A LOT MORE ACCOUNTABILITY, A LOT LESS ENABLING
By Max R. Weller
Consider the three Big Money projects touted as being for the homeless in recent years in Boulder, CO:
1) $8M+ for Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill with just 31 apartments;
2) $4.5M+ for Ready to Work at 4747 Table Mesa for 44 individuals;
3) $12M+ for Attention Homes 1440 Pine project with 40 apartments.
What does this add up to? $24.5M for the questionable benefit of 115 homeless men and women, or about $213,043 per person.
WTF? $213,043 per person is the approximate figure in upfront costs, without considering ongoing operating costs for these facilities and programs.
Okay, what impact will this spending have on homeless numbers here in Boulder, CO? Well, #3 is still on the drawing board, having just gained final approval from Boulder City Council. So, we must look at #1 and #2 together when asking this question. Numbers are very hard to pin down when it comes to any “census” of the homeless, but by all credible accounts there are more homeless people here today than ever before . . . Really, maybe I should turn my favorite aphorism around and say: More Money = More Homeless People.
Is there anybody out there who still believes this is the way to “end homelessness” in our city?