In a recent post written by BiddingForGood CEO, Jon Carson, he stated "Occupy is a peaceful protest now, but where it ends up is anyone’s guess."
Peaceful? Yes. Responsible? Not so sure. I was deeply saddened to learn this important (my mom begs to differ) protest, has been poaching from the very people our company helps. At BiddingForGood, we strive to help non-profits in troubling economic times. We realize the importance of resources, of any kind.
BiddingForGood recently ran a unique online auction for the Pine Street Inn at the State House in Boston. Pine Street Inn outreaches to over 1,300 homeless men and women each day. Founded in 1969, Pine Street is the largest resource for homeless men and women in New England. What does this have to do with Occupy Boston? Homeless shelters are reportedly being depleted of resources by Occupy Boston protesters.
The other day, The Boston Herald broke a story on Occupy Boston and how the protesters are using services intended for the homeless. The story reports "Occupy Boston has been encouraging protesters to take showers, hot meals and shelter meant for the homeless, prompting a St. Francis House manager to ask the downtown campers to remove directions from their Internet newspaper."
St. Francis’ policy is to turn no one away, leaving the shelter's staff of volunteers with bittersweet feelings. Homeless shelter’s overarching goal is to help people, whoever they may be. Their mission is to serve the homeless.
Let me state for the record, I am for everyone, including protesters, having food, hot showers and basic necessities. I will also add that a fellow employee reminded me that it is not a very long journey from unemployed to homeless. I can't pretend to have the answers of right and wrong here.
I hope since the story broke, Occupy Boston’s newspaper has stopped directing fellow protesters to these homeless shelters. At the end of the day, these people CHOSE to be a part of a protest and the corresponding hardships. The mission of these homeless organizations is to help those not fortunate to have this choice. I have to ask, what happens when our unseasonable fair weather turns bitter cold? I hope there is a way for protesters and homeless alike to stay warm.