St. Paul businesses, neighbors say homeless day shelter to blame for uptick in crime in West 7th area

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Businesses and people living along West Seventh Street in St. Paul are upset over what they say is a growing crime problem.

They say violence and drug use on the street has increased since the Freedom House day shelter moved into the neighborhood.

"We’re hearing neighbors saying they’re fed up, they’re tired of it," Kathy Gosiger, general manager of Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub.
"I’ve never been fearful of walking these streets, and now it’s dangerous."

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said he is aware of the concerns and the city is seeing a homeless crisis that they’re trying to help.

"We are asking them both for patience and working to communicate with them while we work through a set of remediations, I would say alongside our law enforcement partners, homeless outreach and Freedom House staff as well," Carter said. "We are in the process of expanding our street ambassadors, so we have people in the neighborhood helping to clean up trash, helping to point some of those out of town visitors in the direction of the Xcel Center, in the direction of Tom Reid’s or the river or wherever else they want to go and to help just provide more eyes on the street security."

KSTP reached out to the Freedom House but didn’t hear back.

The St. Paul Police Department says crime is on the rise in the West Seventh neighborhood and they’ve added extra patrols.