Thank you for sending this message Dennis and Jody. I know this hasn’t been clear for everyone and either way is a complex challenge.
To answer the person’s question: Generator’s tools are for members only if someone is interested in membership there are two options: General Membership is $95/month and Volunteer Membership is $40/month. Outside of these options our tools can not be used by ANY neighbor (encampment or otherwise) due to liability. The most helpful answer if this question comes up again is: Generator can’t offer use of our tools to anyone that is not a paying member of Generator. They need to understand that we are a different kind of entity from some other neighbors- not a private garage with private tools that someone can lend to a person in need. That might not be clear at first sight.
As for whether or not the encampment is a neighbor that we interact with…
Generator’s first and foremost responsibility when it comes to this question is SAFETY! We are not an organization that is set up to support those without homes or to help solve homelessness, mental health and/or addiction. Therefore, Generator needs to recognize our location and how it affects all of us at Generator and our sense of safety. Please keep in mind that we have many types of members & guests: kids, women, teens, etc. I name women here because as a woman, I am quite aware how some experiences can be quite different for us and not everyone is aware what you might be inviting in for the rest of us.
As the Director of Generator, I can tell you that, personally, I have a lot of empathy for those without homes and those who struggle with mental health and addiction, but professionally, I must make a boundary here because we don’t have the expertise to safely support this population. I am asking all members to consider this boundary as a boundary that is drawn to keep our community of makers safe. So yes, we are neighbors, but NO we can’t be the kind of neighbor that is inviting, giving and sharing with the encampment. (we can’t share our electricity, our tools, our yard, our lunch, or anything else). We can’t create a pathway from here to there because even if YOU feel safe, it may not be the case for the rest of our community. What happens at the encampment is not welcomed at Generator.
If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com
Again, Dennis and Jody, thank you for bringing this question up. I will take some time at our next membership meeting to address this topic and answer questions, ask questions etc.