DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!
By Max R. Weller
Go to the Facebook page of this homeless advocacy organization and see what they’re all about; I’d say it’s finger-pointing and giving vent to self-entitled frustration . . .
First up, you’ll see that Darren O’Connor posted a letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Camera from a citizen, Barbara Padden, who is sadly uninformed about the Tiny House Community concept. Most Boulderites do NOT trust the homeless advocates NOR the local nonprofits, and who can blame them? Certainly not me! I understand why residents oppose anything new that comes along to address homelessness, and this is precisely why I propose that the homeless shelter / services industry must replace its current leadership, executive directors and boards of directors, ALL of whom are untrustworthy.
See these (unedited) comments copied from the BRW Facebook page:
Cheridyn Hildenbrand: “Barbra Padden is a close minded individual probably born with a spoon up her ass or has had bad run ins with these sorts.”
Diane Boatman: “As long as we have people that are actually going to vote for trump there will be blind individual s like Barbra! I have faith that there are far more people who are sick of the hate that Barbra and trump represent!”
Roger Wolsey posted an article with his added comment, “This is how a police-state begins . . .” One comment follows:
Cheridyn Hildenbrand: “This is fucked up. We see there are classes to combat resistance. Are there classes and mental support for the officers to not act like holier than thou shit heads. And that they aren’t better than everyone.”
Darren O’Connor posts an event notice with the self-aggrandizing statement copied below:
“WE NEED YOU!
“Once again, the City Council and City Staff will gather to discuss all things homeless. This year, they have had the camping ban and tiny homes on the agenda, as well as travelled to visit tent and tiny home villages in Oregon.
“We need you like never before to show up and be seen. BRW will bring signs for you to hold and be recognized, since this is an event where no-one can speak. Freedom of speech, however, means we can voice our opinions via signs and our presence, and Council recognizes numbers if nothing else. Please help us be heard and to move towards tiny homes THIS YEAR.”
Yes, that’s Greg Harms — the $90,000 per year executive director of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless — right in the middle!
I guess transients can’t make their own signs for a political demonstration, although they do so every day to panhandle. Go figure.
Darren O’Connor also posted this article on the Cold Springs Fire and added his comments:
“Of course they went there, blaming it on transients. Can’t use the word campers when you can instead attack a vulnerable population. So far three homes have burned and that is a true and sad loss for those homeowners. But let us all remember it was a firefighter who started the Fourmile Canyon fire just a few years ago that cost the area 135 homes. Certainly a firefighter knew more about the risks of starting a fire in the midst of a tinderbox than campers traveling through the mountains from out of state. How is it we forgive one and vilify another? What is the intent in labeling these folks transients? If they’d rented a motel, they’d be called tourists.”
To excuse the Alabama transients’ recklessness because others have also been reckless is the argument of a 5-year-old child, and Mr. O’Connor ought to be more mature if he wants to persuade anyone!
Darren O’Connor also seeks to excuse the worst-behaved transients who wind up in jail with this comment on the BRW Facebook page:
“We absolutely need to spend more money on providing mental health services to address the root of why so many of these folks are getting jailed (the jail is at twice capacity most of the time, per the article). Last year many supporters and I advocated for not increasing the police budget by $350,000; doing so continues the model of addressing societal problems with a failed police only response that even Chief Testa of Boulder has decried.
“A recent analysis I performed showed that 64% of people jailed in Boulder that had citations or arrests from Boulder Police Department were identified as transient/homeless. 30% of unhoused folks are typically suffering from mental illness. Over 50% of people killed by police have a mental or physical disability. We really can and must do so much better. More jail facilities are a continuation of the failed policies that got us to this moment. We need serviced and solutions that help, not laws and policies that harm.”
How come I’ve lived as a homeless man in Boulder, CO and its environs since early 2008 and have NEVER been ticketed NOR arrested a single time?
The apologists / enablers of the worst-behaved transients are their own worst enemies — and the Homeless Philosopher is more than happy to use their own words to illustrate this point.