Who runs the free store?
Instead of a traditional board of directors, the free store is managed by a coalition that uses consensus to make decisions. The people in the coalition all take an active role in running the store, from managing social media pages to taking weekly volunteer shifts. Any regular volunteer can ask to be a part of the coalition, and the only requirement is that every current member agrees for them to join. This horizontal structure means that the folks who work hard to keep the store open, are also the ones making the big decisions.
Our Statement of Values
- We believe that food, water, shelter, healthcare, and all other basic necessities are human rights. Every person deserves to live well. We provide the services we do out of a sense of solidarity. We do it because we all deserve it, and doing this creates the kind of community that we want to live in.
- We believe that the members of a community know what’s best for themselves, better than any outside organization or person. As such, we do not do any means-testing, and do not require any kind of documentation or proof of need.
- We practice harm reduction by distributing naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and other items.
- We follow the principles of reproductive justice. People have a right to bodily autonomy, and that includes taking birth control, having an abortion, and having a safe, supported pregnancy and birth.
- We stand for queer and trans liberation. Transgender and non binary people have a right to be safe and free of violence, discrimination, and hatred. Like everyone else, they have a right to free healthcare, including gender transition related healthcare and respectful, accepting providers. We respect every person’s identity as they determine it, and use every person’s correct pronouns and chosen name.
- We are anti-racist. We acknowledge that the system that we live in is built on white supremacy, and actively work against the racist biases we all hold. We serve a primarily Black community, and center their lived experiences and needs in the work we do.
- We are committed to disability justice. We strive to make our space completely accessible and combat internal and systemic ableism.
- We don’t work with police or other agents of state violence. We believe that communities keep ourselves safe, not the cops.