A LITTLE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY, A LITTLE LESS ENABLING
(Originally published on 5/15/2014).
By Max R. Weller
Read Boulder worries about being a ‘homeless magnet’ in the Daily Camera. Quoting from it below:
Boulder should find ways to invest its human services money that will make a dent in homelessness, but without making the city even more of a magnet for homeless people from around the region, City Council members said Tuesday night.
“Nobody wants to hurt someone who is down on their luck, but whether we’re drawing more people to our city is a question that needs to be answered,” Councilman Macon Cowles said in comments that were echoed by other council members during an update on the city’s human services strategy.
Intake data released by social service agency and day shelter Bridge House last year showed that more than half of the people who sought help there had lived in Boulder less than six months.
A homeless man sleeps next to Boulder Creek near the Boulder Public Library Main Branch on Friday, May 9, 2014. (Mark Leffingwell / Daily Camera)
The answer is simple! Require valid photo ID showing a Boulder County address from any homeless person requesting shelter/services. You might even require additional documentation to prove residency in Boulder County for at least a year. This is the practice that has been adopted by Haven for Hope in San Antonio, TX.
If Bridge House and Boulder Shelter for the Homeless refuse to get on board with the new policy, cut off all funding from the city taxpayers. The city could then pursue condemnation of the so-called homeless people’s day center at 1120 1/2 Pine as a Public Nuisance and a heightened police presence, both day and night, around 4869 N. Broadway. I’d bet if a police dog trained to sniff out illegal drugs ever entered either facility it would go apeshit. Time for law enforcement to take off the gloves . . .
Continuing excerpt from article:
Councilman George Karakehian said he has become friends with a man who is working hard to get out of homelessness and is now on a list for transitional housing. That friend told him how easy it is to “game the system,” Karakehian said.
“I believe we’re far too easy in admittance into our system than other communities are,” he said. “We should give a nod to locals. I hate to see someone who starts in Denver and comes to Boulder and then goes to Greeley and then back to Boulder take the spot of someone who is from here. We are somewhat of a homeless magnet, and I am concerned we will not get ahead of the curve because the more services we provide, the more homeless come.”
C’mon, George, admit it: you’ve been following my blog! About time, too . . .
Now, to the point of this particular post. Who are the biggest bums in Boulder, CO? Oh, puhleeze! The individuals who run local nonprofits are, in fact, tasked with raising the maximum amount of funding from both public and private sources. That includes Isabel McDevitt at Bridge House, Greg Harms at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, and others. They’re glorified beggars, nothing more.
Educate yourself by reading this book: Bowling for Bums: My Life as a Charity Whore. It’s available to be checked out at the Main Branch of Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe.
Furthermore, the City of Boulder should conduct a performance audit to determine exactly what positive long-term results — if any — are obtained by city taxpayer support of Bridge House, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, etc. Such an audit should also seek to determine the cost to the city of all of the support being given to transients who have no ties to Boulder, CO (other than drifting here to no good purpose).
At this point, I’ll remind everyone that the Homeless Philosopher is NOT without compassion. I strongly favor providing transients with the $5 bus ticket on RTD to Denver (and a police escort to the Transit Center at 14th & Walnut), along with a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a bottle of water to-go.
I tell it like it is, and would challenge McDevitt, Harms, et al to debate the issue of homelessness in any public venue at any time.
I won’t be holding my breath. They’re not only bums making a living off the suffering of others as they practice the creed MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE = MORE MONEY, they’re supported by many local do-gooders who don’t have enough sense to pour piss out of a boot.