DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!
By Max R. Weller
I witnessed Mr. Funk being arrested yesterday afternoon, as I was seated on the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant in my north Boulder neighborhood. Today’s Boulder County Jail listing shows that he was arrested on a Probation Violation and two Boulder municipal offenses of Illegal Camping (outstanding warrants). How he came into contact with Boulder PD makes for an interesting story . . .
By 10AM yesterday (Sunday) morning, there were no less than six homeless men sitting in the Peanut Gallery on the wall as I was playing the role of Humble Beggar on the corner of U.S. 36. I gave it up after half an hour, despite receiving $4 from passersby, because it’s always slow with a bunch of inebriates lurking nearby in full view of motorists. Who can blame people for driving right on by in such circumstances? Shouting Joe, Mississippi Billy, and Frank Funk were three of the six onlookers — and they were already under the influence that early in the day.
Mississippi Billy has been a resident in Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill for a short time now, and he frequently invites his pickled pals from the streets to party in his apartment. This is permitted by Housing First policy — clients and guests drinking alcohol in the apartments — and most drunken residents are taking advantage of it as often as possible. Of course, as many of the neighbors (including me) predicted, the loutish behavior typical of inebriates spills out into the neighborhood. Thus, the three drunks carried on their party on the wall, taking turns “flying a sign” in the nearby median to get enough money for a big 1.75L jug of rotgut vodka; their goal was achieved by early afternoon, and they staggered down the sidewalk southbound to one of the liquor stores in that direction. Apparently, after making their purchase, they went back to Mississippi’s apartment. Remember, as stated above, they were intoxicated before obtaining more booze.
Next thing I noticed, Frank was headed back along the sidewalk northbound, but he stumbled into Broadway and fell on his face twice, and never made it despite the assistance of Drunk Renee the sidewalk pisser:
Lucky for Frank, no cars happened to strike him, for he surely would have been killed. He made it as far as the driveway leading into the commercial district in the 4900 block, and Drunk Renee just left him there. No, she didn’t call 9-1-1, and I don’t own a cell phone — but a Good Samaritan saw the drama and did phone for emergency assistance. Two Boulder PD units responded along with the paramedics, but because Mr. Funk had warrants he was arrested and taken directly to Boulder County Jail, instead of detox.
I have yet to see the other two guys, Shouting Joe and Mississippi, since this incident and it’s entirely possible they’re unaware of what happened to their drinking buddy.
None of the homeless people I know are able to hold their liquor, as the old saying goes, and they inevitably get totally wasted and STUPID every time they imbibe either beer or hard likker. The “permanent supportive housing” approach used at 1175 Lee Hill enables their self-destructive lifestyle and negatively impacts the community. It’s a travesty of compassion, and a darned expensive one at that.
There are many brands of rotgut vodka available, but all of them are CHEAP.