A woman was tossed out of a Glen Ellyn, IL Starbucks after being mistaken for homeless. From the Daily Herald:
The 70-year-old Lisle woman was kicked out of the Starbucks in downtown Glen Ellyn a few weeks ago. She claims it was because employees mistook her as a homeless person, part of a purge the store waged to mollify customers who complained that the coffee shop was overrun with the homeless.
Despite an apology from the Seattle-based coffee giant, Kilborn says she isn’t looking for one. She wants something done to address the circumstances that prompted her removal in the first place.
“The issue here is not that I was asked to leave Starbucks,” Kilborn said. “It is the treatment of the homeless who are singled out.”
Some downtown merchants, though, are defending Starbucks, saying many homeless people linger around the business district waiting for nearby overnight shelters to open.
Louise was singled out because she had been talking to a homeless person whom she recognized from her volunteer work. Louise used to be homeless herself, but now spends her time helping others.
Kilborn knows what the homeless are going through; she used to be one of them.
Since finding a place to live in September, she’s devoted Sunday afternoons volunteering at Glen Ellyn’s Welcome Center, a site offered by First United Methodist Church.
About 1:15 p.m. Feb. 25, she prepared for her shift in the same way she’s done many Sundays before: enjoying a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
“I cannot tell you how much I love Starbucks,” she said. “It’s the world’s greatest coffee.”
But on that particular Sunday, Kilborn broke from her usual routine. Instead of sitting alone, she went to sit with a homeless man she knew from the Welcome Center.
The man immediately told her he wasn’t staying – that he had been told to leave.
Kilborn was trying to ask the man why he had to go when a Starbucks employee tapped her on the shoulder and asked her to leave.
She wasn’t given a reason.
But Kilborn believes it was because the employee mistook her as being homeless. Several homeless people have been told to leave the Starbucks in recent weeks, she says. In some cases, police were called.
When Kilborn refused to leave, police officers responded to make sure she left.
By the time it was over, Kilborn recalls standing outside the Starbucks – fuming.
“I had my coffee in my hand,” she said. “It’s still too hot to drink – that’s how little time passed.”
Starbucks has apologized for the incident. —MEGHANN MARCO