CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - Residents of a condo in uptown Charlotte are livid. They say homeless people are using the CATS Bus Stop in front of their building as a personal shelter, and have been urinating and defecating all over their property.
Several weeks ago more than 80 people signed and delivered a petition to the City of Charlotte and CATS to demand something be done about it. But they said they never got a response, so they reached out to FOX 46 Charlotte for help.
The property is a luxury high rise in uptown Charlotte, with a not so luxurious issue.
"The homeless are using our property as a toilet," Joe Cartafalsa said.
Cartafalsa said he has lived in the area for ten years. He said the CATS Bus Stop in front of the building is a magnet for the homeless who use their property to urinate and defecate.
"You really can't sit outside without the smell of urine, and about two or three weeks ago, somebody defecated in the breezeway. When I came home there was a cup there, I guess they tried to pick it up and they just threw it on the ground," Cartafalsa explained.
The condo's concierge confirms it's a massive problem.
"We see it when we come in the morning and smell it, it's just, it doesn't look human sometimes some of the stuff that comes out of them," the concierge said, who wanted to remain anonymous.
The concierge showed FOX 46 Charlotte photos that were taken in recent weeks. One showed a pile of trash with hypodermic needles, and another showed a discarded condom.
The concierge said bleach is often poured on the urine. A camera was also installed on the property because the situation has gotten so bad, they explained.
"Condoms, feces, urine. I mean, how much worse can it get?" he said.
FOX 46 Charlotte was told the situation was even worse overnight. Our crew went to the area at midnight and observed several homeless people spread out around the bus stop, either sleeping on the ground or in the chairs.
"My concern is that the property value will go down because of the homeless," Cartafalsa said, who lives in the high rise.
It was a concern that prompted Cartafalsa to spearhead a petition, signed by about 80 of the building's residents, as well as nearby restaurants and businesses, like Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.
Several weeks ago the petition was delivered to the offices of Mayor Jennifer Roberts and CATS CEO John Lewis. The demands were that the CATS Bus Stop be sanitized, and that all people were stopped from using the shelter as a home and bathroom.
"It's frustrating. They should be concerned with us as citizens of Charlotte to come down and look at the situation," Cartafalsa said.
FOX 46 Charlotte reached out to the city on behalf of the residents to ask about the status of their petition, and what could be done to help the homeless people who have made that particular CATS Bus Stop their go-to place.
In a statement CATS said in part:
"We appreciate citizens alerting us about this situation. We've reached out to the property manager of 230 South Tryon and will work with them on the requests their tenants listed in the petition. The shelter referenced is cleaned three times, or as needed, each day to maintain a clean and comfortable environment for our riders who use it to catch the CATS bus."
CATS went on to say that the issue of the homeless using the shelter for things other than catching the bus is part of a bigger issue that isn't easy to solve, and that the city has numerous resources actively trying to fix it.
This is an ongoing investigation by FOX 46 Charlotte. We will keep you posted on how this situation plays out.