Propaganda Doughnuts blames closure on homeless

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A downtown doughnut shop said in a Facebook post on Thursday that it has closed its doors due to the “problem of the increasing amount of homeless” in front of their business.

Propaganda Doughnuts, located at 117 Division Avenue, officially closed on July 3 after two and a half years in business.

“It was too much to ask our customers to accept being harassed and approached by panhandlers,” the post said.

The doughnut shop said in the post it tried various solutions but it is was impossible to “maintain a successful food establishment on the 100 block of South Division.”

“This area is no longer acceptable for customers who just want to stop in and get some great doughnuts and coffee,” the post said.

The posted ended with the business thanking its customers and that it hopes a solution for the “problems” can be found so it can reopen.

The post has since been deleted from Propaganda Doughnuts’ Facebook page. Below, you can read the full post before it was removed:

“It saddens us to say that Propaganda has officially closed its doors as of last Sunday. Thank you to everyone who supported us the past 2 1/2 years.

Unfortunately, we 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. It was too much to ask our customers to accept being harassed and approached by panhandlers. Customers were also having to walk past intoxicated and passed out people on the sidewalks and in the doorways. Some customers were approached and panhandled even before getting out of their vehicles. The street is also having an increasing problem of the doorways and other areas being used as sleeping areas and bathrooms. This area is no longer acceptable for customers who just want to stop in and get some great doughnuts and coffee.

We tried various solutions including closing in the afternoons and evenings when the homeless and transient population move from the east side of Division to the west side in order to stay out of the Sun. Each morning when we came to open up the donut shop we would never know what problems we would face at our entrance. It became apparent that at this time and until solutions are found to manage the recent influx of homeless to Grand Rapids from other cities in Michigan and even other areas of the country that we would be unable to maintain a successful food establishment on the 100 block of South Division.

Again we would like to thank all of our customers who came to visit us at Propaganda and hopefully we will find some solutions that will allow us to soon reopen our business.”

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