HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS WHO DRIFT INTO TOWN TO GRAB FREE STUFF!
By Max R. Weller
Read the story in the Daily Camera here: Boulder’s ‘Path to Home’ summer homeless sheltering to begin next month. Copied below in its entirety:
Jaxx Cross panhandles at the corner of Broadway and Canyon Boulevard on Friday afternoon. Cross, who said he is homeless, said he sleeps outside and only on a couple of occasions used a homeless day shelter in town. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)*
Boulder on Friday announced plans for a new summer homeless shelter program called Path to Home, which will debut next month.
With about $84,000 in city funding, the local organization Bridge House will run a nightly shelter for up to 50 adults per night at various faith-based sites. The program will begin July 5 and end Sept. 30.
Clients will be taken in on a “first-come, first-served” basis, the city said, with a one-week limit that Bridge House Executive Director Isabel McDevitt said will be flexible in some cases, depending on progress clients make with case managers who’ll be staffed on-site.
“We are anticipating that people will use more than seven days if they are working on a case plan that requires it,” she said. “We are going to work closely with individuals to monitor those case plans and then grant week-by-week stays depending on progress.
“Given our experience, though, we anticipate that a number of folks will use less than seven days, based on the data we have collected already around service usage of homeless adults.”
That data shows that about 20 percent of the local homeless population accounts for 80 percent of the total nights spent in Boulder shelters annually. Conversely, 80 percent of homeless people in the city will use shelters for less than a week in a given year. (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)
The city and Bridge House have not yet signed a contract, so neither side is prepared to name the faith sites that will be utilized as part of this program.
But Boulder did confirm a number of other details, including that clients will be given local bus tickets and space to store personal belongings.
Bridge House was one of two groups that responded to Boulder’s original request for proposals from those interested in running a summer sheltering program. The other was Boulder Rights Watch, a citizen advocacy group frequently critical of the city’s response to homelessness, and particularly to its urban camping ban.
“Every new bed that’s offered up is fantastic,” said Boulder Rights Watch’s Mike Homner, who also sat on the city’s Homelessness Working Group. “I’m glad that Bridge House is stepping up to the plate and I applaud their efforts, but I just think it’s too little and too late.”
He was referencing the fact that the working group completed its recommendations before the summer sheltering program was announced, somewhat on-the-fly.
“We should have had this plan in place way back when we were talking in the working group,” Homner added. “Any time we give safe places for people to sleep that are legal, I’m all for it. The worry is that it’ll be minuscule compared to what’s on the street.”
The Path to Home program, among other aspects of the city’s evolving response to homelessness, will be the subject of what’s expected to be an in-depth City Council discussion Tuesday night.
*Mr. Cross, pictured above, won’t benefit by the offer of a one-week stay on the floor of various unnamed “faith sites” referred to in the DC article, in close proximity to unwashed inebriates from Denver and elsewhere across America. In fact, if he’s learned how to survive and be comfortable sleeping outside at night, why wouldn’t he continue to do so? The Homeless Philosopher will for a certainty . . .
It’s a program that can only serve to help integrate Alabama arsonists, Denver sex offenders, and the worst-behaved transients in general into the social services system here in Boulder, CO. Isabel McDevitt and the city staff who worked on the Path to Home scheme know this is true, and as the report points out they have an initial $84,000 as incentive.
On the other hand, it’s completely inadequate to deal with Boulder County residents’ needs on a long-term basis — which was supposed to be the new focus of homeless shelter / services here. WTF?
I would be in favor of a Real Path to Home for homeless people who foolishly come here seeking the Big Rock Candy Mountain — a bus ticket on RTD bound for Denver with a sack lunch to-go. $84,000 would probably serve to move every single bum currently loitering in Boulder’s public areas on down the road, with as much as $75,000 left over! (Allowing $5 per bus ticket and $5 for each sack lunch.) After being dropped off in Denver, they can hitchhike anywhere they please.
What happened to prioritizing shelter / services for Boulder County homeless men and women?
In closing, let me condemn the silly posturing of Boulder Rights Watch — an organization whose members couldn’t find their own butts using both hands. Mike Homner and his clueless sidekick, Darren O’Connor, have NEVER met a scurvy bum they didn’t love. This is what we need to work on ending, but Bridge House’s [Phony] Path to Home will continue to divert resources away from our own homeless residents in need.
Two reminders of transients’ recent misdeeds here:
Sunshine Fire, started by unidentified transients
“Sexually Violent Predator” Kerry Whitfield, from Denver