Friday, February 27, 2009


Elyria – Merchants and residents in downtown Elyria are upset with the crowds of people standing in long lines outside of the Minute Men Services office at 144 Middle Ave.

Hundreds of people have been lining up in hopes to land one of the $27 an hour clean up jobs at the College. Minute Men has been contracted by Belfor Property Restoration, who was hired by LCCC to clean up their buildings after last weeks fire cause over 1 million dollars in damages.

Since word got out that the pay level would be just above $27 an hour for 12 hour shifts hundreds of people have been showing up.

With the unemployment in Elyria being 7.9% and Lorain at 9.3%, local business owners and residents that surround the temp agency say that Minute Men management should have seen this coming. On Thursday afternoon more than 100 people had to be turned away causing some anger amongst those who were left without jobs after waiting in line for so long. The Elyria Police Department had to be called to maintain crowd control.

Friday was not much better according to Lee Stacey who works at the Pulse Café, directly next door to Minute Men. “The people waiting have been crowding around right in front of our restaurant and even in our doorway. I have had to go out there a couple times and asked them to leave the doorway clear but the one lady just looked at me and said fuck you bitch. That is when I called the Police that was way out of line. These people are scaring people away from coming into the restaurant and times are bad enough as it is, we don’t need this problem.”

Another business close by had a similar incident with members of the crowd when she asked them to clear the doorway. “They are out there smoking, eating and drinking and of course that is all ending up on the ground in front of our business. Then when you ask them nicely to pick up the mess and to leave our doorway clear I am being called a bitch and to fuck off. This is totally out of line.”

Police, who have been called numerous times, were back on Friday afternoon after the incident with the employees at Pulse Café. Police instructed the crowd that they are not to block any doorways or the sidewalks.

One of the people who had been in line stopped inside of the Pulse Café to grab a bite to eat, she said there is little organization at Minute Men. “I think this is bigger then they are able to handle Lisa Hendrix said, or maybe it just got thrown at them too fast. I do feel sorry for the businesses around here because I see the amount of people just standing around in front of the stores and doorways and I just feel sorry for them. We were actually told by the people inside of Minute Men to not stand in front of their building, rather stand in front of this place (Pulse Café) and then wrap around the corner.”

With the clean up at the college expected to last about a month, downtown merchants and residents hope the management of Minute Men come up with another plan because they say this one is just not working.


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