Doughnut shop under fire after blaming closing on city's homeless

Doughnut Shop Under Fire After Blaming Closing on City's Homeless

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WXMI) -- A Grand Rapids doughnut shop has closed and their reasoning is not going over well.

Propaganda Doughnuts was in business for nearly 3 years on South Division Avenue. The shop posted on their Facebook page that they are closed as of last Sunday and thanked customers for their business. The post went on to explain that they were "unable to find answers and overcome the problem of the increasing amount of homeless and disadvantaged people who now frequent the street in front of our location."

The Facebook post was later taken down after a flurry of negative comments, accusing Propaganda Donuts of scapegoating their closure on the homeless.

"The doughnut shop should have closed 6 months ago," says Bob Dykstra, landlord for business. "Everybody thinks you sound like a bad guy because you're talking about the homeless, but it's the gangs that come down here and the drug dealers that sell to the homeless. That's more of the problem."

According to Dykstra, the doughnut shop had initially been doing well, bringing in $30,000 monthly in this first year. But those numbers dropping sharply in recent months to just $4,000 a month.

Meanwhile, organizations like the Coalition to End Homelessness is trying to help improve the situation for everyone.

"We can't assume that everybody in that corridor is experiencing homelessness, but we do know that we can impact the poverty that people are experiencing," said Jessica Vail, program manager for the Grand Rapids Coalition to End Homelessness.

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