster owns The Box, a bar and restaurant directly across from the Landmark Hotel. He said the hotel is open for business for Charlottesville's homeless.
Mall residents said they've witnessed the same thing.
Kay Brazee is homeless in Charlottesville. She admits the homeless often squat in vacant buildings on the mall.
Business owners said their complaints have fallen on deaf ears, and the homeless who stay in unoccupied buildings on the mall say the same thing.
"The City hasn't done anything except put up a few boards in precarious places," says Webster.
"If we put up tents, the City takes them down," says Brazee. "If we are sleeping on benches, the police make us leave. We have nowhere to go."
Leaving business owners and the homeless on common ground: they need more help from the City.