Monday, October 22, 2018

Starbucks and the Homeless: A Progress Report

I stopped by the downtown Los Angeles Starbucks at 445 South Figueroa after I finished my coverage of the Politicon convention.

I grabbed a coffee and a blueberry scone, and sat down and took advantage of their free internet access to catch up. I had already checked out of my hotel room

During the 40 minutes I stayed there, I got a pretty good sense of the current homeless Starbucks' policy for at least this Starbucks.

In my time there, 5 homeless wandered in, so roughly one every 8 minutes. They all asked for a cup of water which the Starbucks' employees provided.

Three of them used the restroom, which seemed to be a problem. They all took a very long time and forced a line of customers to form.

One of the homeless, a young male tough with face tattoos, was in there for at least 10 minutes. The women next in line eventually started to knock. He eventually came out but got involved in a verbal confrontation with the woman. It turned out the woman's husband was about 6'5", he walked over when he noticed the confrontation. That ended the confrontation fast.

It did seem that the employees did ask the homeless to leave who were just loitering at the tables. They approached one homeless girl twice and asked her to leave. She was sitting at a table and waiting to use the restroom while another homeless person was in there for about 5 minutes. She left after the second request.

The woman pictured above asked the Starbucks employees to charge her cell phone. They refused and she got a little loud informing the employees that "It was a federal law that required Starbucks to charge phones."

They gave her water and she left.



  1. homeless with a cell phone, got her priorities right,

  2. We have the richest homeless anywhere in the world. I've yet to meet a starving homeless person. Potable water at every public park in the country. Is this a great country, or what?

  3. I was at two Starbucks this weekend and noticed that they both had a sign on the bathroom "Employees Only," even though the bathroom was clearly out on the customer side of the store where you'd expect the customer bathroom to be located. I asked if they had a customer bathroom and they said that they did not, so they seem to have found a workaround to keep out the homeless, but now customers suffer. But since the customers likely pressured the company to genuflect before the PC gods, I don't feel too bad.