They’re on their way, and more

By Max R. Weller

Sheriff Taylor and Deputy Fife tell Mayberry, NC town drunk Otis Campbell to ride his “horse” to Boulder, CO — where bums from everywhere are welcomed!

Read Controversial Fort Lyon homeless facility sends alums into world in the Denver Post. Quoting from the article below:

After 15 years of cheap whiskey, merciless nights on hard concrete, and trips in and out of jail and detox, Richard Spotted Bird heard about a new treatment facility at a sprawling campus that has served as both a prison and Veterans Affairs hospital.

“I told them to put me on the list,” said Spotted Bird, 54, one of 11 people to have graduated from Colorado’s first state-supported homeless program at the former Fort Lyon corrections facility.

The historic facility began life as a frontier fortress and housed a veterans hospital until 2001. It was a state prison when Gov. John Hickenlooper closed it amid budget cuts in 2011. It reopened last year to house the chronically homeless.

It was a plan hatched in controversy, with state legislators questioning the costs and wisdom of a bill that would bus homeless Coloradans — mostly from the Front Range — to Fort Lyon, in Bent County.

In 2013, after the Joint Budget Committee refused to reserve about $6 million over two years to repurpose the campus, the idea became an amendment grafted to a bill with broad legislative support.

Hickenlooper’s staff worked closely with lawmakers to pass the plan, which cost $4 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. About $2.7 million of that came from the general fund budget, and an additional $1.3 million from Colorado’s share of a national fraud settlement with mortgage lenders.

Operating costs are expected to be similar in the years ahead. Supporters expect that over time some costs to the state will be reduced by federal and other grants, said Pat Coyle, director of the Colorado Division of Housing.

Do the math: Divide the $4 million figure above by the 11 individuals who have “graduated” from this facility . . . That’s a cost of $363,363 and change per graduate! You could probably send these inebriates to the Betty Ford Center or other private inpatient treatment for around $30,000 per month, so where in blazes is the advantage to Fort Lyon? I’m assuming, arguendo, that Mr. Spotted Bird and the others will remain sober in their lives in the Real World outside of treatment (typically, however, only about 10% do so).

This is the fallacy inherent in all of these big $$$ programs to address various aspects of homelessness, including substance abuse: they are so hugely expensive as currently designed that only a LIMITED NUMBER of homeless clients can be served, and the rest remain on the streets.

It’s a load of manure . . .

Great letter-to-the-editor by Mark Hafen in the Daily Camera in re municipalization, another load of horse****.

Next time you’re out and about in public here in Boulder during regular business hours, check out the number of well-to-do men and women between the ages of 22 and 65 who are obviously part of a local Leisure Class. I’m always amazed when I do so; the idle rich far outnumber the dirty transients loitering in public venues, and this isn’t counting the wealthy white elites lounging beside private pools:

“I donate to Bridge House and Boulder Shelter, too!”

Tonight at my campsite: chicken salad and a decadent dessert.


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