City Shuts Down 13 Year Old Boy's Hot Dog Stand & Now He's Homeless


Nathan Duszynski, a 13-year-old boy who saved up $1,300 to purchase a hot dog cart and then was shut down by the city of Holland, Michigan, has now found himself homeless, along with his parents.

Gary North wrote about Duszynski at the end of July,

A 13-year-old mowed lawns to save up enough money to buy a hot dog cart. He got licensed. Then he tried to sell hot dogs. The city shut him down.

Why?

Two reasons. First, the good old boys who run local restaurants two decades ago got independent food vendors zoned out. Second, the teachers union got businesses banned for anyone under 18.

Sadly the boy was muscled out of a small business by larger businesses that were hand in hand with local government. The family was hoping that Nathan's hot dog business would help them in a difficult time.

His mother, Lynette Johnson, has epilepsy and his stepfather, Doug Johnson, has multiple sclerosis. Their illnesses have kept them from finding permanent, full-time work. The family receives about $1,300 a month in disability payments, Medicaid and food assistance. The family is having a hard time staying together as well. Nathan and his mother have been living at the Holland Rescue Mission. The father can't stay with his family at the shelter because he has to take prescription narcotics for the pain he endures and the shelter does not allow those kinds of drugs in it.

Mackinac Center for Public Policy reports,

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."

Is this not a shame to the city of Holland? The mission has stepped up and provided something by way of charity, which is what the Church is supposed to do, not government. The local government of Holland should reconsider their unethical and completely unfair law regarding Nathan's hot dog cart. Young entrepreneurs should be rewarded for their endeavors, not punished.

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  • Tkchapman

    Please check and see if this organization can help....
    http://familypromise.org/?q=content%2FMichigan

  • MsPrism

    I think you are all missing the point here. Discrimination is wrong for people who are just trying to work hard and get by, period. It's not right what they did to this amazing !! young man and his family.

  • greginnc

    Any 13 yr old that has enough compassion for his parents, values his family, and possesses the drive to work like this will be one heck of an employee for a company. This family definitely is going to need long term assistance and I hope there is a church somewhere that would be willing to step out and show this family what real Christianity is all about by giving them the assistance they need through this trial.

  • Abigail

    I visited Holland many many years ago. It was a nice city. Then.
    Now it sounds like it's being run by a bunch of self-righteous SOBs. Hope all those restaurant owners go freakin' bankrupt.

  • Get a Perspective

    I think you are all extremists and extremely biggeted!!! Reading your responses makes me want to "puke" as you are so apt to say. I an not a liberal, but I thank God that I am not racist and biggeted as you are.
    My town has the same ordinances about push carts, for the same reason. I don't think it is so unconnom. Last year a man petitioned to have a hot dog stand. It took months of debating in the council. They finially gave him a place to set up for 1 year. It worked fine. This year he was allowed a better place, and a 2nd cart given permission to be on the other side of town. They don't want the corn on the cob carts, cotton candy, fruit carts that are found in large cities in the inner city sections.
    Also, the teachers are out to protect children and keep them in school. That is why they are against children owning and running their own businesses.
    You people need to think before you spew your venom! You call yourselves Christians, but you are so unchristian- like it is frightening.

  • steveOK

    If it is a city ordinance, why did they take his money for a license? Seems to me the city should reimburse him and buy his hot dog stand - to use at the fair!

  • Doc

    I really hate left wing liberal yankees,

  • Larry

    Our so called elected in Washington don't want this kid working..they don't want anyone working but depend on them to survive. We have ALL, black, white any color have become slaves of this gangland group of outlaws.

  • servant1jkb

    Remember this?
    |THIN|
    K

  • Silentio

    This is a terrible disgusting treatment against a young boy attempting to pusue the American dream being perpetrated by business men who ought to understand the nobility of this young boy's efforts. They ought to be ashamed of themselves for this anti-American corruption .