Austin, TX

7-Eleven in Austin plays highbrow opera music to drive homeless people away

Brenna Temple

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Some 7-Eleven locations including one in Austin have started playing opera music to keep homeless people off their premises.

The convenience spot is notorious for attracting people who are living on the streets. According to a news article, "Opera singing has been booming outside a store in Austin, Texas, and at multiple locations in California where the Democrat-run cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco are gripped by homelessness crises."

As such, "Store owners have turned to Pavarotti and Beethoven to keep their shops safe, claiming that it irritates homeless people who harass and assault their customers."

It's no secret that some 7-Eleven employees work in an environment that can feel unsafe. A public safety report called 7-Eleven the "epicentre' of crime, where drug users may gather to trade elicit substances with little intent to make a purchase, scaring away potential customers.

Last year, in Prince George, Canada, a 7-Eleven was forced to shut down due to numerous issues. In a news article, a man who lived nearby stated that people were shooting drugs, causing fires, defecating in apartment entrances, painting graffiti and more.

With these problems present, there is an increased need for police and security that may not be met. In the case of Prince George, homelessness made the store's existence too challenging to sustain.

With locations blasting classical music, one may wonder if Beethoven would have been enough to prevent its closure. For the stores that remain open, the efficacy of classical music is yet to be proven in dissuading the homeless from hanging out.

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Brenna Temple is a writer with more than 15 years of experience.

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