The following is Dan Madison's account of discrimination and contract breach at Cruzio Works.
Dan describes himself as a computer graphics designer with a 19-year old son. Both have disabilities and are homeless.
On Monday August 5, Dan Mattison reports he and his son Gryphon paid around $300 for a Cruzio sign-up and a Cruzio Works 24-hour workspace. He advised them that he was homeless and was told there would be no problem.
As Dan made financial arrangements, Gryphon watched the bikes, which also held their possessions, as they were temporarily parked in the storage area in the back of the Cruzio building.
At some point a woman who later turned out to be someone who worked in the building but not for Cruzio, demanded to know what they were doing there. Dan, went out to speak with her. He explained they were paying customers who had rented a 24-hour space but would be moving the bikes to a city bike storage locker (which he did shortly thereafter).
The woman said she'd already called the police and was concerned with "homeless junkies" being attracted to the area and that she had some issues with their being there at all. But her fears were apparently allayed by the fact that Dan was a paying patron of the business.
However later when Dan returned to get his key, a Cruzio employee (who refused to give her name or her superior's name) told Dan that his membership was being revoked because of the woman's apprehensions which she had read in an e-mail. She would not specify what particular behavior was of concern.
This is Dan's account.
He came to a HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) meeting the next day and told us his story. We joined him in going to Cruzio to ask their side of the story.
I was present for this meeting and an audio was made.
Another woman and an escort again refused to give any specific reason why his membership had been terminated (though she said they would allow him a daytime membership on a "trial basis"). She did mention that they had a "community" there whose "safety" and "comfort" was of primary concern. She would not give any policy or act that suggested there was any violation of a rule that justified either calling the police or terminating his 24-hour membership.
HUFF members conferred outside and decided it sounded like anti-homeless discrimination. We will be setting up Cafe HUFF--an informational table with coffee to seek further information and to inform the community of what appears to be a rather sinister kind of backroom bigotry which is impacting a work-seeking homeless person, who has paid his bill.
We will be demanding that Cruzio Works restore Dan's contract, issue a non-discrimination pledge, and further survey folks about their experiences with Cruzio Works.
Some HUFF members are pressing for a boycott of Cruzio Works (though not necessarily of Cruzio, the internet service).
The recorded interchange between Dan and the Cruzio rep on 8-7 is difficult to hear but somewhat illuminating in that Cruzio refuses to specify what rule was broken, what the complaint by a third party was, and what the "incident" consisted of.
INTERVIEW WITH DAN AND HIS SON GRYPHON ON FREE RADIO SANTA CRUZ: http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb130808.mp3
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