Shop owners in Boulder say transients cause growing problems

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BOULDER — Businesses on Boulder’s University Hill say transients are causing huge problems.

They say they’re seeing aggressive behavior, open drug use and theft is on the rise.

Now shop owners are banding together to alleviate the problem.

When the sun shines over Boulder police say a new population moves in. “We’ve seen an influx of homeless and transients coming into the area,” said Shannon Cordingly, spokesperson for the Boulder Police Department.

On University Hill shop owners like Ruba Wadhan said these homeless people aren’t typical of what they used to see.

“It’s becoming a younger crowd, said Wahdan, Owner of University Hill Market & Deli.

“We used to have a group of regulars that everybody knew,” she added.

Across the street from Wahdan, The owner of the Boulder Vapor House said the younger transients are more belligerent, disrespectful and problematic.

“I’ve dealt with defecation sitting right in front of my door step,” said Sean Tanner, owner of Boulder Vapor House.

“They will lounge out, like sleeping bags and stuff and they will just lay out wherever,” said Wahdan.

In an attempt to address the growing concern, businesses are coming together and getting creative.

“It’s not suggested to approach any of these transients,” said Tanner.

“Basically providing like a window cling that’s similar to a no trespassing sign that peacefully says, no trespassing,” said Tanner.

Boulder police are also getting involved but said a long term fix may be difficult.

“This is such a large social problem that we are doing what we can to figure out something long term because a “Band-Aid” solution and moving people is not going to fix the problem,” said Cordingly.

Police say two weeks ago they started paying officers overtime to really work the area.  They’ve also created a homeless outreach team, which includes two officers dedicated to working with the homeless and on long term solutions.