A LITTLE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY, A LITTLE LESS ENABLING
By Max R. Weller
In his case, I wouldn’t waste my time.
We all understand that I’m sort of HOMELESS ENEMY NUMBER ONE to a certain segment of the transient population hanging around Bridge House, Pearl Street Mall, University Hill, Boulder Creek Path/Central Park, and Boulder Public Library’s Main Branch.
But, they seem to forget that controversy creates even more interest in websites; that certainly holds true for mine. In a way, it’s gratifying that they are unable to dispute my views on homelessness here in Boulder by USING FACTS, and must instead resort to irrelevant personal history from well over a decade ago.
C’est la vie . . .
I’ve consistently advocated that Boulder, CO’s homeless shelter/services providers should help only those homeless folks who are Boulder County residents (with documentation to prove it).
This is what they do in San Antonio, TX at Haven for Hope (as one example). They adopted this policy to deal with the “snowbirds” flocking to that warmer clime in wintertime.
Every transient here in Boulder, who has no ties to the community, should be given 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.
We could reduce the number of homeless people here in Boulder by over half, and reduce the costs to taxpayers even more than that, because it’s mostly transients consuming the available resources.
We might then be able to help all those who wanted to return to the mainstream of society, or alternatively provide a minimal level of emergency shelter/services to keep them from dying on the streets.
A Tiny House Community could be the solution for the many homeless people who seek greater stability in their lives. Here’s an example, Boneyard Studios in the Washington, D.C. area.
Consider, if you will, how many of Boulder County’s hundreds of homeless single adults could have been housed for the $6 million plus already spent on just 31 Housing First apartments at 1175 Lee Hill. It’s no exaggeration to say, “All of them.” With donations of materials and skilled labor, sweat equity from the homeless themselves, and a few acres carved out of the 70 square miles of Open Space which surround Boulder, CO it’s certainly feasible! Amenities like a community kitchen/dining area, showers and restrooms, a laundry facility with enough washers and dryers to serve everyone, and a meeting room large enough for a variety of uses would also be affordable in this Tiny House Community model.
Truly progressive cities across America are providing the vision; all our city needs to do is find the will to move forward.