EXCLUSIVE: Bridge House break-in puts homeless clients at risk for identity theft; was it an inside job?

DONATING TO A NONPROFIT IS NOT THE SAME AS HELPING THE HOMELESS

By Max R. Weller

Read the story here — to be published as soon as I’ve finished my inquiries to Boulder PD and the Daily Camera newspaper.

I first heard about this crime while riding the SKIP bus down to King Soopers last week; I simply listened in on a loud conversation between a couple of homeless men, one of whom is in the taxpayer-funded Ready to Work program operated by Bridge House. According to these two, somebody broke into the Bridge House facility at 1120 1/2 Pine, possibly over the weekend of 6/20 and 6/21, gaining easy access to homeless clients’ birth certificates and other sensitive paperwork kept in unlocked file cabinets, then trashing the place. I was skeptical, because unfounded rumors are rampant among the homeless population who choose to segregate themselves from the broader community here in Boulder, CO.

I could find no confirmation of this story in the local news media last week, and there is still none as of this morning. I have sent an e-mail to Erica Meltzer of the Daily Camera, who wrote the last story published by the DC concerning Bridge House, asking if she has heard anything about it.

I looked at the Boulder Police Blotter for 6/20 and 6/21, but could find no mention of a break-in at 1120 1/2 Pine. I’m attempting to contact Kim Kobel, Boulder PD Public Information Officer, to check on whether anyone from Bridge House reported a break-in and vandalism occurring at that facility.

What revived my interest in this story was an independent second source I spoke to on Saturday morning. His details matched up with those from the Ready to Work guy, so now I’m a believer. He also added that computers were stolen during the break-in, and he remarked that Bridge House policy is to avoid calling the police whenever possible. Hmmm . . .

Obviously, identity theft is the main concern here, but poor security and a possible cover-up by Bridge House staff are also in play. I’m wondering if it might have been an inside job; convicted rapist Jim Budd is NOT the only very sketchy homeless person to be employed at this nonprofit over the years.

Posted 6/30/2015:

I’m informed that Public Information Officer Kim Kobel is currently on medical leave from Boulder PD, and I haven’t heard back from Erica Meltzer with the Daily Camera. So, I’ll go with what I have now, and may edit it later . . .

There’s an obscure legal concept called misprision. I learned about this as a private citizen back in my old hometown in Missouri, after discovering that the mayor and city council had failed to report the city collector’s embezzlement of thousands of dollars of city funds to the police. In that way, they kept it out of the local newspaper — until I blew the whistle with the help of a couple of remorseful (and anonymous) city officials. In its broadest sense, misprision is the failure to report a crime one knows about, but is not a party to having committed (NOT to be confused with abetting a crime). It’s almost never prosecuted, because one of the elements necessary for conviction on misprision is that the actual perpetrator of the crime must first be convicted; it’s hard to imagine any prosecutor who would pursue a case past that favorable outcome in terms of justice.

As an aside, it was fascinating to listen to an old country lawyer explain it all to me, ignorant layman that I am.

Presuming that matters in the case of the Bridge House break-in are as they seem to be right now, it’s safe to say that those in charge at that nonprofit are guilty of wrongdoing beyond poorly serving their homeless clients. One of those in charge is a board member who has assumed a role almost as prominent in the public eye as the executive director — and he enjoyed a long career in law enforcement, so it boggles the mind that he wouldn’t contact detectives at Boulder PD immediately upon discovering the break-in and vandalism at 1120 1/2 Pine.

What about the perpetrator? Do those in charge at Bridge House have any idea who it is? Perhaps a disgruntled current or former employee who seized the opportunity to gain access to birth certificates and other sensitive information that could be used for purposes of identity theft? At this point, with any chance to gather evidence long gone, questions like these may never be answered.

Of course, that’s not my purpose here. My aim, as always, is to hold those who run the nonprofits accountable for what they do and/or fail to do.

Isabel McDevitt, George Epp, et al should be profoundly ashamed of themselves. Their “charity” rakes in millions and millions of dollars each and every year, yet they’ve never installed the most basic and relatively inexpensive security measures at Bridge House. WTF? Then, when a break-in and vandalism occur, their reaction is to cover it up and hope to avoid bad publicity.

Isabel and George, guess what? You’ve failed to keep it hidden. Word was all over the street before I heard about this crime, listening to the conversation of a Ready to Work guy as we rode together on the SKIP bus. I can’t resist adding that you two are clearly NOT the sharpest minds in Boulder, CO.

So, sue me for pointing it out . . .

I’ll continue to gather more info in the days to come, and update this post as needed.

BTW, there are those who will continue to support Isabel and George:

Nixon%20thumbs%20up

Addendum 7/1/2015: See the Boulder Police Blotter and Call Logs for yourself; I can find nothing about the break-in and vandalism at Bridge House around the weekend of 6/20 and 6/21. However, the horse has long since left the barn — the “horse” being knowledge that a crime occurred at 1120 1/2 Pine.

BTW, Erica Meltzer at the Daily Camera has e-mailed a reply to me, in which she indicates that she will also be looking for a police report in this case. It would be very interesting if she confronts Bridge House staff, but they’ve likely been coached to deny, deny, deny . . .

Even the wild critters come to Pearl Street Mall to watch the weirdos, and more

HELP BOULDER’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!

By Max R. Weller

A young female moose is seen late Sunday night on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall. Police officers helped coax the animal out of downtown.

(Boulder PD photo)

From the archives: Everything Boulder, CO embraces becomes a travesty. Excerpt copied below:

“Compassion” for the poor and homeless; a real travesty, with more homeless people from all across America on Boulder’s streets than ever before. It’s literally an industry employing many social workers, case managers, mental health counselors, addiction counselors, and the list goes on. Their goal is to expand their influence and secure more power and wealth for themselves, never mind so-called nonprofit status under IRS rules. MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE = MORE MONEY. It ought to be a crime for enabling the ongoing degradation of their fellow human beings and making a living thereby.

Well, it looks like gay folks can get married ANYWHERE in America now. I fully support the SCOTUS decision. Here’s hoping gay couples will quickly learn to cope with the myriad issues of divorce: property settlement, child custody and visitation, spousal support, etc. Welcome to reality; ain’t no rainbow in it.

BTW, will U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and his partner, Marlon Reis — who have adopted two babies already — hasten to take the plunge into wedded bliss? Walk the walk, as well as talk the talk. I’d ask the same question of any heterosexual couple in similar life circumstances.

Jared and Marlon

Media whore that Jared is, he couldn’t hope to gain any more publicity than with a huge wedding, perhaps set in the natural beauty of Boulder County, CO. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for it, but Aimee Heckel at the Daily Camera would die for a chance to cover the story!

Still nothing in the local news media to confirm yesterday’s rumor I heard about a break-in and vandalism at Bridge House, supposedly involving clients’ birth certificates and other paperwork kept in unlocked file cabinets. I was skeptical of the source, a doper who has been hanging around Boulder for years, but because he’s in the taxpayer-funded Ready to Work program run by BH I thought he might possibly know what he was talking about. It surpasses belief that Isabel McDevitt could successfully bury such news, so I’m ready to conclude it was all baloney. Mea culpa. I’ll try to be more skeptical in the future.

Tonight at my campsite: meat, meat, and more meat. Haven’t indulged my inner carnivore since Monday, and I’m tired of cottage cheese and other bland nourishment.

Boulder County 2015 Point-in-Time Summary, and more

HELP BOULDER’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!

By Max R. Weller

See the data for yourself — but bear in mind that there are far more than 658 homeless people in Boulder County, CO. Many refuse to be counted, including me, because this “census” is really just another fundraising ploy by the homeless shelter/services industry.

As evidence of how poorly the count went on that night last January, only ONE homeless person identified as transgender; in fact there were no less than three transgender-types at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless at that time (yes, I have a good memory), and BSH itself was one of the many sites around Boulder County where data was gathered. There can be little doubt that others spent that night elsewhere, and were also missed.

Apparently, there will be no city-by-city breakdown of data provided by MDHI this year. This was one of the more interesting parts of the Point-in-Time Report in the past, especially comparing the City of Boulder to the City of Longmont.

Compare this year’s result with those from 2013. Just two years ago, MDHI reported that they counted 2,366 homeless people in Boulder County. Anyone who believes that there has been a more than 70% decline in homeless numbers here in this short time simply isn’t paying attention to reality.

This survey no longer has any credibility, and it’s time to end it.

I’ve been sick the past two days, and really don’t feel like “working” this morning, but I heard a rumor on the SKIP bus as I was headed down to King Soopers, and figured I should stop in at CU’s Norlin Library to check out the Daily Camera website. Nothing there about any break-in and vandalism at Bridge House supposedly involving homeless clients’ birth certificates and other paperwork kept in unlocked file cabinets. Frankly, I think it’s foolish to trust Bridge House or any other local nonprofit with important documents — especially in view of past monkey business with clients’ mail mysteriously disappearing. My birth certificate from Missouri is safe with my friends over in Longmont.

Boulder’s image presented to the rest of the world, courtesy of the stoners in our community:

Graffiti is seen in Boulder’s Gregory Canyon on Tuesday.

Graffiti is seen in Boulder’s Gregory Canyon on Tuesday. (Lauren Fagan / Daily Camera)

I think I’ll treat myself to a pint of mango sorbet from King Soopers, since I haven’t eaten much since Monday.

The body bottle, pickled idjit alert, and more

HELP BOULDER’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!

By Max R. Weller

I saw these for the first time over the weekend, first on a female runner, then on a female cyclist:

Looks very uncomfortable to me.

Granted, both of the ladies sporting this latest fad in hydration gear were of a lean, athletic build; i.e., relatively flat-chested. Even so, this looks like the solution to a problem which doesn’t exist, considering the alternatives which have been around much longer.

BTW, Shouting Joe (who is now Quiet Joe since getting out of Boulder County Jail not long ago) now wears a camelback-style hydration pack, which is no doubt filled with cheap vodka.

Yesterday, Drunk Doris wanted to “fly a sign” on the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36. Since I’d already finished doing so for the day, and I had something in mind for her anyway, I told her that was cool. She went out there, alternating between sitting on her butt on an inverted bucket at the end of the median and marching toward the oncoming traffic while verbally harassing motorists (neither tactic gains anyone’s favor). I sat over in my spot on the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant, holding up my own sign in LARGE PRINT that drivers could see before they got to Doris:

SHE’S

DRUNK

Many passersby took notice, and so did a young man who lives in an apartment over at the Boulder Bins property. He walked all the way across Broadway and down to my location with a big smile on his face, just to hand me a $5 bill. A friend of mine also stopped by and gave me another $5 along with a couple of bottles of water, but he made no comment about my Pickled Idjit Alert. Doris herself lost her glasses recently and couldn’t see what I was holding up, and apparently none of the drivers told her. She gave up panhandling after sticking it out in the heat for over an hour, with just a granola bar and a couple of cans of soda to show for it. As she passed me on the sidewalk she said, “I’m going down to Boulder Creek — it’s too hot up here!” More than likely, she found all of the rotgut likker she could handle down there, courtesy of her fellow inebriates.

When I arrived at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless this morning about 5:15AM, to await its opening at 6, there was yet another able-bodied young transient I’d never seen before sitting near the door, sans shoes and socks, busily engaged in picking his feet. Reminded me of the other bums I see inside the shelter who take dirty towels from the laundry bin in the men’s restroom to wipe their hands and faces. CAVEAT: Many of the homeless people who are employed work in the food services industry:

Let’s hope these three are not shelter bums.

Welcome to my new obsessed fan on Twitter, @MikeSHall9. LOL! Typical self-absorbed Boulderite, who needs to take a number and get in line behind the other cyberstalkers.

Tonight at my campsite: Progresso Creamy Mushroom soup, which has been on sale at King Soopers for only $1:

Boulder, CO on homelessness: FAIL

HELP BOULDER’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!

By Max R. Weller

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This is Boulder Colorado Facebook photo

If I never post anything else on this blog, the photo above will tell the story of how FUBAR this city truly is when it comes to dealing with the worst-behaved transients. Maybe we do need more bike lanes (I doubt it), but shouldn’t we also consider creating shopping cart lanes for the bums? I hope that Joy Eckstine Redstone and Isabel McDevitt will lead the protest against this blatant discrimination — after all, drunken transients from Denver and elsewhere give Boulder, CO its ambience.

After yesterday’s post, you may be wondering what I really think about substance abuse and substance abusers. Here’s the conclusion I’ve reached: Addiction to alcohol or any other drug is a serious mental illness, so serious that the most helpless addicts — including those who are chronically homeless — should be committed to secure psychiatric facilities for an indefinite period (maybe for the rest of their lives, in some cases). Far better for everyone than letting them die, either on the streets or in Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill. One thing is certain, and that is the do-gooders running our local nonprofits don’t have any clue how to deal with addiction/addicts; ENABLING is the very last thing anyone ought to do!

Open your eyes, people . . . The bums always have money for cigarettes, booze, and dope. Why don’t we demand that they spend their disposable income (no matter how meager an amount) on life’s necessities instead? Food, clothing, hygiene products, camping gear, bus fare, etc. This is exactly what the Homeless Philosopher does, and why I have no need to patronize all of the FREE GIVEAWAY venues in Boulder. Except for my daily shower at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, where I also maintain a small locker, I never even visit the popular bum hangouts like Bridge House:

“Gimme, gimme, gimme,” say these lazy transients.

And if BSH were to close its doors today, I’d easily make other arrangements for my humble needs. BTW, I’ve donated hundreds of $$$ to BSH and its street outreach program called Boulder County Cares in the past, so I’m not a freeloader at this nonprofit. Back in KC, being penniless at that time, I volunteered full-time for an entire year at the homeless people’s day center as a way to give back to the community.

Anybody else who is homeless here could do the same as I do, and since most of them receive all of the social services support I’ve refused, they could do it more easily.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, do-gooders.

Occupy Sobriety

HELP BOULDER’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!

By Max R. Weller

Our mentor, Carry A. Nation

We need to take hatchets in hand — here in Boulder, CO circa 2015 — to smash the inventory of all saloons and liquor stores which continue selling beer, wine, and spirits to chronically homeless alcoholics. Additionally, we must force Boulder City Council to pass an ordinance establishing a NO SALE list to anyone who has been jailed for alcohol-related offenses or taken to detox within the past year, with appropriate penalties for greedy alcohol merchants who enable the poor souls too inebriated to exercise sound judgment and take care of themselves.

Make no mistake about it: Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill is a tool of Satan, where lost souls are encouraged to continue poisoning their bodies and minds with alcohol, even as they’re supported by  taxpayer-funded programs for the rest of their wretched lives. One has only to look at what has happened to “Doris” (NOT her real name), who was accepted into Housing First and then evicted because of alcohol-fueled misbehavior, and is now once again on the streets; she was transported by ambulance after passing out in the street right in front of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless only a few days ago. Doris has been cheated by this phony program! Likewise, everyone else who enters the facility, where a sign ought to be placed above the entrance:

It’s hard to imagine anything more deserving of our contempt than Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill (unless it’s housing registered sex offenders right next door at BSH, 4869 N. Broadway), where success is defined as continuing on the road to self-destruction, albeit with a roof over one’s head at night. During the day? Here’s what the typical HF client will be doing in public:

It’s a travesty of compassion, and an exceedingly expensive travesty at that . . .

‘Editorial: Ban cars in Boulder’

Copied from the Daily Camera:

Boulder cyclists wouldn’t be caught in traffic like this if we banned cars from the city.

Boulder cyclists wouldn’t be caught in traffic like this if we banned cars from the city. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

We have emerged from our Go Boulder re-education camp refreshed, thoroughly modern, and armed with a brand-new proposal for city transport:

Ban cars.

You heard us.

We’re calling this program “right-riding” because we’re right and you know it.

Don’t act as if you’re surprised. We’ve been headed this way a long time. Our sisters on the county commission quit maintaining subdivision roads years ago. We call the potholes “auto bombs” and they’ve been very effective. Within the city, we’ve built so many speed bumps and flashing crosswalks that most of the advantages of cars have long since disappeared. Trust us, you won’t miss them after a while.

We have tasked Go Boulder with developing a plan to accomplish this ambitious, progressive agenda. We feel Boulder should be the first in the nation on this. We do not want some arrogant berg like Cambridge or Berkeley beating us to it.

Our plan relies upon parking garages on the edges of the city buried deep underground so as not to mar the beautiful vistas. These underground bunkers should include carbon-absorbing cement and airlocks between the auto parks and bicycle storage areas to create carbon-free bike zones (CFBZs). In these CFBZs, humans will be required to exhale into biodegradable bags. We will provide the biodegradable bags.

We will also provide free bicycles at these locations for commuters. We will need a credit-card number in case they go missing. We’re not just giving away bikes to out-of-towners. If commuters are carrying too much stuff to take on a bike, they’ll just have to leave it in their cars. Stuff is highly overrated.

We have calculated the extra time it will take commuters to reach their destinations within the city by hybrid-electric bus, bike, skateboard or on foot. Our sophisticated computer modeling reveals it will be an average of only 12 seconds. We think that is a small price to pay for the safety and reduced carbon footprint we will achieve, to say nothing of the cordiality and communal spirit bikes bring out in people. Well, most people.

We are aware that certain, less-desirable portions of our population cannot ride bicycles for one self-absorbed reason or another. For these people, we propose a city subsidy to underwrite a major expansion of the pedicab and nascent pedisled industries. We will encourage Internet entrepreneurs to develop Uber-like apps to provide pedicabs and pedisleds wherever and whenever they are needed. (Pedisleds will be awesome!) The jobs pedaling these vehicles will pay enough to provide student employment but not enough to encourage more in-commuters.

This will be a fairly expensive proposition. We propose to pay for it with a substantial head tax on employment, a time-tested approach in other cities to require that commercial concerns and outsiders pay for infrastructure improvements provided for their benefit. Frankly, we have too much employment in Boulder. It’s causing all these traffic and development headaches in the first place. Everybody knows this but most people are too afraid to say it out loud.

We hope to schedule a public hearing on this proposal in the near future. We urge all bike riders to attend. We urge everybody else to stay home or, better yet, attend Go Boulder’s re-education camp, which is really fun.

We know a few reactionary elements will show up anyway. Don’t worry about them. Just between us, city council is in the bag.

— Dave Krieger, for the editorial board. Email: kriegerd@dailycamera.com. Twitter: @DaveKrieger

My comment? A lot of Boulderites will take this brilliant piece of satire seriously, and support a ban on cars . . . For them, the following suggestion: