By Max R. Weller
Boulder police Officer Dan Bergh checks on Thomas Ellington — who was passed out in the “horseshoe” area near Boulder High School — during a foot patrol last week. Police say that even with stepped-up patrols, the city’s smoking ban in Central Park and across the municipal campus has been most effective in moving the homeless out of that downtown area. (Mark Leffingwell / Daily Camera)
The photo above is part of this story, Boulder seeks balance in homeless solutions, in the Daily Camera. The online comments which follow it are worth reading, too. My two cents is copied below:
I’m very pleased to see that most of those commenting here are NOT buying into the inappropriate compassion offered by misguided do-gooders.
As to the homeless shelter/services industry itself (composed of both government agencies and private nonprofits, funded by both public and private sources) — their unwritten and unspoken creed is MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE = MORE MONEY. They have no incentive whatsoever to “end homelessness” nor do they want to “transition” anyone away from dependency on the social services system.
When you donate to Bridge House or Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, both of which steadfastly refuse to prioritize shelter/services for Boulder County’s own homeless people, you are supporting the FUBAR status quo. The transients and their apologists/enablers aren’t even grateful for the bounty they receive . . .
Also see Survey: More than half of Boulder’s homeless lived here before they lost housing in the DC. My online comment follows:
I know “Swan” and I also know a homeless woman named “Renee.”
Swan used to hang out in north Boulder, smoking weed all day, and was part of a group of inebriates who loitered in the 4900 block of N. Broadway. Thank goodness they’re all gone from there, now. One of his friends, named Cal, froze to death in Swan’s broken-down RV last winter, and Swan himself suffered frostbite to several toes. Swan now uses a wheelchair to get around, although he walks better than I can.
BTW, Swan is from Chicago, IL.
Renee used to be at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless every morning, stewed to the gills, but she has also moved elsewhere in our fair city. One time, as I was reading a book and eating my lunch of refried beans at a shady spot in the neighborhood, Renee came staggering over with her vodka breath and asked if she might have a spoonful of my beans. I told her that a can of beans costs about $1, much less than the jug of rotgut booze she’d already purchased.
Is this where resources should be directed? Helping homeless people like these two?
Self-reporting is notoriously unreliable. I don’t believe for a moment that most of those surveyed are residents of Boulder, CO who formerly had homes here. Are they perhaps counting those who have been evicted from Section 8 or other subsidized housing?
Finally, read Boulder Rights Watch: Non-police response teams can help ease homeless tensions from the DC. My online comment:
Where, in all of this reportage, is any mention of homeless-on-homeless crime? Most of it is never reported, and the biggest reason I’ve criticized the worst-behaved transients is because they prey on other homeless people by stealing, assaults, rapes, even murders.
The self-styled homeless advocates are NOT helping the majority of those on the streets, so long as they continue to help the predators.
I’m just finishing The Abominable by Dan Simmons, a novel which kept me occupied for the past few days. I enjoyed its weird plot twists.
Tonight at my campsite: a catered banquet by Boulder Rights Watch, consisting of stale pastries, beans and rice, and cheap likker.