The biggest advantage of the Victorian-era “coffin bed” is that nobody is snoring, peeing, and vomiting in a bunk above you.
The fallacy here is that Michael Block and the rest of the do-gooders in our homeless shelter / services industry believe in multimillion-dollar housing projects for a select few clients, and they leave hundreds of homeless men and women on the streets and in the cold . . . Over $24M up-front (not including ongoing operating expenses) to serve a total of 115 people in Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill, Ready to Work at 4747 Table Mesa, and Attention Homes 1440 Pine project. It’s a travesty of compassion!
HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!
By Max R. Weller
That’s one sensible approach: prioritizing shelter / services for homeless men, women, and children who have been residents of Boulder County, CO for at least one year, with PROOF required. Haven for Hope in San Antonio, TX has done this in the past, but recently changed to 9 months proof of residency. (Click here to see what is considered valid evidence at that nonprofit.)
Homeless families meeting this test must receive a broader range of shelter / services than homeless single adults, for the sake of the children involved. The Housing First model for families seems wise to me.
Now, to my area of expertise based on more than a decade living as a homeless man in Boulder and its environs: homeless single adults who don’t need to be either incarcerated* or held in a secure psychiatric facility . . . I assert that the do-gooders tiresome, unproven notion of Housing First for these single men and women is NOT an appropriate response to their needs. What do they need? A minimal level of shelter from life-threatening weather conditions along with basic nutrition, water, and medical care. There are many private groups which will furnish clothing and other necessities to anyone in need, no questions asked.
I base this simple approach on our strongly ingrained humanitarian sense, NOT on the ridiculous notion that it’s possible to “reform” anyone’s lifestyle of choice. I also am bright enough to understand that spending over $24M upfront in the attempt to reform only 115 homeless individuals is irresponsible, if not NUTS. Do the math: it’s about $208,696 per person and doesn’t include ongoing operating costs of these programs, which are also substantial. (I refer to Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill with 31 residents, Ready to Work at 4747 Table Mesa with 44 clients, and Attention Homes 1440 Pine project with 40 residents, all three combined.) This hugely expensive and inappropriate compassion may be great for the chosen few, although I’ve known many who gained nothing by it in the long run, but it leaves many hundreds more out in the cold, literally.
I’ve often touted the Tiny House Village model, done for as little as $5K per unit, for all those homeless single adult residents of Boulder:
By OM Build in Madison, WI
Tiny Houses are a commonsense and cost-effective solution to the problem, one which doesn’t lend itself to the self-aggrandizement of the phony do-gooders.
To add a note of despair, the current homeless situation won’t change for the better until the present leadership of the shelter / services industry is sent packing.
*Yes, a change in sentencing guidelines is needed to keep convicted perverts locked up until they’re too old and feeble to assault anybody.
These fine folks monitor the misbehavior of transients in Boulder County forests and they now have 1,094 members, compared to Boulder Rights Watch which has only 306 members who are frequently in trouble with authorities.
DONATING TO A NONPROFIT IS NOT THE SAME AS HELPING THE HOMELESS!
By Max R. Weller
Copied from a Facebook post by Skip Strickland on February 21st:
Groundbreaking for the new Attention Home facility in the heart of downtown Boulder, CO. This facility will house homeless youth aged 18-24. FUMC provided the land. Gardner Capital and Capital One, private donations and grants from state of CO, Boulder CO and other foundations, the money. Neighbors were consulted to make the project better. Hyper valuable land is going to be used to meet an hyper important need. City of Boulder was also major partner in making this happen. I got to sign the documents, represent the RMC and bless the land and project. Amazing collaboration and an amazing day. Attention project was started by the youth group at FUMC 52 years ago. Motto “Attention not Detention.” Well done FUMC Boulder.
Following is my comment left on this post:
How far could $12M go if it were put into Tiny Houses for youth ages 18-24 and a community building with showers, laundry, kitchen, meeting room, etc.? Well, if you’ll pardon the language, IT WOULD GO A HELL OF A LOT FARTHER THAN HELPING JUST 40 INDIVIDUALS! OM Build in Madison, WI spends about $5K per unit to house homeless people who will be required to abide by a reasonable code of conduct and contribute their labor to upkeep of common areas. At $300K per unit, it will be IMPOSSIBLE to house the vast majority of homeless youth on the streets in Boulder, CO. I call this a travesty of compassion! But, you benighted do-gooders go right on with patting yourselves on the back . . .
Too modest for Boulder? Apparently so; why else would the homeless shelter / services industry here fight tooth-and-nail against Tiny Homes?
(This blog post e-mailed to Boulder City Council.)
Darren O’Connor of Boulder Rights Watch (afraid to debate homelessness with me, so he blocked the Homeless Philosopher from that group’s Facebook page).
Thanks to a Facebook friend who still has access to Boulder Rights Watch online, I now know how this arrogant so-and-so signs his e-mails to Boulder City Council:
University of Denver Law School Chancellor Scholar
President University of Denver Law Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
NAACP Boulder Branch Assistant Secretary
Legal Intern, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
I kid you not; the man has become a parody of the do-gooder he aspires to be, and Boulder Rights Watch has 306 members who believe his BS!
In terms of gaining anything of substance for the majority of homeless folks who choose to behave decently, Mr. O’Connor and BRW are still batting .000 in the advocacy ballgame.