So I’d recently joined the trendy homeless population in the Santa Barbara community, when offered a last-minute catering job but no work clothes or funds available to purchase. I sought out some of the caring, generous, always available charitable organizations running thrift stores in the downtown area. You think they would be so amenable to helping a clean-cut, sober guy like yours truly on the path toward solvency?

Hardly. When I approached one place where I have on more than one occasion left sizable donations, I was given the runaround by staff and finally the shaft by the manager, who told me store policy forbade him from giving away anything and that he was on camera to make sure nothing was, even when I promised to pay for the donation the following day. Nothing.

Another place well-known in the community for its generosity gave me the hand. They even had the audacity to tell me they were a business and would go out of if they just started giving stuff away. I was told to leave immediately and come back when I had money.

I’m beginning to wonder what clientele these places are trying to serve? Or is it because I came in through the front door? Needless to say, I won’t anymore. Happy Holidays!


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