DONATING TO A NONPROFIT IS NOT THE SAME AS HELPING THE HOMELESS!
By Max R. Weller
It’s impossible to get an accurate “census” of the homeless people living in Boulder, CO or any other city in America, and even a so-called ballpark figure is rarely achieved in our city, certainly not by the MDHI Point-in-Time Survey for the past couple of years. My best guesstimate is that there are ten times as many homeless men and women on the streets or in emergency shelters as are in the local shelter/services industry’s hugely expensive Housing First and Ready to Work projects, used by the do-gooders to appeal for still more funding from both public and private sources. See below:
Bridge House Ready to Work “transitional living” at 4747 Table Mesa, well in excess of $4 million for initial purchase and conversion.
Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill “permanent supportive housing” (a collaboration between Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and Boulder Housing Partners), far north of $6 million for initial costs of land and construction.
Ongoing operating costs at these two facilities are not included in the figures above . . .
Doing the arithmetic to arrive at a per capita cost for each one of the 79 residents involved, we come up with the figure of roughly $127,000.
Bear in mind, most of these folks will be back on the streets — or dead — without gaining any long-term benefit whatsoever. And meanwhile, we have hundreds of others still on the streets or in dangerous, dirty, and degrading emergency shelters.
This is why I refer so often to a travesty of compassion by local do-gooders in Boulder County, CO. Apparently, however, many citizens of means are satisfied by good intentions without regard to negative outcomes for the homeless caught up in this exploitation of More Homeless People = More Money.