If you have been to the Popeyes store on 15th and Chesnut in Center City, you probably have seen the new sign that is on the front door. The store has made some noise not only in Philadelphia but on social media with their "No homeless people allowed inside the store."

The city of Philly is known to be overflowing with homeless people. So it is not uncommon for them to take shelter inside of a restaurant on a cold night. According to TMZ, the corporate offices of Popeyes were the ones to give the go-ahead to put the sign up. This particular store is said to have had problems for years with homeless people loitering inside the store. The manager of the store said up until this point the store had been very welcoming of the homeless people. They would let them come in, sit, and would sometimes even give them a free meal. However, due to COVID restrictions, they say they can't be lenient with the rules. According to TMZ, a lot of homeless people have been coming into the store without face masks. Not only that, there have been instances where homeless people trashed the store, become very unruly, and would cause situations that would make the employees have to call the cops.

There are two sides to look at this situation from. I understand why they put the sign up from a business perspective, but I also see it from a humanitarian perspective which is more important. People deserve to be treated as human beings, whether they are homeless are not. The sign insinuated that even if the patrons planned on purchasing a small snack, they couldn't enter the building because they don't have a primary residence. There is no doubt that Philly has a homeless crisis, but this is a foul solution to the problem.

I do agree that there need to be some boundaries in place, however. I have been someone who has been harassed inside of a restaurant by someone pleading for me to buy them a meal. I was by myself and so uncomfortable, that I left the restaurant without finishing my food. There have been other people on social media expressing their encounters.

Perhaps make it clear that anyone who enters this store has to respect the restaurant's rules and policies. Face masks must be worn at all times, customers must be respectful of other people's space, and if you aren't purchasing a meal there could be a time limit on how long you occupy a table.

I think we all can agree that the way this store went about it wasn't right. They needed to think of a less offensive way of getting their message across.


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