1 min

A 7/11 owner in Austin, Texas has a creative solution to scare off the rampant homeless population: opera music.

Jagat Patel has been blasting the music from his store 24/7 due to solicitation problems from a homeless encampment next door. Homeless people reportedly walk up to customers’ car windows and ask for money, and become angry when the customers say no.

Patel also said he had to pay a private company to remove needles from his store yard that the homeless people threw over a fence. His landscaper reportedly won’t service the yard when it’s covered in needles. The nerve on that guy.

Why opera music? Patel said studies show classical music is annoying and prevents people from congregating. A person staying at the encampment, Salem, spoke to KHOU11 and seemed to prove Patel’s hypothesis correct: “Absolutely obnoxious and, I don’t know, it’s just a nightmare. Incredibly loud. Two or three times, we have been able to hear it on the other side of the complex.”

She also said she doesn’t believe they are doing anything wrong. When have a few used needles ever hurt anyone?

I can see how classical music blaring 24/7 would get pretty irritating. But it could be much worse. In 2019, a Portland 7/11 blasted a horrible high-pitched noise to get rid of homeless loiterers. The move was criticized by residents as “offensive,” since it’s the same method used to dispel insects.

The 7-11 on 4th & Taylor has a high pitched noise constantly playing outside. I asked clerk, he said it’s meant to “keep homeless people away.”

— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) January 30, 2019
Austin has been plagued with homelessness for the past few years. In May of 2021, Austin residents voted to ban homeless people from camping in public. But in 2022, the Austin homeless population grew by about 20%, reportedly due to a lack of homeless shelters and housing. Austin is spending millions of dollars trying to fix the problem and is even renovating hotels for homeless use.

Like it? Share with your friends!