A Corpus Christi business owner blames a road construction project for crime in his area and for his front stoop becoming a homeless campground.
“Everybody in this whole area is concerned about it,” Bob Redding said.
Redding owns three businesses in the 1100 block of Leopard Street. He says he operated them without any problems for 12 years until nine months ago. That’s when the intersection of Leopard and Staples Street was closed as part of the project to build a new harbor bridge.
“We’ve never had an issue, because we’ve always had traffic flow,” Redding said.
The issues he now has include people who are homeless spending the night right outside one of his businesses. His new morning routine is cleaning up after them.
“It’s not just trash,” he said. “It’s human waste. It’s everything you can imagine that people would leave behind.”
Redding is also a recent crime victim. In January someone broke into his t-shirt press stealing a 42-inch video monitor, two iPads, and a laptop computer. Corpus Christi Police say less traffic coming by Redding’s store makes it more vulnerable to thieves.
“It’s kind of out of sight out of mind for folks,” CCPD Cpt. Jason Brady said. “It becomes potentially more attractive to folks that are maybe not wanting to be viewed or seen.”
Even though Redding would like for the homeless and thieves to leave him and his businesses alone he says there’s a bigger picture. He wants to help start an organization to help reduce the city’s homeless population.
“What my hope is, is to get business owners interested in getting involved and trying to create something about these people sleeping on the street,” Redding said. “They don’t choose to be on the street, and something could be done. And people are bigger-hearted in South Texas than just about anywhere you go.