DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!
By Max R. Weller
Jon, who said he was homeless, takes a nap under a tree near the intersection of Canyon Boulevard and Ninth Street on Wednesday in Boulder. He asked that his last name not be used. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)
Read the latest effort to make everyone want to do more for the hundreds of bums who flock to Boulder, CO — far in excess of those who are actually counted in the Point-in-Time Survey taken every January — in the Daily Camera. My online comments are copied below:
To bring some balance to the issue of $$$ expended on homelessness here in Boulder, CO: The 1175 Lee Hill Housing First project serves only 31 clients at an initial cost of over $6M, and Bridge House’s transitional housing at 4747 Table Mesa just 48 clients for an initial cost of over $4M. There is no objective evidence that either Housing First or transitional housing will enjoy a long-term success rate greater than 10% for chronically homeless clients — which is about the same as when nothing beyond emergency shelter and free food is provided.
In response to someone who posed a question about forcing transients to leave town, I replied:
No; so-called vagrancy laws have long since gone the way of the Dodo. However, I think the majority of transients who are given a CHOICE between a ticket for any petty offense — Illegal Camping, Smoking Where Prohibited, Open Container of Alcohol, Littering, Aggressive Panhandling, etc. — and the $5 bus ticket on RTD back to Denver (perhaps with a sack lunch as well) would choose the latter. If the local nonprofits cared about the broader community at all, they’d be offering this option themselves, but I guess it will be up to Boulder PD.
As a closing comment on the DC website:
The Daily Camera makes an all-too-common error by assuming that self-styled homeless advocates actually speak for anyone except that small minority of the worst-behaved, who receive almost all of the tickets and who consume almost all of the abundant resources available here. 80% of us don’t need apologists/enablers to speak on our behalf, and we wish the news media would ask the homeless “silent majority” for once.
Hell’s Bells, Joy Eckstine Redstone even has her own column now, although it’s published infrequently . . .