Email from the Midtown-Ponce Security Alliance I just received...
It has come to our attention that Whole Foods on Ponce is running a benefit for the organization operating the Peachtree Pine shelter. This causes great concern for us in light of two major incidents in our neighborhood involving street people.
- The tourist murdered by a panhandler at 14th and Spring (story here)
- A resident brutally assaulted with a brick at 8th and Piedmont (3 blocks from my home, story here)
As you remember, the City worked to have state and federal funding cut off from the Peachtree Pine shelter. After all these years, the Peachtree Pine shelter has shown itself to be a massive contributor to neighborhood crime and disorder. Day and night drug dealers ply their trade on that block, and the shelter simply washes their hands of the detrimental impact on the community. The shelter does nothing whatsoever to help people out of "homelessness" and onward to a more productive life. They merely provide a street people facility in which to hang out when they take breaks from their criminal and nuisance activity.
Whole Foods has committed 5 percent of all of their sales for today (9/10) to go toward this massive community nuisance under the disguise of the "Metro Task Force for the Homeless." In all likelihood, Whole Foods will furnish several thousand dollars to this "task force" so that crime and disorder in our community can continue.
Please do not shop at Whole Foods today. We also urge you to call Whole Foods and voice your displeasure at their sponsorship of neighborhood crime and disorder. The phone number for the offending store is 404-853-1681.
For background information you may wish to read the following resources on the MPSA website:
1. Digest of Peachtree Pine Responses – A dossier of letters from the community opposing funding for the Metro Task Force for the Homeless. This would shed light on the character of the organization.
2. The MPSA letter to the Atlanta City Council urging them not to approve recommendation for funding for this community nuisance
3. A similar letter from the Midtown Neighbors’ Association
In the name of a safer neighborhood please boycott Whole Foods today, and reconsider your ongoing patronage of that business contributing to major problem in the neighborhood you call home.
I should note that this isn't simple NIMBY reactionarianism - St. Mark's operates a soup line that is much closer to my home than Peachtree Pine, and it presents no problems. Other shelters in the city, such as the Union Mission, do not allow their patrons to loiter in the immediate area like Peachtree Pine does (nor do they allow drug dealers to set up shop right across the street, for that matter). Peachtree Pine is simply a badly run shelter that can't be bothered to police the sidewalk outside its own building, much less mitigate the harm done to the community at the hands of its patrons. It does not deserve the community's support.
Update: Whole Foods has cancelled the benefit day due to the negative feedback they received. You can all carry on spending your Whole Paycheck for overpriced orange juice. :)