By Max R. Weller
I’ve done a post like this once before, but it’s time to update the savings based on my residency here in Boulder, CO for over 6 years now.
Below is a listing of all of the government benefits to which I’ve been legally entitled, but have never applied for:
Food stamps (using a ballpark figure of $150 per month for 72 months): $10,800
Colorado AND (the monthly benefit has varied, but I’ll use $150 per month for 72 months): $10800
Colorado Medicaid and/or CICP (not including the $50,000 cost of hip replacement surgery, but figuring about $200 per month to treat my other physical problems): $14,400
Section 8 housing voucher (let’s say $400 per month for 48 months, because I might have been on a waiting list for 2 years): $19,200
SSI disability (takes a long time to get approved but back pay is given, so I’ll figure $650 for 72 months): $46,800
Total savings to taxpayers — $102,000
It should also be noted that I patronize only one private nonprofit, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, for my morning shower and to maintain a small locker; I’ve not stayed overnight there during the past 4 winter sheltering seasons. I’ve not visited Bridge House in over 5 years. I’ve never been an overnight guest at an emergency warming center operated by Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow in a network of local churches and a synagogue. Nor have I been a client at any time of any of the numerous Free Giveaway venues in our fair city.
In order to gain funds to buy life’s necessities — food, clothing, toiletries, camping gear, bus fare, an occasional night in a motel room, etc. — I began begging on the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 in the Summer of 2010. I’ve also accepted help of various kinds from friends. All of this is strictly voluntary, of course, on the part of goodhearted people who have become acquainted with me.
Strangely enough, there are those who begrudge my use of a public access computer at either Boulder Public Library or CU’s Norlin Library; fact is, those computers would have been there all along if I’d chosen to remain in Missouri back in early 2008 and never come near them.
I consider my quality of life superior to that of most other homeless people I’ve observed over the years in Boulder, CO. Being clean and sober is a part of that, naturally, but mostly it’s due to my ongoing refusal to become a slave of the social services industry (comprised of both government agencies and private charities).
This begs the question: What good is being done by spending all of the $$$ to support homeless single adults like me? Jiminy Christmas, they’re building a 31-unit Housing First project at 1175 Lee Hill for an initial cost of over $6 million! You don’t qualify as a HF client unless you’re an alcoholic/drug addict with a dual diagnosis of mental illness. But, what about the rest of the hundreds of homeless single adults in Boulder?
I’d be happy if the knuckleheads gave me a CHEAP survival shelter like this one, along with a place I could legally put it . . .
Bottom line: I see social workers, bureaucrats, substance abuse and mental health counselors, and many other do-gooders employed in the social services industry as an army of PARASITES sucking the taxpayers’ blood. The homeless folks like me can get along fine without ’em!