CHATSWORTH, Calif. (FOX 11) - It's not an issue of compassion or caring, business owners and residents say - but of safety and security.
Diana Katayama, who has run Chatsworth Valley Flowers at Lassen and DeSoto for 22-years, says that it's worse than ever.
She's talking about the problem of transients, and homeless...threatening people.
She showed FOX 11 reporter Phil Shuman video of two occasions where she's had to lock her door to keep people out, people who were screaming and banging on the glass, people who most of us would be very wary of if they approached us on the street due to their wild look and agitated demeanor.
What happened before the video was rolling? We don't know for sure...but in a short visit to the area we talked with three business owners who were expressing the same concern, and also spent some time talking with a group of homeless people.
One was mad and cursed at us, another had a very thoughtful discussion - blaming the problem on a small group of drug addicts.
What does the City and the LAPD say? FOX 11 is still waiting for their input on this specific issue.
Diana says they come, eventually. She understands that they are overloaded, but why, she wonders, are people taken into custody then back out on the same streets maybe the next day?
Remember, it's not a crime to be homeless, however, it is a crime to threaten someone or vandalize property.