Santa Barbara Rescue Mission
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June 11, 2012
I chose to sleep on the streets rather than stay at the rescue mission because one of the volunteers was very aggressive towards me. He made my brief stay at the mission both uncomfortable and impossible. He is required to work at the mission as part of his rehabilitation. This man is a predator who gave me his phone number the first day I stayed at the mission. I told him I was not interested; however, two days later he slipped me a note asking me to go out with him. His aggressive behavior was disgusting, and it was apparent to others because they told me about it.
Although I never took anything from this man, and I made it clear I didn’t need him to carry my sleeping mat, I was resented by others for the attention he gave me. I did not want and did not ask for any special treatment, and refused it in every instance. Despite this fact, some people perceived his aggression towards me as me getting some kind of preferential treatment. As I result, I was treated with cruelty by those who resented the attention he gave me. This also made my stay at the mission very uncomfortable.
When I reported this man to the woman in charge of the volunteers (Jill) she held a meeting and required him to apologize to the other program volunteers. She never contacted me or spoke with any other residents. They could all verify he is and has been inappropriate towards many other women, especially really young women. I was informed by one of the program volunteers they came to the conclusion I had a personal vendetta and must have somehow invited him to pursue me within the first ten minutes of my visit. I have nothing to gain in reporting this, and more to lose. I am disgusted and insulted with this inaccurate conclusion and will follow up to make sure this man is unable to harm anyone in the future.
It is evident the rights and feelings of those staying at the mission are of no value to the “volunteers” and their immediate supervisors. Most of the program volunteers are recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. Many of these people have no respect for themselves and the format of this program should be re-evaluated because their program “volunteers” are angry and disrespectful towards everyone staying at the mission.
I WOULD NOT recommend this place to anyone who has an ounce of dignity left in their soul. The policies regarding no contact between the program volunteers and residents staying at the mission are violated on a regular basis and nothing is done about it.
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