April 26, 2019
More and more, Starbucks locations are opening up around San Clemente. With one already on El Camino Real, one on Pico and La Pata, one in Albertson’s, and one at the Outlets, another is being built on Pico, right next to San Clemente High School. Starbucks is typically a location where many students go to study or just to fuel up on their favorite sugary caffeinated drink.
With all of the new transient people coming to San Clemente and sleeping on the streets, especially in the North Beach area, there are also more homeless at many of the Starbucks locations. This is because anyone is able to use all spaces at all Starbucks locations, including the restrooms. Starbucks changed their policies in May 2018 after a situation in one of their Philadelphia locations. “Any person who enters our spaces, including patios, cafes and restrooms, regardless of whether they make a purchase, is considered a customer,” Starbucks said in an email to employees.
Due to this new policy, many homeless people are now hanging out at the Starbucks locations, especially on El Camino. What are they doing? Well maybe selling or doing drugs, begging for money, or just sitting on the sidewalk, sleeping, making a mess of restroom, leaving a mess, and bothering customers. While the employees are trained on what to do if they see illegal activity, there is only so much they can do.
Since the new Starbucks is so close to the high school, and many more homeless are coming to San Clemente, it isn’t safe to have it so close to the school. There are already so many Starbucks locations in San Clemente that another one is really not needed. If there is nothing that can be done about it, maybe having security guards at this location may be a way to keep the students, employees and customers safe. San Clemente High School students should be warned and trained on what to do if they are confronted by a vagrant or see something illegal.