Nonetheless, we’ve taken security risks seriously and planned for a security officer to be available to escort individuals to their offsite parking garages, increased building security, and selected valet garages with fewer access points, decreasing the likelihood of intruders or car prowlers. We are also implementing a buddy system so people can coordinate walking to bus stops, garages, etc. with people they know.
BUT what we haven’t done is account for perceived threats: AKA homeless people. A large chunk of my coworkers don’t like homeless people and don’t want to be around them. This is because they incorrectly believe their safety is threatened by the existence of homeless people. It’s a weird risk. It’s an extremely common risk.We risk a mutiny as soon as the safety police start sharing articles about crime rates in the neighborhood on our community message boards.
How do you get your employees to treat their homeless neighbors as people? After all, we’re moving into their neighborhood. They were there first. Aren’t homeless people only a “problem” when we treat them poorly? Isn’t that why they are homeless in the first place?
Sometimes the best way to mitigate a risk is to act like a human being. Also, safety and security trainings just make people never want to leave their homes. Anything could happen and has happened, and there is no realistic way to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
I haven’t seen my boss’s risk log on this project, but I would be willing to bet a lot of money that at no point did he think that our employees might be a risk to our homeless neighbors.