The first lesson here is to know who is really building your community and the logistics of how and why it got to this point and why progress isn’t being made.
A lot can relate to not having adequate facts in front of you and just believing anything you hear or see, especially on the Internet and social media.
My friends and business owners Thomas and Vanessa Dover of Wisefire Cafe in Blacksburg, SC experienced this over the Valentine’s/All-Star weekend. I referenced the story on my FB vlog also.
Police chief Jamie Ham was doing a good thing for the homeless by providing them an overnight place to stay during the cold, no questions asked. Well some nights, especially Fridays, Wisefire is open late due to several activities and specials Thomas has going on. Some of these homeless people have actually been friendly and harmless.
However, when one of them went rogue and manic, Dover was forced to take action and file a complaint to protect the business, his patrons and his family. He did not want the shelter closed or the homeless to be left high and dry. He simply wanted safety and boundaries.
Well after filing complaints to the proper authorities, Chief Ham closes the shelter. He does not get the blame but Dover does and the town does a verbal witchhunt on him, threatening to boycott the shop, calling him unkind names, and wanting the shop closed. Many of these complain came from members of the “old boy network” that had never even been inside of his shop.
Thomas handled the complaints well, set the record straight and invited anyone to come into his shop to talk further. Chief Ham came by early Friday morning to apologize personally and to take credit online for what happened. Both men had the same intent but it seems the newer guy (Dover)became the scapegoat.
Now lend me your eyes and ears. How in the world is the town going to grow if its residents continue this sort of behavior? They aren’t aiding much in the homeless, drug, nor overall safety and business issues. They seem to want Blacksburg to stay dark and boring, which is even more unsafe for the homeless and teenagers alive.
Thomas has given a breath of fresh air to Blacksburg, SC by providing coffee, snacks, books and a warm, cozy environment with loyal regulars (myself included) to brighten up things. He is about being apart of the solution and keeping things civil.
We as a society must be more compassionate. First, know what you’re talking about first before you hide behind technology and bash him. Second, talk to him personally if you have a problem. Third, get involved and lend a helping hand if you’re not already doing so. There are clear and simple reasons why change does not occur and it’s showing.
I am just about done here and I feel the Dovers are also. We all want to move forward with our professional and personal lives. There will be other hiccups but if people will help out more instead of criticizing, we can all achieve more and have Blacksburg be the envy of nearby small towns such as Shelby, York and Clover. It is right off the Interstate so it is in a perfect area. Now is the time to clean up in front of the porch, work on solutions for these various problems and support these local businesses.
Ok let’s love each other and put in that work!
#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #coffeemanbad