Category Archives: Friends of the Homeless Philosopher

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.)

— MRW

‘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 . . .

— MRW

Maybe I’m better off outdoors, again . . .

The state ombudswoman is going to address the poorly matched roommates I’ve been assigned, food service problems, lost laundry, and most of all tell Mean Joe Greene (who turns out to be the social services director here, no less) to stay away from me (Hungry Asylum has other social workers, after all). It’s worth a shot at improving the quality of my stay here, since I’m dependent on a bucket of meds at morning and night and wouldn’t survive long outdoors, not even in summer.

Hard to imagine being back at my homeless campsite in Boulder, but it would make for a peaceful end . . . Not like Edward G. Robinson’s in Little Caesar.

— MRW

This is what the misguided compassion of do-gooders, and umpteen millions of $$$, have brought about in Denver:

These homeless people need to choose better campsites, widely scattered and low-profile, and then they must treat their neighbors and the authorities with respect. It worked for me in Boulder, CO for a decade, no tickets and no arrests.

On the other side, the city should begin offering bus tickets back home to transients in lieu of fines they can’t pay, community service they won’t perform, and jail time that costs the taxpayers way too much.

I also remain an advocate for a 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps-style work program for able-bodied younger homeless people, both men and women. It should last for a period not less than two years, have mandatory savings of at least 1/3 of wages paid, and require participants to obtain a GED.

The most useless thing to do is have mental health counselors and so-called homeless advocates out there beating the bushes for the homeless, most of whom want nothing to do with either group.

— MRW

Not-So-Tiny Houses in Greensboro, NC

These units include bathrooms with showers, stackable washers / dryers, and kitchens to eliminate the need for a community center to provide these amenities. I’m unsure of the overall cost per unit, but it’s no doubt far less than the $250,000+ for a Housing First apartment at 1175 Lee Hill in Boulder, CO.

It’s interesting to me that cities all across America are moving forward with the Tiny House concept, at least testing its viability with a few units first, before making a greater commitment. That much is a darn sight more that progressive Boulder, CO has done.

Btw, the article linked to in my tweet above has a lot of photos to give you a sense of what a Tiny House Community can look like, as opposed to either a tent city or a homeless ghetto housing project.

— MRW

(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.)

‘Addiction and Personal Responsibility’

Originally published on 12/10/2018:

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR

By Max R. Weller

Every time I go online to take a peek at the Facebook page of Boulder Rights Watch I see posts which are full of paranoia and self-pity, as if those in authority and the general public have lots of time to waste picking on the poor and homeless . . . Even someone like me, who spent a decade living as a homeless man in Boulder, CO and its environs (and that means sleeping outdoors year-round) rejects this mindset as delusional.

This morning, I saw someone pushing that tired old load of crap that nobody chooses to be homeless. This is HOGWASH.

Lots of homeless people do make that choice; usually, chronic alcoholics and drug addicts have chosen the streets because they don’t like being Clean and Sober. A few of us chose to live apart from the mainstream of society because it no longer satisfies inner needs, which can be hard to put into words and which the do-gooders refuse to acknowledge as fact. This is why transitional living programs are rarely successful; maybe 10% of clients are “successful” in the long term, say 5 years and longer. I haven’t read a testimonial from any program participant who can make that claim, nor do I expect to see one which is honest.

Anyway, I did a quick online search for “personal responsibility” and found the website linked to below:

Addiction and Personal Responsibility: A Fundamental Conflict.

After skimming through it, I’m wondering what the conflict is for anyone with enough courage to quit making excuses for ongoing self-destructive behavior.

Points I found interesting are copied below:

  • Who is responsible for creating a problem?
  • Moreover, who is responsible for solving it?
  • The Moral Model: People are responsible for creating and solving their own problems.
  • The Medical Model: People are not responsible for creating or solving their own problems.
  • The Enlightenment Model: People are responsible for creating, but not solving, their own problems.
  • The Compensatory Model: People are responsible for solving, but not creating, their own problems.

Moral Model:

  • “I’m responsible for creating the problem, and I’m responsible for solving it.”
  • What do I need to solve this problem? Proper motivation
  • Someone else might say: “It’s your own fault, so I’m not going to help you. You need to solve this problem on your own.”
  • Extreme, exaggerated version of this model: Faulty and distorted thinking such as “Everything that happens to me is my own fault.” OR “I can solve all my own problems, I don’t need anyone.”
  • Healthy recovery application: “I decided to start drinking, and now I’m deciding to stop.” (Emphasis is mine — MRW)

Medical model:

  • “I’m not responsible for creating the problem, but I’m not responsible for solving it.”
  • What do I need to solve the problem?-  Treatment, experts
  • Someone else might say: “You are ill. You need help.”
  • Extreme, exaggerated versions of model: Becoming helpless and completely dependent upon others
  • Healthy recovery application: “I didn’t plan on having these problems, and I have no idea how to get rid of them. I should follow the advice and suggestions of the experts who are trying to help me.”

Enlightenment model:

  • “I’m responsible for creating the problem, but I’m not responsible for solving it.”
  • What do I need to solve the problem?- Self-discipline
  • Someone else might say: “It’s clear you don’t understand the true nature of your problems, so let me explain it to you.”
  • Extreme, exaggerated versions of model: Becoming crippled and ineffective because of extreme guilt and self-loathing; complete submission to authority; blindly following others.
  • Healthy recovery application: “Looking back, I see what I did to cause my addiction and I’ve learned from my mistakes. Now I’m going to follow the guidance and direction of a greater authority that can show me how to change my life (completely if necessary).”

Compensatory model:

  • “I’m not responsible for creating the problem, but I am responsible for solving it”
  • What do I need to solve the problem? Knowledge, skills
  • Someone else might say: “I respect you for your efforts. Let me know if you need any help.”
  • Extreme, exaggerated versions of model: Failing to recognize one’s own limitations, grandiosity, stubbornly refusing help of any sort.
  • Healthy recovery application: “I sure wish I didn’t have these problems. However, since I do, I’m going to figure out how to resolve them. I’ll get some help if I need it.”

I’ve been SOBER for 16+ years, and sometimes I wake up in the morning and find it necessary to make the conscious decision — CHOICE — not to take that first taste of Jim Beam or other alcoholic beverage. This is usually during periods of higher stress (as when dealing with yahoos in the homeless shelter / services industry). Other times, I have enjoyed a single cold bottle of ale and felt entirely satisfied by just the one. NEVER, since losing my home in 2002, have I spent my own money on any intoxicant, and I can truly say I could now go forever without doing so and be relatively content.

I’m NOT stronger than anyone else who has been a drunkard. I simply embraced the idea that I do have control — 100% CONTROL — over whether or not I take that first sip of bourbon. After it gets to be a couple dozen sips, putting a serious dent in the contents of the bottle, I’d have NO CONTROL.

Remember what Clint Eastwood, as Dirty Harry Callahan, said in the movie Magnum Force — “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.)

‘How Do I Handle Encounters with the Police?’

Keep your negative emotions in check and stay calm. You can film the police from a distance, and if they tell you to back away, do so without arguing. Anything you don’t like about an encounter with police can always form the basis of an official complaint later, and if you’re cited or arrested you will certainly have the chance to present your side at court.

Remember, the so-called advice you get from agenda-driven groups like Boulder Rights Watch and the ACLU may not be in your best interest. Use common sense and good judgment and maintain a respectful attitude. The very worst people you can listen to are “jailhouse lawyers” who have, without fail, gotten themselves into more trouble because they really don’t know what they think they do; don’t let them get you in deeper!

— MRW