By Max R. Weller
To start off 2013, we had the Metropolitan Denver Homeless Initiatives’s Point-in-Time Survey in January. I refused to be counted. Nor do I plan to participate in the future. I filled out my 2010 U.S. Census form, and that ought to be sufficient. The MDHI survey, and the U.S. Census as well, always results in a significant undercount of the homeless population, anyway, and the only purpose for being enumerated is to help the homeless shelter/services industry troll for more money from both the taxpayers and private donors. Here in Boulder, they’re building a 31-unit Housing First apartment project at 1175 Lee Hill for chronically homeless, single adult alcoholics/drug addicts with a dual diagnosis of mental illness — at an initial cost of over $6 million. It’s insanity! The Point-in-Time undercount showed 748 homeless people on the streets here, 55% (over 400) of whom are single adults without children. Do the math: at $200,000 per housing unit, the total cost for housing those 400 homeless folks would come to $80 million! Okay, let’s subtract the $6 million for the 31 Housing First clients who will be housed sometime in 2014, it’s still $74 million. Nobody in his right mind could possibly believe this is going to happen. It’s a pipe dream. However, Housing First across America provides jobs for bureaucrats, social workers, case managers, substance abuse and mental health counselors, security guards, the list goes on . . . In other words, Housing First is a full employment program for those who graduated from college with sociology degrees, who might otherwise be forced to work at McDonald’s. Therefore, the shelter/services industry has no incentive to “end homelessness” as they falsely claim is their goal; MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE = MORE MONEY.
I can only hope that the needs of homeless families with young kids, and homeless youth on their own, are being addressed in more effective ways. I lack any firsthand knowledge of this, so I won’t speculate, although I do support both Emergency Family Assistance Association and Attention Homes. Goodhearted would-be donors should do likewise!
I spent my time from early February until early May enjoying the warm, comfortable quarters provided by my friends in Longmont, CO. It was a wonderful break from previous freezing winters and rainy springtimes, which I’d spent sleeping outside in my north Boulder neighborhood. I’ve been there since February, 2008 and many business owners, workers, and residents know me. We share a mutual respect and concern for each other, and for the neighborhood as a whole. It may seem that we’re fighting a losing battle against the bums, but we continue to fight the good fight against the lowest common denominator of sociopaths and their apologists/enablers in the homeless shelter/services industry. BTW, nearby Boulder Shelter for the Homeless is the only nonprofit I patronize, and that is only for a shower in the morning and to maintain a small locker for a change of clothes and a few other items. I stopped trying to sleep at BSH way back in April, 2010 — about the same time that the bedbugs invaded the facility and became firmly entrenched there.
I’ll note here that I continue to forgo any form of government benefits available to the homeless, which I’ve long since decided are a snare to capture permanent dependents on the corrupt system. It seems to me that I live better than most other homeless single adults who are grabbing everything they’re “entitled” to apply for and receive; my means are provided by folks who give out of their kindness and generosity, NOT because they’re being coerced by the IRS.
To Be Continued