Group of Disabled Customers Discriminated Against at Local Bookstore...
GRESHAM, OR- Every Friday the Cascadia CORE team from East Multnomah County meets at the Borders Bookstore along the MAX line in the main Gresham shopping district. They gather there to have coffee, talk and socialize. CORE is part of a program offered by Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare to assist mental health clients reintegrate into the community. The coffee shop at Borders makes an ideal location since it is near a pond, is quiet and easily accessible by public transit. Most of the folks who are members of the team are on federal disability and do not own a vehicle.
This week the management of the store informed the group that they were no longer welcome customers. They explained that an individual who had received services from Cascadia had been caught attempting to shoplift at some earlier point. This person was not associated with the CORE team; they simply had received mental health services. Since Cascadia is the largest provider of such help in the area and works with thousands of people at many levels, this is a highly suspect policy. In effect they are wholesale banning a large portion of the psychiatric consumer/survivor community for nothing more than having received treatment from one of the only healthcare choices they have.
Eventually the group was served, but it is unknown whether the management will follow through on its threat and refuse the group services next week. We are asking for an apology from Borders to the 13 participants that were there. Being treated in such a way was very difficult to handle for some of the clients, and they have a right to a sincere apology. They also have a right to be respected as individuals, not simply branded and discriminated against because of a disability. That is counter to where we want to go as a society, a country built on inclusion, diversity and freedom of access.
To let Borders know that you are in solidarity with this group please contact the Border Headquarters at the number below. Tell them you want to see this issue resolved in a respectful, fair and compassionate way. End psychiatric segregation today!!!
Borders Corporate Office:
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