Homelessness is a problem all over the nation and the world, actually.  But before we get into what can/should be done about helping homeless people, we should talk about what some Walgreens stores are doing about homeless people loitering outside their stores.

It started in Reno, and now has moved to Chicago area.  Could it also be something that is tried here in Minnesota?

The stores in Reno, Nevada and now in Chicago, Illinois are blasting loud classical music outside of the store to try and deter loitering.  Some of the stores aren't just using classical music, some of them are also using Opera.  Apparently these are two types of music where you either love it or hate it.  There really is no in-between.  And from what has been seen, it does seem to be working.

From an NBC affiliate in Chicago:

In a statement, a Walgreen's spokesperson said a recorded music loop that plays classical music outside of some stores has been implemented to deter loitering.

The spokesperson added that the retailer is taking steps to ensure the music is only loud enough for the immediate area around the store and cannot be heard in surrounding neighborhoods.

Some experts told NBC Chicago that the technique is nothing new, and it has had some success in other places.

"It works for the wrong reasons," said Lily Hirsch, a musicology and author of the book "Music in American Crime Prevention and Punishment."

These larger cities see much more homelessness than we do here in St. Cloud, but it does still exist.  So far, the Walgreens stores in the metro haven't rolled out this technique as of yet, but it doesn't mean it won't still happen.

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One man who was interviewed by KARE 11 in Minneapolis said that if they did there here in Minnesota he would be happy.  He said he loves music and would be the guy sitting there listening to and enjoying the music with a head bob.  So, obviously it isn't fool proof.  But, this isn't solving the problem.  It's just moving it somewhere else.

Walgreens spokeperson said they don't want customers to be deterred from coming into the store because of people loitering around the entrance.  But the problem still exists.  So a solution still needs to happen.

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