Today marks 14 years as a homeless man

DONATING TO A NONPROFIT IS NOT THE SAME AS HELPING THE HOMELESS!

By Max R. Weller

Yes, it was September 30th way back in 2002 when I began this journey of discovery. I’ve NEVER been a believer in do-gooder programs (no matter whether funding comes from either private or public sources, it’s all a self-perpetuating farce) and everything I’ve observed firsthand in jail and prison in Missouri, as a participant in a series of transitional living programs in different cities and states, and as the Homeless Philosopher living here in Boulder, CO since early 2008 has confirmed my considered opinion.

The times when I’ve gotten myself into terrible emotional turmoil have been those when I’ve forgotten the wisdom of 19th Century British PM Benjamin Disraeli: “I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best.” I certainly wasn’t prepared to find all of my camping gear taken by CDOT in 2011 and again by a Boulder County Jail work crew in 2013 (the latter from private property where I had permission to camp alone), nor on other occasions when the worst-behaved transients have helped themselves to my property.

Perhaps worst of all is when the bums steal my cans of Spam, but I digress . . .

Now, I’ve pretty much resigned myself to being ripped off from time to time, in view of the fact that Boulder’s homeless shelter / services industry will accept sketchy characters from all over the country — predators with no regard at all for anyone they perceive as being weaker. It’s according to the local nonprofits’ unwritten and unspoken creed: More Homeless People = More Money.

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A pox on the bleeding heart liberal philosophy which conflates ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR with compassion. If you want to help transients who have no ties to Boulder County and therefore no stake in living by ordinary standards of decent behavior, offer them each the $5 bus ticket on RTD bound for Denver along with a sack lunch to-go, rather than having police cite them into the local justice system for some petty offense(s).

Please remember NOT to offer a helping hand to the homeless with any hidden agenda attached, such as the hope of getting them into the dead end social services system. I’ve consistently refused to become a pawn myself, precisely because I’ve seen that it doesn’t live up to the promises made. Better for me personally, and for many others I know, to retain as much FREEDOM as possible. As long as one is clean and sober, law-abiding, and not suffering any mental illness, what business should one’s lifestyle choice be to anyone else? Give homeless people and all others who meet these criteria the dignity to make their own choices, and respect them without reservation.

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