Business owners split on what to do with homeless man who camps - CBS46 News

Business owners split on what to do with homeless man who camps on bench in front of stores

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

An Atlanta shopping district is divided. Virginia Highland business owners are split on what to do with a homeless man who is camping out on a bench in front of their stores.   

Some say its costing them money while others are offering the man food, shelter and other services.   

"This is disgusting that people have to see our neighborhood like this," said one person.

Cat owns a business in Virginia Highland and says that Paul has been living on this bench for years using it as his closet and even his bathroom. And it's hurting her bottom line.

"It's detrimental to foot traffic. The consumers in this neighborhood don't want to have to look at this," said Cat.

CBS46 reporter Kai Beech tried talking to Paul but he walked off and hid in a hardware store.

Atlanta Police know "Park Bench Paul" as Paul Dudley. They say they've arrested him at least four times in the past several years for violating the city's urban camping and criminal trespass laws. They also say they've worked tirelessly but unsuccessfully in getting him off the street. 

Right now the city estimates there are 3500 homeless people in Atlanta. There is a new shelter has recently opened to provide more services.  

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