Category Archives: Friends of the Homeless Philosopher

Pickled beets for lunch at Hungry Asylum

First time I’d tasted beets since 2017; NOT a common item on the menu in hospitals or nursing homes.

While living at a halfway house (operated under state contract) in Kansas City, MO back in 2005, I discovered that plain beets and black olives are scrumptious together! Food was served buffet-style, and I’d filled one small side dish with the two veggies, and somehow wound up spooning them into my mouth as a mixture. I’ve never since had the opportunity to enjoy this combo, but haven’t forgotten how good it was.


2019 MDHI Point-in-Time Report for Boulder County, CO

See it in PDF by clicking here.

According to this “census” of Boulder County’s homeless taken one night last January, there are 623 homeless people living here in various settings including Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. My best guess would be that this is an undercount by a factor of 2 or 3. Thus has it always been, and like me many homeless refuse to participate because they realize it’s basically a fundraising gimmick for the homeless shelter / services industry.

Every year, it takes Metro Denver Homeless Initiative longer to release the info they collect at the start of the year . . .


Best items to put in ‘care packages’ for the homeless

I’ll start with what NOT to give: Hygiene items of all kinds which are readily available for free at almost every homeless shelter / services provider; granola bars which can’t be eaten by the many homeless folks with bad teeth; bottles of water which are literally handed out everywhere the homeless congregate; socks, caps, gloves are never in short supply.

Things to give (which I was thrilled to receive during the decade I lived as a homeless camper in Boulder, CO): Small cans of vienna sausage; candy bars like Milky Way that melt in your mouth; ramen noodles and a food container to make them in (just add hot tap water and wait half-an-hour); gift cards to fast food restaurants and Walmart; bus passes (even a day fare is very helpful); BOOKS (I spent many hours reading at a shady spot next to a sidewalk near my campsite, and several people would give me their used books; when I finished, I’d pass them on to other homeless readers).

If camping gear is something you want to give, remember that a large good-quality tarp is most important (blankets and sleeping bags are often handed out by street outreach services providers).

Absolutely the silliest items I ever got were lists of homeless resources, which anyone on the streets learns about the first day they’re in a city. Many of us prefer living outdoors, far away from all of the negative things in a shelter.

Some would say that Bibles are useless, but despite being agnostic I’ve always valued the practical wisdom in both the Old and New Testaments.

On a hot summer day, an ice cold Coke is great. On a wintry day, you can’t beat a large McDonald’s coffee (better than Starbucks).

The thing I remember most, and which still makes me tear up, is the young girl I saw picking wildflowers and then leaving them at my campsite (she wasn’t aware I saw her doing this), and she never said a thing or introduced herself. Outstanding!

Image result for colorado wildflowers

Colorado wildflowers (Linda Proudfit)


Post to Reddit r/Homeless

See it here, before the moderators delete it.

This subreddit promotes bitter antisocial attitudes and enables bad behavior, and I’ve been banned from it before for offering a commonsense view based on my own experience.

My comment copied below:

If you’re homeless, neither President Trump nor anyone else holding political office has a single thing to do with your lifestyle.

Stop pointing fingers at society for your troubles. Stop blaming the rich. Stop thinking that everyone is out to get you. Stop getting drunk and/or high.

Learn how to use the abundant free resources to your advantage. Practice good hygiene (I did so for a decade as a homeless camper in Boulder, CO).

Most important of all: Respect yourself, respect others, and respect the broader community in which you live.

Do all of this, as I did, and you’ll find that it has a tremendous positive impact on how you feel about your life — regardless of whether or not you’re homeless.

Reddit r/Homeless is akin to the Facebook group Boulder Rights Watch, and does a real disservice to poor and homeless people in need. It’s all a big ego trip for the pretentious advocates who exploit the less-fortunate for publicity. A pox on ’em all!


(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.)

Choose to change your outlook, even in bad circumstances!

Yes, I know, the Homeless Philosopher does more than his fair share of complaining. I move on from it after using my bully pulpit to challenge the corrupt status quo. And in fact, if you look closely, you’ll see that things are slowly changing in how people perceive homelessness. They are now much more apt to use critical thinking skills when presented with the homeless shelter / services industry’s spiel about spending many millions of dollars on housing for relatively few being sound public policy.

I never allow the fools who call themselves “homeless advocates” to make me bitter against society, or envious of those who have more of everything, or to otherwise sap my mental energy in self-destructive emotions brought out in an online pity party.

What they’re doing is a travesty of compassion, and in my view they’re only exploiting the poor and homeless to make themselves into heroic figures in the eyes of those who are most vulnerable.

We must put aside self-pity just as we do alcohol and other mind-altering drugs.

I concluded years ago that I would adapt to my homeless camping lifestyle, rather than whine and moan about it. It worked for me, and for a few others I’ve known, and I consider it a great achievement that the do-gooders hate my message.


From Twitter:

Every morning at Hungry Asylum, soon after I arise about 6AM, I go online looking for interesting stories and commentaries. Seems I hit the jackpot this morning! (One of the best ideas I’ve ever had was suggesting to the Activities Dept. here that they should purchase a laptop for the use of residents; turns out I’m about the only one who wants it.)


‘Boulder Rights Watch’ members should give back to the community

The city program deals with medians, but the need along Boulder Creek Path is much greater.

Back around 2009, Jim Budd (now serving time in Colorado DOC for rape, but then the darling of local do-gooders and news media as a homeless advocate) put forth the idea that homeless people might pick up trash along Boulder Creek in return for RTD EcoPasses (valued at many hundreds-of-dollars each even a decade ago) for all of the homeless participants who would, in fact, be picking up their own trash. This goofy concept went over like a lead balloon, understandably so.

I suggest that Boulder Rights Watch members in 2019 freely give their time and labor to benefit the entire populace by picking up after themselves and their homeless compatriots. The only reward would be knowing that they’ve done the right thing.

It’s the same reward I receive by blogging about issues that are given little or no attention by others . . .