“Question on hosting marcher-activists”

hosting marchers
Photo by PoPville flickr user Tim Brown

“Dear PoPville,

I feel I can and should do more for some of the issues that I want to support. For the Women’s March, I hosted a bunch of college students (basically just gave them a place to sleep and shower and store their belongings while marching). But I had a friend of a friend of an organizer situation there. There is a host/activist matching service that is associated with the climate march called peoples housing (dot) com.

Have any PoPville readers used this service, or does anyone have any advice?

I’m a single woman and safety is my primary concern. I’m also a tad OCD, so bedbugs and overall cleanliness are my secondary concerns.

I actually have room for about 6 people, depending on who is willing to share a room/bed, so is safety in numbers a better choice than less mess to clean up after? (sheets, bedding, towels)”

8 Comment

  • Why don’t you just put out a call on Facebook? You could connect with friends of friends that way so you have “references” for anyone you might host.

  • justinbc

    I’ve hosted people for most of the larger marches this year, and usually either solicit people coming into town that I already know through Facebook, and if that doesn’t fill up the space then there are usually postings on the neighborhood listserv and DC Reddit. The listserv is marginally more credible than hosting someone from Reddit, but at the very least you can check their post history to see if they’re possibly insane. Nothing can really prep you against potential bed bugs unfortunately, just don’t host people from Ohio if that’s your concern. (4 or 5 of the top ten worst cities for bed bugs are in Ohio)

    • Ohio? What did they do to deserve the bedbugs? I guess you also have to avoid anyone who has traveled on a plane with someone from Ohio. I don’t really know how easy it is to transfer bedbugs. Can you get them from a toilet seat?

      • This is probably what he’s talking about: http://time.com/3686257/cities-with-most-bed-bugs/ Caveat: It’s Time magazine,–not the New England Journal of Medicine and it’s Orkin’s data so it probably is distorted by whatever market share they have in different places and they provide no way to consider how meaningful the rankings are (i.e., is #1 much different from #10?) Notice also…. DC is just beyond the top 10 and a large chunk of NC is not far behind—so you might want to avoid locals or the many people here who seem to have some connection to the Research Triangle–perhaps kudzu and stripmalls are hardy environments for bedbugs.

      • justinbc

        I’m not sure what they did to create such a problem, but Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo are always among the most problematic when the annual index is released. They are tiny parasites that usually get into luggage/clothes when people travel, not on the actual clothes they might be wearing at the time.

  • I host people who are coming to DC (for protests or whatever) via couchsurfing.com. If you’re concerned about safety, you can check whether the person is verified and read the reviews by other hosts. So far I haven’t had any problems.

  • This is actually great. The research is coming out that a.) the bigger the protests the more likely you are to actually decrease support for your cause and b.) left wing protests tend to cause conservative electoral gains. 2020 is gonna be a breeze,

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