The businesses in the Red River cultural district have had a long standing problem with crime in the area particularly in the alley. Beerland, a music venue, plans to shed a light on the issue by raising money to help the homeless.
Business Owner Richard Lynn said it's a consistent problem that needs to be addressed. The issue was escalated when a band member of Thunderstars was attacked outside the venue in early November.
"The criminals have taken it away from the city and APD,” Lynn said. “They've taken it over, they do open drug dealing or whatever down there and they're not scared."
The alley is city-owned property. Mayor Steve Adler said they are aware of the issue and have been working on ideas to combat crime in the area for the last three years. The plan is to add lighting and a gate to restrict access to the alley before the end of December.
APD said officers have stepped up patrols in the area but can't post an officer there permanently. Lynn took a closer look at crime and homelessness in the alley and went to the ARCH. A resource center for people entering the homeless social services system.
"I thought wow there's a lot of hardworking dedicated people here. Working under difficult circumstances," said Lynn. "Homeless people, I mean they're people they have issues just like everyone else."
Observing the non-profit's need for more resources Lynn decided to raise money by hosting a benefit concert for the ARCH. He even invited back the Thunderstars to help. Eric Kang, Thunderstars Lead Singer said his bandmates immediately jumped at the offer to help out others.
"The ARCH is just trying to help the community and you can't really condem the community for the acts of one person in that community,” Kang said.
Beerland will host multiple benefit shows to help out different non-profits throughout the month of December. Thunderstars will be performing Saturday at 10 p.m.