A LITTLE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY, A LITTLE LESS ENABLING
By Max R. Weller
She does, too! She’s one of the permanent Transition Program residents at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, who has been in and out of that 9-month deal for the past 7 years. She once tried to confront me and convince me to stop blogging about the homeless, accusing me of “telling lies on people” and making them very upset. Of course, it’s the TRUTH which bothers them, and the idea that somebody like me (who has been homeless for over 12 years, and about as far down as one can get) would demand accountability leaves them dumbfounded. But, who is more qualified to do so than the Homeless Philosopher? I’ve walked in their shoes . . .
And there’s also the Reverend Roger Wolsey, who wants to lecture us ALL about homelessness and the black people’s experience here. What Roger knows firsthand about either subject could fit in a thimble with room to spare, but he has lots of company among Boulder, CO’s wealthy white elites who portray themselves as enlightened liberals, full of compassion and empathy for the downtrodden in our community. Yeah, right!
BTW, Boulder’s cops are probably the most laid-back in America, and anybody who thinks the police department here is racist is either a damn fool or someone promoting a lawless agenda.
Fortunately, I have fans who are also my friends. Yesterday, as I was in Boulder to do a couple of errands (after an absence of three weeks), I took the opportunity to sit on the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant in the 4900 block of N. Broadway, just to enjoy the fresh air and scenic view. This is my usual daytime spot, in the neighborhood where I’ve lived since early 2008. One of the Hispanic workers who has known me for several months saw me as he was driving past, and stopped to wish me well (and hand me $10, which means as much to him as $100 does to one of the upper crust in our fair city). He struggles with speaking English, but it’s easy to understand his kindhearted nature. A gesture like this makes life worthwhile for me, and it’s then easy to shrug off the negativity of the knuckleheads cited above.
My twofold observation of homelessness in Boulder, CO follows:
1) The worst-behaved BUMS want to drag everyone else down with them; and
2) The shelter/services industry wants to keep homeless people helpless and needy, so the do-gooders can continue to cater to these lost souls and FEEL GOOD about themselves.
Is it any wonder that proposals to either “end” or to “address” homelessness go nowhere?
I’ll continue doing what I can to educate the public, as long as I’m able, the naysayers notwithstanding . . .