Starbucks, which is currently at the centre of the most ridiculous unnecessary controversy storm in existence, has announced that it will brand 97 Starbucks coffee shops as safe havens for victims of LGBT hate crimes.
Seattle Police Department’s Safe Place programme began back in May, and roughly 650 businesses have joined in by placing a rainbow coloured sticker in their window in order to indicate a safe space.
LGBT liaison officer and police officer Jim Ritter said that not one place denied him when he invited them to join the programme.
When discussing this with the Seattle Times, Jim had this to say: “We don’t have roving bands of people assaulting LBGTQ people as we did in the 80s, [but] the crimes are predatory, they’re picking somebody out of the herd. They’re cowards for the most part. They’re opportunistic, they do their damage and leave. They like operating in the shadows and Safe Place eliminates a lot of those shadows. It’s OK to call 911. We want you to become involved, we want you to help us help the community.”
Starbucks have also been busy training over 2,000 employees across their Seattle branches to both offer support and properly report hate crimes.
Starbucks’ regional director for the city, Heather Jennings, had this to say: “We’re already a part of our customers’ lives and […] this is another way to be part of the community. Anyone who needs a place to go to feel safe, to call the police, we want to be there for them.”