Homeless Philosopher vs. ‘homeless advocate’


By Max R. Weller

Copied from the Facebook page of Boulder Rights Watch:

Max Weller: I’ve yet to hear a cogent argument from anyone or any source as to what “criminalizing homelessness” is supposed to mean to me. The only contacts I ever have with law enforcement are the friendly, check welfare variety. I look at the small minority of the homeless who are constantly in trouble, making the vast majority of us look bad, and I just can’t work up a bit of sympathy for ’em!

Mike Homner: Please see this link and read the report. Too High A Price / What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado

Max Weller: A slickly-produced study, certainly. My question remains, however: What is “criminalizing homelessness” supposed to mean to me? I’ve lived as a homeless man in the City of Boulder and its environs since early 2008, have never been cited nor arrested for anything, and therefore my own life experience here belies the entire thrust of this lengthy report. Taking just the camping issue — I’ve always found it so easy to either keep a low profile in gray areas or find a willing landowner to make it clearly black and white that I wonder why everyone else who is homeless can’t do the same!

Mike Homner: “A slickly-produced study, certainly.” No it’s factual. Great for you that haven’t got a ticket. Thousand more have. No one should be subjected to a ticket or incarceration for being poor. The city of Boulder has no camping park (KOA), and has demolished and redeveloped many low price hotels used by those individuals with disability assistance. This leaving no legal place to sleep in other than the shelter and BOHO. Neither of which is open 365 days a year to walk ups. You choosing not to accepts these facts is your choice. I’m not here to teach you, I’m here to effect change.

Max Weller: Why should it upset you that I manage to avoid becoming a statistic? And most of the homeless men and women I know aren’t in your stats, either. To me, you’re tilting at windmills . . . Good luck with that! BTW, I haven’t stayed overnight at Boulder Shelter since April of 2010 and never at BOHO.

Mike Homner:  I never was ticketed either. That still doesn’t make it right for the city to issue tickets. I’m not upset, you asked and I provided. What you choose to believe is up to you. It just happens that many in BRW and myself feel differently. We here choose not to put down all the homeless just because they’re a few bad apples that need to be punished. Like I stated, I’m here to effect change.

Max Weller: Nor do I “put down all the homeless” because I demand accountability from the bad actors. In truth, the public outcry became so great that the City of Boulder did make changes in municipal ordinances and how these are enforced, and most Boulderites are supportive of the crackdown. Again, it never affected me directly because I’ve never wanted to pitch a tent in Central Park overnight, smoke, or drink openly. Let’s review the Bad Old Days with this photo gallery from elsewhere on Facebook: April, 2014: Transients in Boulder, CO.

Mike Homner, of Facing Homelessness Boulder, interviews John Bingham outside the Carriage House in Boulder on Friday. Bingham describes himself a homeless. Paul Aiken Staff Photographer June 3, 2016

Mike Homner of Facing Homelessness Boulder (Paul Aiken, Daily Camera Staff Photographer June 3, 2016) 


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