Monthly Archives: September 2017

‘Where is work ethic of young, healthy and homeless?’

Read the letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Camera here. Copied below:

Kudos to Preston Padden for his guest opinion (“On personal responsibility,” Daily Camera, Sept. 27) on the Sept. 20 front-page article accompanied by a photo of a homeless couple on the Pearl Street Mall. I thought I was the only one who thought this way! They looked young, healthy but lacked a work ethic that’s why they were sitting on the mall. Why would they even get any attention and be put on the front page of the Daily Camera! Do we have no other news! I, like Preston, grew up with a work ethic. And guess what, that’s how we raised our kids, and they too have a work ethic. All in Boulder need to stop funding these young, capable, entitled transients. Give them a power bar, water but no money. They will leave, and as Preston said, help your longtime working neighbor who has fallen on hard times, not these kids who have found out Boulder is rich and gullible!

Kelly Borden

Golden

Presumably, Golden is smart enough to move the BUMS from elsewhere on down the road rather than pampering them like Boulder, CO does. Longmont has become almost as bad as Boulder, but city officials there seem to grasp reality now; see Longmont City Council tours transient camps, ponders ways to address homelessness in the Times-Call here. Excerpt copied below:

Council this year has considered two ordinances designed to curb behavior that draws residents’ complaints downtown — banning sitting and lying on sidewalks outside the Civic Center and expanding no-smoking zones outside several city government buildings. The smoking ban passed while the sitting and lying on sidewalks ordinance didn’t draw a second vote and failed. Additionally, city staff have put in place stricter behavioral standards for public buildings, and given staff training on how to safely deal with someone who is violating the policy.

[Councilman] Bagley said that considering such measures is good for the city — especially downtown, where homeless people can scare off customers.

“The primary issue is getting a system in place and certain services have to stop,” he said, alluding to his view that HOPE’s evening meal van is doing more harm than good. “We can cause a dramatic reduction in the transient traveling culture and by doing that, we stop encouraging the migration of homeless individuals into our community. First, we start there, and then we’ll have more resources to focus on people who are members of the Longmont family.” (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

[Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement] Executive Director Lisa Searchinger said that her organization was “uninvited” from four of its five locations where they typically hand out food, including the Safety and Justice Center parking lot downtown. She responded to Bagley’s comments by saying HOPE’s data show the meals were primarily helping working, housed people who struggle to buy food. The HOPE model will change as Boulder County implements a countywide integrated services model in October.

———————————————————————————- 

Poor dogs! They deserve good homes, and these young travelers need to be booted off the social services Gravy Train.

— MRW

New Boulder Shelter for the Homeless services overview:

Copied from a handout provided to BSH residents at yesterday evening’s meeting and obtained by the Homeless Philosopher this morning —

All people who want to use Boulder Shelter for the Homeless services need to go through Coordinated Entry. At that time they will be directed to the appropriate agency for support services. If directed to the shelter the following services will be available.

Stand By Bed stays —

1. Resident can utilize emergency stays through a nightly lottery

2. Availability of Stand By beds is determined by the number of beds not being used by Reserved Bed program residents

Reserved Bed program —

1. Residents will need to complete an intake with a [Case Manager] to get into the RB program

2. No income requirements

3. Sobriety is not required, but resident must be behaviorally appropriate to stay

4. Guaranteed nightly bed

5. Required to stay nightly, but can use 3 excused absences per month

6. Three no call/no shows within a month will result in removal from the program

7. Required to do a daily chore

8. Ability to make late reservations for work, school, or therapeutic meetings

9. Access to case management to assist in housing opportunities

Case management Services —

1. Residents must be in the Reserved Bed program to receive case management services

2. Residents will need to schedule an intake with a CM to access services

3. No income requirements

4. Sobriety is not required, but residents must be sober when meeting with a CM

5. No program fees or service work

6. Resident must remain engaged in case management to continue working with a CM

Sober Dorm —

1. Resident must be actively engaged with Reserved Bed program case management services to qualify for the Sober Dorm

2. Resident must maintain sobriety to remain in the dorm

3. Intoxicants include alcohol, street drugs, and prescription medications

4. If using Medical Marijuana a resident must comply with shelter MMJ policy

5. One day sleep per week; medical and late work exceptions must be approved by a CM

6. Access to Long Term Storage 

—————————————————————————- 

You may be wondering: What college education and training is necessary to become Case Manager? Beyond the basic shelter requirement that employees have a high school diploma, I don’t think there is anything more (not counting any in-house training conducted by the shelter itself). See the shelter website for Employment Opportunities.

— MRW

‘A travesty of compassion’

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!

The Homeless Philosopher

See the letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its brevity:

One hundred sixty beds at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and 1,600 “unique individuals” with no priority given to those who have struggled to survive here for years? They’re called residents,even if homeless! What is being proposed in the Daily Camera article “Boulder City Council supports year-round use of homeless shelter” is a travesty of compassion.

Unless Boulder’s powers-that-be show some gumption and require valid photo ID with a Boulder County address and proof of at least one year’s residency here, the 160 available beds at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless will have a majority of transients (and/or registered sex offenders, another issue nobody wants to face up to) from outside of Boulder County (and some from other states) filling them. And where, pray tell, does Councilman Aaron Brockett think the 1,440 “unique individuals” who fail to get a bed in the shelter will be hanging out? I live in that neighborhood, too, since early 2008 — and I know that many of the worst-behaved transients will remain there; others will continue to overrun Pearl Street Mall, Boulder Creek Path, various city parks, our main library, University Hill, etc.

The City Council is living in a rainbows and unicorns fantasy regarding homelessness, just as they are with municipalization.

Letting these characters lie around both night and day in their shelter bunks is ludicrous; when the Homeless Philosopher has proposed keeping BSH open as a homeless people’s day center, with access to many different services under that one roof, he meant it should be available to all homeless people on a walk-up basis. And certainly, providing bus tickets for transients to return to their own counties in Colorado or to other states would be a big part of what is offered in ideal circumstances.

Max R. Weller

Boulder

(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.)

‘On personal responsibility’

Seldom do we see a commentary from any Boulder County citizen who manages to see through the smoke screen put out by the do-gooders in our local homeless shelter / services industry, but this Guest Opinion from the Daily Camera is spot-on! Copied below in its entirety:

The Daily Camera front-page story of Sept. 20 about Boulder policies regarding the homeless leads with a picture of a young “homeless” couple sitting on Pearl Street Mall on a Monday, a workday — one reading a book and the other playing a guitar. The picture and the article present starkly the following question: “Should people who work (teachers, nurses, police, firefighters, city and county workers, reporters and others) be taxed to provide food and shelter for those who, instead of working, wish to spend their day playing the guitar on the Pearl Street Mall?”.

Like most people, I learned at an early age that it was my responsibility to provide for my own food and shelter and, eventually, for my family. It never would have occurred to me, or to 99.9 percent of the population, that I/we could sit around playing the guitar and expect others to be taxed to support us.

With currently proposed budget, Boulder City and County will be spending millions of dollars annually to support programs, infrastructure and personnel for the “homeless.” As an alternative I would suggest the following three-part part program:

1. Identify the limited number of truly local Boulder citizens who have fallen on hard times and need our help, being generous in making those determinations.

2. Give them money to enable them to get food and housing — again being generous in calculating their needs.

3. Tell the young people who do not understand personal responsibility, and who wish to spend their days playing the guitar on the mall, to get a job like the rest of us.

We have a clear moral responsibility to help our neighbors who have fallen on hard times. That is something we must do. But, fundamentally it is immoral to tax hard-working (and often underpaid) teachers, nurses, police, firefighters, city and county workers, reporters and others to pay for food and shelter for young people who do not understand personal responsibility and who wish to spend their days playing the guitar on Pearl Street Mall.

I may be wrong (it has happened before), but I am guessing that simply giving money — generously — to our real neighbors who are in genuine distress would cost a fraction of the cost of the “homeless” programs, infrastructure and personnel currently contemplated by our civic leaders.

Preston Padden lives in Lafayette.

——————————————————————————————–

Everyone in Boulder County (including the Homeless Philosopher) pays the Worthy Cause sales tax and most county residents pay much more to support lazy young travelers playing guitar (badly) on Pearl Street Mall:

Poster kids for “Boulder Rights Watch”

As a homeless RESIDENT of Boulder County since early 2008, all I need is to be left alone to live outdoors, take my morning shower at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and keep a small locker there as well, blog about the terrible effects on all of society caused by inappropriate compassion for BUMS, and occasionally donate to various charities which really do help people in need. (I regret ever having given as much as I did to BSH — but it was before I learned enough to know better.)

— MRW

What happens when life’s necessities are FREE?

The homeless have money for cigarettes, booze, and dope.

I say this as a non-smoking homeless person who is clean and sober, and who NEVER visits any of Boulder’s numerous Free Giveaway venues, NOT even for overnight shelter. (I do shower at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless every morning and also keep a small locker there, but I have supported BSH with significant cash donations in the past.)

— MRW 

Are Boulder County’s own homeless people about to get f***ed over AGAIN?

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!

By Max R. Weller

160 beds at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and 1,600 “unique individuals” with NO priority given to those who have struggled to survive here for years? They’re called RESIDENTS, even if homeless! What is being proposed in the Daily Camera article Boulder City Council supports year-round use of homeless shelter, copied below in its entirety, is FUBAR once you examine it closely — unless you’re a lazy young traveler from who-knows-where or a registered sex offender:

Krissy Fox and Daniel Bing, who say they are homeless, hang out on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder on Monday.

Krissy Fox and Daniel Bing, who say they are homeless, hang out on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder on Monday. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

City Council members and some homeless advocates are hopeful that a change to the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless management plan will improve, not worsen, neighborhood relations for the shelter.

Following a three-hour discussion and public hearing Tuesday night, the council voted unanimously to approve a requested update to the management plan.

Under the drafted changes, the shelter, which sits along north Broadway near the northwest edge of the city, would open 160 beds year-round for homeless people classified as having “moderate” or “high” needs.

Those people would be allowed to stay at the shelter during the daytime, which is a change from the current system that sends clients away in the morning and welcomes them back in the evening.

Overall, the changes would represent a shift away from walk-up and night-by-night servicing and toward something more long term, in which some clients might stay a year or more in the building, according to Boulder Human Services Director Karen Rahn.

“I see these changes as making those impacts (on the neighborhood) smaller,” said Councilman Aaron Brockett, who lives near the shelter. “In the past, you had 1,600 unique individuals coming to a shelter in a given year. That number is going to go down dramatically.”

“Also, by allowing people to stay there during the day, you’re going to change the migration as well,” he added, referencing the current system that requires people to leave in the morning, and often encourages a flurry of homeless activity at particular times of day, in particular spots.

Mike Homner, a local homeless advocate, applauded the new approach.

“I am absolutely astounded that we’re hopefully going to use the shelter year-round,” he said.

His comments were echoed by several others.

But some remain wary, as will be on display Oct. 2 when the shelter hosts a “good neighbor meeting” to discuss proposed changes with those who live nearby. The meeting is planned for 5:30 p.m. at the Shining Mountain Waldorf School Gymnasium, 999 Violet Ave.

One neighbor who spoke at Tuesday’s public hearing said to expect to hear significant pushback and concern at that meeting, which several council members said they would attend.

The upcoming shift at the shelter is part of a broader change to Boulder’s response to homelessness, as reflected in a strategic document approved earlier this summer.

Starting Oct. 1, the city will transition toward a program that begins with “coordinated entry” and “navigation” services. Boulder will look to establish what is effectively a one-stop shop for homeless people seeking help.

They’d arrive at the facility — the long-term location of which is not yet known, though city staff say they’re closing in on a spot — and meet with case management staff who would then, based on a screening, refer clients either to the shelter, if their needs are higher, or to the “navigation” side, if their needs are lesser.

In the latter case, clients would then be moved toward the services they may need, including mental health care or rental assistance, city staff says.

Boulder is also working toward creating 35 “permanent supportive and rapid rehousing opportunities” for Boulder’s homeless, as support for the new strategy’s general goal to emphasize exits from homelessness, as opposed to emergency, “Band-Aid” responses.

“I think this new strategy that really emphasizes investing in getting people up and out of homelessness, rather that just in emergency shelter, is the right way to go,” Mayor Suzanne Jones said.

“I also think the shelter is a community asset and we should figure out how to make the most of it. These recommended changes, to me, make good sense in terms of really utilizing that resource year-round.”

Meanwhile, it appears that weather concerns are among the outstanding issues heading into the colder season.

In 2016, city staff reported, there were 21 days in Boulder County that qualified as having weather severe enough to trigger the opening of a special shelter.

But there are many more than 21 days from October through May that present severe health risks to those who remain outdoors, some argued at Tuesday’s meeting. Homner told council members he knows people who’ve lost digits to frostbite in Boulder.

“You must approve emergency warming centers for every night,” Sara Jane Cohen implored.

“It seems to me,” Brockett followed, later in the meeting, “that 20 days in a winter, we’re not going to get to the bar of keeping people from freezing to death.”

—————————————————————————————— 

Unless Boulder’s powers-that-be show some gumption and REQUIRE valid photo ID with a Boulder County address and proof of at least one year’s residency here, the 160 available beds at BSH will have a majority of transients (and/or registered sex offenders, another issue nobody wants to face up to) from outside of Boulder County (and some from other states) filling them. And where, pray tell, does Councilman Aaron Brockett think the 1,440 “unique individuals” who fail to get a bed in the shelter will be hanging out? I live in that neighborhood, too, since early 2008 — and I know that many of the worst-behaved transients will remain there; others will continue to overrun Pearl Street Mall, Boulder Creek Path, various city parks, our Main Library, University Hill, etc. The City Council is living in a Rainbows & Unicorns fantasy regarding homelessness, just as they are with municipalization.

Letting these characters lie around both night and day in their shelter bunks is ludicrous; when the Homeless Philosopher has proposed keeping BSH open as a homeless people’s day center, with access to many different services under that one roof, he meant it should be available to ALL homeless people on a walk-up basis . . . And certainly, providing bus tickets for transients to return to their own counties in Colorado or to other states would be a big part of what is offered in ideal circumstances.