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Update: Mission District business owner frustrated over continuing problems with crime and filth

Mission District business owner frustrated over neighborhood's continuing problems with crime, filth
Mission District business owner frustrated over neighborhood's continuing problems with crime, filth 03:44

SAN FRANCISCO -- A small business owner in San Francisco's Mission District on Monday said she has seen little or no improvement since she and other merchants declared a state of emergency in the neighborhood last month, demanding help from city officials.  

What started as a dream for Ana Valle has become a nightmare. She is the owner of Abanico Coffee Roasters in the Mission.

"I feel drained. My energy is drained," Valle said.

Abanico Coffee Roasters owner Ana Valle
Abanico Coffee Roasters owner Ana Valle. CBS

She told me things in her neighborhood haven't improved. It's been almost two weeks since she joined other business owners and residents of the area to issue an emergency declaration in the Mission after a woman was attacked near the 16th Street BART station.

While prosecutors on Monday announced a 47-year-old San Francisco man will stand trial in the brutal February assault of a 78-year-old woman that spurred merchants in the neighborhood to act, many of the issues in the Mission that are discouraging visitors persist.  

"I know things don't happen overnight. I feel like they could happen overnight; like the streets get cleaned up when there's an event," Valle explained.

But since there is no event, the streets surrounding her business look dirty.

"It's a lot. And it's messed up. I don't think this neighborhood should be left like this," Valle said.

KPIX spoke with Director of the Latino Task Force Roberto Hernandez Monday as he was preparing to attend another meeting with San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

"I'm going to show her these encampments blocking the sidewalk. This is where we have our Mission Food Hub services," Hernandez explained. "People can't even walk on the sidewalk. And to point out to her that I know there are empty beds; why aren't we taking these individuals out on the street and taking them to shelters?"

He said this is just one of many quality-of-life issues that put the future of small businesses like Abanico Coffee Roasters at risk.

"It's sad, and it angers me at the same time. People that invested and started their own business in the community that I was born and raised in," Hernandez said. "It's sad to see that a Latina woman who has invested here could potentially leave. But we'll support her and protect everyone in our neighborhood."

Ana said she hopes the pressure will help the city decide to clean up the area so that her business can stay open. Otherwise, she will have to leave.

"As a business owner, I wanna focus on making coffee and providing these services to the neighborhood," Valle said. "But I'm finding myself fighting people outside or emailing the supervisor or emailing the members of the Mission Merchants and just saying, 'What else can we do?'"

For now, she's planning on staying in the Mission, giving life to the place she and her family call home.

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