By Max R. Weller
See the article from the Daily Camera. I happened to notice it on the front page when I was at King Soopers yesterday, so I thought I’d interrupt my sabbatical long enough to mention it here. Quoting from it below:
More than half the people who sought help at Bridge House’s new resource center for the homeless had lived in Boulder less than six months, according to data released Wednesday by the day shelter and social service agency.
The information came from intake forms filled out by 417 people who sought help at the off-site resource center between October and April and was collected by Bridge House in an effort to better understand who Boulder’s homeless population is and what services it needs.
Asked where they lived prior to becoming homeless, 31 percent said they lived in other parts of Colorado and 32 percent said they came from another state. The other 37 percent are from Boulder or Boulder County.
Asked how long they had lived in Boulder, 52 percent said less than six months. Another 38 percent had lived here more than a year.
Why is it this way in Boulder, CO?
- The local homeless shelter/services industry (comprised of both governmental agencies and private nonprofits) is Big Business, both dollar-wise and in terms of the number of people employed.
- More homeless people = more money (from both public and private funding sources); the financial incentive is to keep the transient population high, and the best way to do so is by making Boulder a homeless people’s mecca.
- Folks in Boulder like to Feel Good about helping worthy causes, and they also tend to think that they have answers to intractable social issues like homelessness which would make them “leaders” to the rest of the world.
One answer to stop this nonsense would be to shut down Bridge House as the public nuisance it is. Another solution would be to require homeless clients to show valid photo ID with a Boulder County address, before they could receive shelter/services from Boulder Shelter for the Homeless or anyone else. Transients from Denver and elsewhere could be given the $5 bus tickets on RTD back to that city, along with a couple of PB&J sandwiches to eat on the way. After all, Denver has resources far greater than those available in Boulder, so it’s absurd for our small town to serve as an overflow destination for homeless Denverites.
Remember, it’s Boulder’s own homeless people — including families with kids — who are being screwed by the current corrupt system.