'Needles everywhere'

Chantelle Deacon

A Vernon businessman is fed up.

Ed Kendall and his wife have owned Enlighten Hair & Tanning Salon for 18-years, a downtown business just off of 33 Street and 28 Avenue.

Lately, more often than not he has been cleaning up garbage, needles and various items left behind by Vernon's homeless residents.

"A week ago Saturday I came to work and found a pile of garbage and cardboard where they had slept and I went to move the cardboard and there were five needles under it," Kendall said.

"Even with the needle drop-off right next door at the Gateway Shelter, it [still] doesn't even help, all these people are allowed to needle up everywhere they go and leave their needles everywhere which is unsafe for everybody."

His business operates right next to the Gateway Homeless Shelter, where he says he sees people coming and going all throughout the day.  

He says his business is not the only one dealing with this issue.

"Right next door Fisher's Hardware is dealing with garbage all over the place," Kendall said. "Their locked bins are being broken into, garbage is thrown all over the place, in fact just last night my [store] alarm was going off at 11:15 p.m. and I came down to find four people, two sets of two guys walking around very stoned, high or drunk."

As of now, his business hasn't been impacted financially by the situation but he says it's a pain having to constantly clean up needles and garbage.

"The city, the RCMP or bylaw have to step up and do what they have to because for us business owners why should we have to pay extra for private security to govern our businesses but that's what we're facing right now."

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