Riding through downtown Woodland, there’s nothing that appears to be out of the ordinary. There’s traffic, restaurants, plenty of stores and transients.
Business owners say the homeless population is a huge problem in Woodland, specifically in the historic area known as “Dead Cat Alley.” Freeman Park has been under renovation. That’s where the homeless would often camp out. The upgrades mean the homeless population was forced to find somewhere else to go.
“There are some people who are hurtful to themselves and others in the area and they do cause problems,” said Laura Paschke, a manager at Ludy’s Main St. BBQ.
“I know many of the homeless people, some are nice others are distributive and bothering people,” said Doug Scougale, the Owner of Yolo Gold & Silver.
Within a week’s time, Woodland Police made a handful of arrests. Transients were cuffed for camping on public property. Police say the homeless population in Woodland keeps their department busy.
“In the winter months where people try to find shelter they end up on private property, we do follow up with the complaints from the business owners,” said Anthony Cucchi, Public Information Officer with the Woodland Police Department.
Doug Scougale is one of those business owners whose had to deal with issues. Scougale’s been here 30 years and says the transient population has grown and so have the complaints.
“We have people yelling at us and telling us we are crazy,” said Scougale.
Scougale also says the city is way too lenient on panhandlers and transients causing problems.