A couple of weeks ago, when the weather was hot, we had to solidify and begin to enforce a dress code policy. Of course, this led to conflict, resulting in some pretty targeted and nasty graffiti on our front patio area. And then yesterday, after several weeks of dispute, we had to ask one of our regular guests not to come back, ever. She became agitated and somewhat violently stormed out, admonishing us with colorful language.
Dealing with inappropriate behaviors, language, attire, etc., is part of the business when serving our young homeless population. Most days, our young guests are respectful and compliant, but there are many when for one reason or another, tensions rise, and disciplinary action takes place. We talk a lot about serving with compassion, grace, and love, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for breaking the rules and disrespectful behavior. Most of the time, a warning or short-term expulsion is enough, but there have been times we’ve had to ban a guest permanently.
Our staff and volunteers work hard to create a safe, supportive, and conducive environment for assisting our young guests with their journeys even when conflict may arise. Please pray with us as we strive to serve with compassion and grace and yet, at times, have to implement disciplinary actions.