DONATING TO A NONPROFIT IS NOT THE SAME AS HELPING THE HOMELESS!
By Max R. Weller
Something will be done to clear the bums out of Boulder, CO when a city council member gets mugged by one or more of ’em. Until that happens, it’s easier to pretend that city bureaucrats and the do-gooders running the local homeless shelter/services industry actually have the competence and integrity to deal with the issue.
Here’s just one example of what they’ve given us so far:
You kindhearted folks who want to give $$$ to panhandlers need to use good judgment in choosing the recipients of your support. Obviously, you should pass on by anyone who is under the influence, or wearing filthy clothes and stinking of body odor, or who is aggressive and unable to stand still in a respectful manner.
Conversation on the Facebook page of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless — see the post on “Blessing Bags” containing sundry items to be handed out to panhandlers rather than cash:
Max Weller: Strange, despite being the poorest person in Boulder, I buy my “blessings” at King Soopers — so why can’t other homeless people do so (who are getting all sorts of taxpayer-funded benefits)?
Boulder Shelter for the Homeless: Bet – sometimes, at least – people give – give freely – to you out of the kindness of their heart.
Max Weller: Of course they do! And every penny I receive goes to buying life’s necessities — NOT cigarettes, booze, and dope. The fact that so many Free Giveaway venues in Boulder, CO provide food, clothing, camping gear, etc. is what makes it possible for the worst-behaved transients to use their disposable income (meager as it is) on VICES.
I’ll add here that these “blessing bags” are a needless duplication of what is offered at most shelter/services providers in every city. Many of the items go to waste, and I can attest to that from my own experience in Boulder trying to give this stuff away to other homeless people I know. I would never refuse any passerby’s generosity, because I know it Feels Good to help others, but NOBODY standing on a corner anywhere is going to eat your donated granola bars (in my case, it’s because I have bad/missing molars and can’t chew the damn things properly). Believe it or not, I sometimes receive cigarettes and marijuana from motorists stopping at the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36, and I also give that away ASAP.
If not cash to those panhandlers who are clean and sober, as well as polite, I suggest giving bottles of water or gift cards to retailers and fast food franchises.
Personally, I enjoy receiving paperbacks to read, especially historical fiction.
“Feel the Bern” sounds like something a dirty old man would say to a much younger woman:
Hero to many Boulderites who believe in rainbows and unicorns.
Tonight at my campsite: Italian bread and marinara sauce for dipping.