HELP BOULDER’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE — NOT TRANSIENTS!
By Max R. Weller
Originally published on 7/2/2013, but the points made here remain valid today:
In 2012, the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative Point-in-Time Survey counted 1,970 homeless men, women, and children in Boulder County. In 2013, that homeless population has increased to 2,366. 2013 data boken down by cities here in Boulder County will be released later. The reader will keep in mind that any “census” of the homeless always results in a significant undercount; in fact, for personal reasons, I refused to be counted in 2013.
Plenty of anecdotal evidence exists to confirm the increase. I’ve been living in Boulder, CO since February of 2008 — NEVER have I seen so many new homeless faces arriving in our fair city, and that trend is continuing into the summer when overnight sheltering is not available. It makes no sense whatsoever, and whoever is telling the homeless all across America that Boulder is a paradise is either a fool or a liar.
This influx is, of course, occurring by design of the powers-that-be in our local homeless shelter/services industry. Their unwritten and unspoken creed is More Homeless People = More Money. The industry employs a lot of people: bureaucrats, social workers, counselors, case managers, and others.
My proposed solution, which I acknowledge has no chance of becoming policy so long as current leadership in the shelter/services industry here remains in power, is to require homeless clients to show a valid photo ID with a Boulder County address. Transients from Denver and elsewhere should go to the end of the line for what’s left, if anything; and they could be given the $5 bus tickets on RTD back to Denver, along with a couple of PB&J sandwiches to eat on the way. After all, Denver has far greater resources of every kind to deal with homelessness, and there is no excuse for encouraging their people to come to Boulder.
A friend of mine has referred to the current state of affairs in Central Park as “Vodka Wars” — in which there are verbal and physical altercations on a daily basis. It’s long overdue to round up the miscreants and ship ’em out, rather than putting them into the local justice system at the expense of local taxpayers. Those $5 bus tickets are much cheaper in the long run, compared to ticketing or arresting the bums.
What can you do? 1) Call your city council members and demand that transients be sent back to Denver; and 2) STOP any support for Bridge House, the transient magnet at 1120 1/2 Pine, which enables the hordes to loiter on Pearl Street Mall, Boulder Creek Path/Central Park, and University Hill.