HELP BOULDER’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS
By Max R. Weller
As if the 1175 Lee Hill [Drinking] First program and the Summer [Bum] program at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless weren’t enough of both injury and insult to this Boulder neighborhood in particular and the city in general, now the powers-that-be at BSH have decided to open the floodgates two weeks early, on October 1st instead of the 15th (as has been the date in recent years). THERE ARE NO PLANS TO GIVE PRIORITY TO BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE.
Sometimes, a do-gooder will slip up and reveal what they really think and feel about the citizens who express doubts about turning a decent neighborhood into a homeless shelter/services ghetto. No honest and objective observer will either deny or try to sugarcoat the fact that this is exactly what has happened to the area around 4869 N. Broadway in Boulder, CO. Once again I present the opinion of someone in authority at BSH — copied from the blog 10 Minutes and a World Apart: NIMBY Boulder posted on October 9, 2011:
Boulder Housing Partners is building 31 apartment units to house the Chronically Homeless in North Boulder. Ahhh, controversy. A meeting was held to offer information and discussion about the building and the general response from the crowd that attended? NOT IN MY BACKYARD.
The biggest issue that I see is a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of the housing and how it can positively effect our community. The property will follow the Housing First approach to ending homelessness, by giving each of these apartments away. The occupants will be screened by case managers and the hands-on approach doesn’t end there. Housing First case managers are a stable and steady part of their clients lives, to try to minimize program drop-outs and maximize success. Even when rent and case managers are paid for, this saves the community tens of thousands of dollars a year. Per client. Boo-YAH.
In short… This won’t change the number of people or the ‘type’ of person that will be in our short little block of Broadway. It will just give 31 of them a place to be during the day and much needed support to improve their quality of life. And it saves our community money.
An excerpt from an article written in the Daily Camera: “My main concern is the concentration of the homeless,” said Renee Beshures, who lives in the Dakota Ridge neighborhood. “We already have had some concerns seeing people on the trails and making people uncomfortable, and now we might have the chronic homeless. That’s something we don’t want to have in our community.”
Wow, Renee. You live near a homeless shelter, how do you not realize that the chronically homeless are already in your community? This project will not be shipping in chronically homeless people from around the country or state, they will be taking individuals who have been homeless for over a year, or at least three times in four years in Boulder, and giving them a place to stay. You don’t want to see them on the trails “making people uncomfortable” and it seems to me that giving them a place to live would lessen the exposure that causes you such discomfort. If only you were the only one voicing such ignorant comments . . .
Actually, the Homeless Philosopher is here to tell you that things are much worse now than they were some four years ago, and that’s the unvarnished truth. All of the neighbors’ fears about this 1175 Lee Hill [Drinking] First project have been realized, along with the problems that already existed at BSH right next door (including, but not limited to, housing registered sex offenders).
I don’t mean to pick on this blogger who probably believed the arrogant nonsense she was writing back then, and I was only reminded of it because she happened to be working at BSH this morning. I wish she would take the opportunity to look at the situation I encounter every single day I’m in this neighborhood, where I’ve lived continuously since February, 2008. I doubt she would want to live here herself, especially not if she plans to have any kids . . .