Sacramento — It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
Along the Alhambra Corridor in East Sacramento, small business owners who don’t want to be identified are fuming. Tired of the homeless going to the bathroom in front of the store.
“It’s not good for business,” she said.
What they left behind leaves much to be desired. She’s not the only one who feels that way.
“If you look at petrol stations, they’re bad and bad,” said Jürgen Bleeker.
Bleecker is a veteran who has his sights set on an ever-growing problem. He is trash and filth from the homeless piled up in places like gas stations and car washes.
“There are needles, drugs and equipment everywhere and you have to pick them all up and put them in garbage or bio bags and then take them away,” he said.
He has been doing so since he retired in 2005. He said business has increased by 30% since the pandemic.
“I’m currently responsible for about 21 locations,” says Bleeker.
Bleeker has invested $50,000 in specialized cleaning equipment to serve clients weekly. He does a job that no one wants to do.
Pricing is based on the size of the area to be cleaned, not over a few hundred dollars. Business is booming near the homeless camp.
“You have to find a niche to clean,” said Bleecker.
He was so busy he had to turn down customers.
“I spoke with some people who have been there for 14 years. They said no one told me what to do. I’m getting money from the state.” $1,000 a month, he said.
The question is where are they going?