One business on West Hastings Street is reportedly struggling to keep their businesses open due to crime and grime in the area, motivating the owner to shutter its doors, according to Global News.
The reality of having to clean up human feces and urine that seeps in through the front door is allegedly how the owner of Balila Taste Kitchen kicks off every morning when he comes into work.
Waleed Sukkarie, owner of Balila, began by asking: "Can you smell it?" He asked the reporter if they could imagine living "with this all day," noting that used needles, busted windows, and theft are commonplace in the area.
Staff are reportedly leaving the establishment because they don't feel safe in the area, and a stout $4,700 a month must be paid each month in rent just to stay open.
The restaurant had reopened after on May 25, following local guidelines.
Sukkarie emphasized that he has tried to be gracious, but that he simply cannot continue to come into work with the job of cleaning up "crap every day, every day, every day."
Graham Williams is a gentleman who lives just a short ways from Balila, and described how his residence had to replace the chain lock on the garbage room because someone had busted the last one in order to sleep inside.
Having no help from city hall, Williams explained that his residence has had to hire private security, costing upwards of $3,000 a month.
Williams continued by saying that he has been trying to get in touch with Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart for the past six months, adding that everyone in the area has been trying to reach him without success.
"Your lack of response is astounding," Williams said of Stewart.
Stewart shared that he believes COVID-19 has had a tough impact on the city, and that he is doing what he can, saying "What we have to do, is really get in the causes of crime, which is getting folks the help they need to kind of get to a better place. So this is what we're working on."
Stewart's response, however, has not been quick enough, as Sukkarie is already committed to shutting down his business due to the conditions in the area.