The agency supports the fundamental belief that every individual and family that comes to The INN for assistance should be treated with dignity and respect. In line with our mission to feed those who are hungry in safe, clean, caring environments with no questions asked we believe anyone who uses our services are our guests. Consistent with that belief, media exposure of guests in our soup kitchens and emergency shelters is prohibited. This includes taking photos, interviewing and using the real names of our guests in any printed, visual or other material.
We have taken this position because:
We remain optimistic that individuals and families will be able to turn their lives around and they should have the opportunity without additional attention from the media.
Our guests are dependent on The INN for many of their daily needs. As a result they may feel a sense of obligation to The INN to talk to the media in exchange for services they receive from The INN.
Some of our guests may have found refuge from an abusive or harmful situation and could be harmed by media exposure.
We understand that some of our guests may welcome the opportunity to speak to the media or to be televised and, as long as this does not occur on INN property, they are free to make that decision.
We have been approached by the media to interview individuals who have gone through our programs. In the past, there were individuals who had successfully used The INN’s services that were asked to speak to the media about their experience. Unfortunately, in doing so, we found that those guests, who had shared their experience, were negatively affected afterwards. Therefore, it is The INN’s policy to never ask a guest to be interviewed or share their experience with the media.