Boy Whose Hot Dog Cart Was Shut Down by the City Now Homeless

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http://www.mackinac.org/17372

HOLLAND, Mich. — Several weeks after a city zoning officer shut down his hot dog business, 13-year-old Nathan Duszynski and his parents are homeless.

The family was hoping Nathan’s hot dog cart could help them through a difficult time. Nathan’s mother, Lynette Johnson, suffers from epilepsy and his stepfather, Doug Johnson, has multiple sclerosis. Their illnesses have restricted them from finding permanent, full-time work.

The family receives about $1,300 a month in disability payments, Medicaid and food assistance. The three are having a hard time staying together. MLive confirms what the Mackinac Center learned Thursday — Nathan and his mother are staying at the Holland Rescue Mission.

"Nate and I are now in a shelter," Lynette Johnson said. "Doug can't stay with us because he takes prescription narcotics to deal with his pain and the shelter does not allow him with those kinds of drugs."

She said the situation has been stressful on the family. Lynette is afraid to be away from her husband in case she has a seizure.

Nathan wanted to help out his family by selling hot dogs from a cart he bought with money he saved. He worked out an arrangement with the owner of a local sporting goods store to sell hot dogs in the parking lot. The owner of the store thought it would be a great way to attract customers and even offered Nathan a sales commission if he got people to rent his motorized bicycles.

The city of Holland, however, shut down the business 10 minutes after it opened, informing Nathan it was in the city’s commercial district where food carts not connected to downtown brick-and-motor restaurants are prohibited. The Mackinac Center’s coverage of the issue has drawn national attention.

Last week, Nathan and his family made an appeal to the Holland City Council. Mayor Kurt Dykstra defended the city’s ordinance, saying it was to protect downtown restaurant owners, who asked that the "success of the downtown district not be infringed upon by those who don't share in the costs of maintaining the attractiveness of that space."

wow, that's just wrong
 
when he grows up revenge will be his. I can see it now. cops will go outside at 3 in the morning to a puzzling sight. the streets are lined with back to back hot dog trucks. Then, they hear it. The 1812 overture playing far off in the distance...
 
when he grows up revenge will be his. I can see it now. cops will go outside at 3 in the morning to a puzzling sight. the streets are lined with back to back hot dog trucks. Then, they hear it. The 1812 overture playing far off in the distance...

:woot:
 
The situaton is awful and the city looks like a bunch of *****es for shutting the kid down...

But would the hot dog cart really have solved this family's problems?
 
Not surprised. Little children's lemonade stands have been shut down as well in the last few years.
 
So wait, the hotdog stand may not have even been able to sustain the family's living to begin with right? Sounds to me like the publishers of this story have a personal vendetta against the city and are using this story for political leverage. It's a sad observation, but true.

My heart goes out to the family, nonetheless, and my finger to any outsiders trying to benefit from the story and to the American Gov't for their lack of sufficient sustainability for families of lower incomes.
 

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