DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!
By Max R. Weller
I almost couldn’t believe my eyes as I was playing the role of Humble Beggar on the corner of U.S. 36 yesterday afternoon. This chronic alcoholic, who wasn’t content with boozing it up every day in a brand new $250,000+ apartment managed by Deacon Chris Byrne and the other enablers of Housing First, was evicted after he became violent and smashed a window. Yesterday, he stood right there on the sidewalk in front of the Mexican restaurant and urinated into the roadside ditch.
Of course, Urinating in Public by one of their pet BUMS doesn’t count as bad behavior that damages the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood — not in the mind of the MORON who made this statement in a Daily Camera commentary, Housing First programs work, last December:
In its first year of operation, the program took 31 chronically homeless individuals off the streets, including seven people who were on the municipal court high-utilizer list. After one year, 75 percent of these individuals were still housed. Of the 49 emergency-service calls made from the Lee Hill facility, 82 percent were for medical assistance and there were no calls to the police regarding Lee Hill from the surrounding neighborhood. Also, Lee Hill occupancy was 97 percent and five residents rejoined the work force. These results are consistent with other Housing First programs around the country. They are also consistent with a large body of research that shows Housing First programs save communities between $20,000 to $40,000 a year per client in reduced jail time, court appearances and emergency room visits.
Max may not see this success. But we see it every day; and that is why we will continue to provide meaningful help and hope to the vulnerable and poor in our community.
There are two reasons that Mr. Harms has always discounted incidents like those that occurred yesterday: 1) The chronic alcoholic I saw is no longer a resident of Housing First (shouldn’t this be regarded as a FAIL?), and even if he had still been living at 1175 Lee Hill his gross misconduct occurred away from the facility so it doesn’t count by their crooked standards; and 2) It’s BAD PUBLICITY and hurts fundraising efforts.
Consider the BIG LIE Mr. Harms tells in his published opinion copied above: “. . . there were no calls to the police regarding Lee Hill from the surrounding neighborhood.” In fact, because I don’t own a phone, I had to ask other people who do to call 9-1-1 on several occasions due to a different Housing First resident (in good standing at that time) passing out drunk in the same ditch in the 4900 block of N. Broadway. True, I directed the emergency services dispatcher to that location — NOT to 1175 Lee Hill — but it was in fact one of the enablers’ pet BUMS misbehaving in the neighborhood, as we all knew they would when this Wet House was first proposed. Now, I don’t know if Mr. Harms was trained as a lawyer, but he surely can mislead his readers with his slick use of words.
He is right about one thing: I don’t see this success they tout, but I’ve lived in that neighborhood continuously for nine years and I see all the bulls*** which has only gotten worse since 1175 Lee Hill opened.