By Tony Lopez


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Keri Amaral, owner of Alchemy Salon & Spa doesn’t know what else to do. She’s put up fencing, added lights, beefed-up security and still the homeless keep invading her space and her business. They’re not just loitering. They’re doing serious damage to her building and her bottom line.

“So yes. We call the cops every single day,” Amaral said.

She went on to explain what she sees in front of and behind her hair salon at 30th and J Streets in East Sacramento. “We have people shooting up, selling drugs, doing meth,” Amaral said.

Amaral says she lost track of how many clients and employees she’s lost over the last few months. They tell her they’re too afraid to come to her salon. Just last week, one of her stylists was attacked by a homeless man.

READ: Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Bills To Speed Homeless Shelters

She’s also had her front door smashed in, and a homeless man set up camp in her parking lot after exposing himself. And it’s gotten worse.

“A man pulled his pants down and starting rubbing his penis all over our front windows while there were children in here getting their haircut,” Amaral said.

Amaral points out there have always been homeless in her area, but lately, something has changed.

“I don’t think it’s just a homeless issue. I think it’s a homeless, drug, criminal issue,” salon owner Keri Amaral said.

“I don’t think it’s just a homeless issue. I think it’s a homeless, drug, criminal issue,” Amaral said.

Amaral is not alone. Other business owners in her area are dealing with similar problems. But when she reached out to eight of them to come and talk with us all of them declined. She says she knows why.

ALSO: Group Of SF Neighbors, Frustrated With City Inaction, Use Boulders To Keep Homeless Away

“They were like ‘No [I] don’t want to do it,’ because they’re afraid that there’s gonna be a backlash,” Amaral said.

Backlash, not from the homeless themselves but homeless rights advocates.

Chris Jones, from Haven for Hope Sacramento, a group that helps the homeless, says business owners have a right to be angry.

“I would say that yeah, 100% agree that the situation where your customers and employees are being accosted at their place of business is unacceptable,” Jones said.

That’s a word heard often from Amaral’s salon to the streets. The “unacceptable” crisis that seems to be spiraling out of control. And it seems some business owners have had enough.

Comments (2)
  1. David B says:

    Just moved here. Wanted furniture. Pushed on door to store and it would not open. About to walk away when person opened. I asked what I was doing wrong. He said ‘We keep it locked because of homeless coming in’. Crazy. Also another experience I never had before. Teens riding bikes in shopping mall with Home Depot & Wallmart basically throwing sexual insults at people. Old ladies who got back in their car and drove away and me (50 yo guy) asking if I was gay) etc etc. Thats a strip mall I’ll avoid in the future. I’ve been all over this country and never had that kind of crazy behavior.

  2. Required says:

    You go girl! Don’t fear telling it like it is! The real crime is the people who allow the “homeless” to do their drugs and lead criminal lives and not step in to help. These drug addicts need help! How “advocates” can just leave these people on the street and waste away instead of getting them into rehab centers is criminal.

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