Business must be rough for Karl Kemp Antiques if Karl Kemp is suing four homeless people for $1 million. Kemp claims that "John Smith," "John Doe," "Bob Doe," and "Jane Doe" are sullying his stretch of Madison Avenue (his store is 833 Madison Avenue, at 69th) and scaring off customers." His lawsuit claims the group has been"consuming alcoholic beverages from open bottles, performing various bodily functions such as urinating or spitting on the sidewalk, and…verbally harassing or intimidating … prospective customers" over the past two years. And not only is he suing them for $1 million, Kemp wants the four to stay at least 100 feet away from his store.
Kemp says his attempts to harness the police and "local merchant and homeless organizations" have been unsuccessful. What's more, he's just worried about the health of the homeless people and upset that they are sleeping outside while tax payers are paying for city shelters. Still, Coalition for the Homeless executive Shelly Nortz says, "There are scores of organizations outside of the city government who lend assistance to people living on the streets. That's why I think it's preposterous. This defies logic to me." Maybe this is his way of making a fuss and getting agencies and services to react.
And on January 29, the NYC Department of Homeless Services will be conducting its annual survey, the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate. They can use your help.