DONATING TO A NONPROFIT IS NOT THE SAME AS HELPING THE HOMELESS!
By Max R. Weller
See Greg’s commentary in the Daily Camera: Housing First programs work. For whom? I won’t belabor the point here, but it seems obvious to me that they fail to benefit the 31 residents at 1175 Lee Hill, just as they fail to provide any positive long-term gain for the hundreds more homeless people here in Boulder County, CO who will NEVER enjoy a $250,000+ apartment where they are allowed to get drunk every day (if that’s their choice; sobriety is given no more than lip service in the Housing First program).
As far as calling 9-1-1 for police intervention or paramedics in cases of either misbehavior or medical emergencies involving HF clients, I’ve asked my neighbors in north Boulder to do so several times for incidents in the vicinity of N. Broadway & Laramie. That’s a FACT, and it’s disingenuous to pretend these are somehow less significant and impact the broader community less than wrongdoing committed on premises at 1175 Lee Hill. But, Greg already realizes this . . .
I do thank him, because now I have confirmation from someone in authority, working in Boulder, CO’s homeless shelter / services industry, that I’m a real, live human being — NOT just some anonymous statistic, whose morning visits to Boulder Shelter for the Homeless are carefully recorded for purposes of fundraising from both public and private sources.
You know, back in the Fall of 2010 I was feeling flush as one of only two panhandlers at the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 (the late Donny Horne being the other); I also still had hopes that BSH would get itself squared away. So, I made a couple of $100+ cash donations to the shelter and its street outreach, Boulder County Cares. I never recieved a Thank You from executive director Greg Harms, neither verbally nor in writing. By contrast, Alison Disbrow, (then-executive director at Attention Homes) expressed her gratitude to me for a similar donation, which gladdened my heart. Sadly, AH has also wandered far away from its original mission of helping homeless youth ages 12 through 17, but that goes to show the corrupting influence of millions of dollars on nonprofits generally.
BTW, Greg, anyone who has gone through any of your programs is FREE to submit a commentary to the Daily Camera — and it’s no wrong of any kind for you to indicate to them that you’d appreciate such an effort being made.
The problems of addressing poverty and homelessness go back at least 50 years, longer than Greg would have you believe, and trillions of dollars spent have done little or nothing to achieve a solution. So it is with the $$$ spent on Housing First, Ready to Work, and any other transitional or permanent supportive care programs here in Boulder, specifically.
It’s NOT time to start patting yourselves on the back, homeless industry leaders — FAR FROM IT!