Boulder, CO’s summertime cutback in homeless services WORKS for all of us


By Max R. Weller

NOTE: This post is in reply to the Daily Camera’s Editorial Advisory Board: Gimme Shelter. It will be e-mailed to each member whose opinion was published, and they are all to varying degrees much in need of guidance from homeless people like me . . .

I’ve been living outdoors in Boulder, CO year-round since early 2008 — except for last summer when I was hospitalized and then convalescing in a nursing home for five months. That’s 8 summers (minus 2016 and not including 2017). The differences I’ve observed firsthand (and learned about by talking to other homeless Boulder County residents) with the closing of emergency overnight dorms at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and emergency warming centers operated by Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow have been entirely positive. The overcrowding, filthy conditions, noise levels, confrontational attitudes, colds and flu, etc. are now GONE — just like the transients who regard Boulder as their wintertime destination city, instead of Miami or San Diego or anywhere else in a warmer clime.

For those who aren’t aware of my circumstances, I have NEVER applied for any form of taxpayer-funded benefits, except Medicaid when they brought the paperwork to me as I lay in the ER. Nor do I make the rounds of the many Free Giveaway venues run by various do-gooder organizations in our city. I’m able to buy all of life’s necessities (NO tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs) with the cash donations I receive from goodhearted passersby at a corner just outside of the city limits in my north Boulder neighborhood.

When I read bleeding-heart drivel like that linked to above, it makes me want to vomit — those of you who subscribe to it are clueless, and dogmatic in your cluelessness! You know who you are.

To his credit, Alan Stark is correct in saying: “In my view, we have no responsibility to feed, clothe, and house transients. And the difficult truth of providing for transients is that the word gets out and draws more transients.” Unfortunately, he then runs off the rails by supporting the 1175 Lee Hill Wet House in which 7 alcoholic residents have died to this point, with others creating problems associated with drunkenness out in the neighborhood. BTW, the Housing First advocates’ Funny Math works by ignoring the upfront costs of building such facilities ($8M for 1175 Lee Hill) and by also pretending there are no ongoing costs annually (well over $500K at this boondoggle).

And Chuck Wibby hits the mark, too: “Is [Boulder Shelter for the Homeless] the best place to house a repeat ‘sexually violent predator’?

“. . . kudos to the city for finally taking some concrete steps to reign in the current system that has proven to be a failure. It’s about time we focused our resources on those who truly need the help.” And I’m here to tell you that current resources would take care of all the homeless people in Boulder County, single adults and families alike, if the Alabama arsonists and Florida sex offenders and assorted other riffraff were refused shelter / services here. Give ’em bus tickets to Denver and sack lunches to-go, rather than ticketing them and keeping them here in a very expensive criminal justice system.

Really, Cha Cha, Judy, and John: Do we want the Civic Area to return to what it used to be? And the rest of Boulder along with it?

Scenes at the Peace Garden. Would you feel welcome sitting in this cloud of dope smoke with your kids? 

I say NO, HELL NO!

(This post also e-mailed to Boulder City Council.)


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