A few thoughts on winter and the homeless

DONATING TO A NONPROFIT IS NOT THE SAME AS HELPING THE HOMELESS!

By Max R. Weller

Isn’t it interesting that we haven’t seen a homeless person die from “environmental hypothermia” since Paul Klavoon back in September’s snow and cold? It’s been frigid at times, but apparently word has gotten out about available shelter/services for those in need, and the really hardy outdoor-types have equipped themselves with enough gear to stay warm overnight.

Frankly, however, knowing the scores of transients here in Boulder, CO who drink themselves into a stupor, it seems to me that there are bound to be more deaths before warm weather returns. No shelter is going to help save the lives of those who crawl off into the bushes or elsewhere and pass out drunk, with only a single blanket for warmth. At some point, personal accountability becomes the determining factor in one’s ability to survive. Welcome to reality . . .

The Homeless Philosopher has found temporary refuge with friends, but will also be camping outside later on; you’ll never see me in either Boulder Shelter for the Homeless or BOHO, due to the overcrowded conditions which make it impossible to enjoy a restful sleep.

I’ll keep beating the drum for Tiny Houses for the homeless, which are now Tiny House Communities for the homeless springing up in truly progressive cities all across America. See: Tiny Home Trend Provides Housing to Homeless Populations . . .

o-OM-BUILD-TINY-HOMES-facebookOM Build Madison, WI

The homeless shelter/services industry in Boulder obviously has zero interest in this concept. They prefer the Big Money projects like 1175 Lee Hill, a 31-unit Housing First apartment complex built for well over $6 million, with huge ongoing operating costs. BTW, in the very short time 1175 Lee Hill has been open, one violent altercation resulting in the eviction of a “client” has occurred already, and ambulance calls to serve these chronic alcoholics (who can continue drinking in their apartments per HF policy) continue apace. And if Karluk Manor in Anchorage, AK is any guide, we can expect Housing First clients at Boulder’s Wet House to start dying in their apartments, too.

You know what’s really sad? For the amount of money wasted by local do-gooders on the current dysfunctional system, which does next to nothing to house most people on the streets, homelessness in Boulder, CO could have been ended.

Make no mistake: I’m talking about helping Boulder County’s own homeless residents, NOT scumbag transients who might just as easily drift to a city in a warmer clime. These characters deserve no more than the $5 bus ticket on RTD back to Denver, along with a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a bottle of water to-go.

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