The annual “census” of the homeless population in the 7-county region covered by Metro Denver Homeless Initiative is almost here. As always, this is an important fundraising tool for the homeless shelter / services industry, consisting of government agencies and private nonprofits receiving money from both public and private sources.
How does the Point-in-Time Survey help? It’s simple: More Homeless People = More Money.
Years ago, when I was still a homeless camper in Boulder, CO I made the choice to boycott this process altogether. I can remember a staff member at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless urging all of us who showed up at 6AM to shower and gain access to our lockers (most also ate the free hot breakfast, but I didn’t care for it and even made my own instant coffee) to answer a few survey questions. He was very candid in saying, “Counting all of the homeless people helps us get more money!” I politely but firmly declined to participate.
It’s ironic, BSH no longer offers morning services to walk-up clients. This is bound to hurt their own efforts to maximize homeless numbers and increase funding, but the truth is that there are many hundreds (or maybe thousands) of homeless men, women, and children on the streets in MDHI’s 7-county region who are NOT being served (or who are underserved) by the faux compassion industry.
Example in Boulder: Spending $24.5M in recent years to house just 115 homeless individuals in three Big Projects — Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill (31), Ready to Work at 4747 Table Mesa (44), and Attention Homes 1440 Pine project (40). That’s on average well over $200K per lucky person, while hundreds more are ignored and left out in the cold! Unconscionable, in my view.
If the available money had been spent wisely, EVERYONE in need in Boulder, CO could have been housed with dignity and in safety.
See the informative Washington Post article: Tiny houses multiply amid big issues as communities tackle homelessness.
I urge everyone who is homeless to BOYCOTT the corrupt Point-in-Time Survey on January 27th, and I urge anyone who might consider volunteering in the counting process to reconsider doing so.
The reason is clear: Before positive changes can be made in the fight against homelessness, the old rotten ways must be done away with forever and new leadership must be put into place!
(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.)