Category Archives: Homelessness

At Boulder Shelter this morning

A HOMELESS SHELTER IS NOT A DUMPING GROUND FOR THE MENTALLY ILL!

By Max R. Weller

The most profoundly mentally ill homeless person I’ve yet seen here in Boulder, CO was waiting outside of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless when I arrived there about 5:20 this morning. She was wrapped from head to toe in a colorful blanket and had two large pieces of luggage (of the U-Haul trailer variety).
 
When she got inside, she couldn’t tell the staff her name nor give them a DOB, even though it’s not required that you document either during intake; she might have told them she was Melania Trump, born on 4/26/1970 and that would have sufficed. At first she couldn’t talk and was communicating with gestures and in writing, but then walked over to a wastebasket and spit out the liquid in her mouth, whatever it was. She seemed fearful about giving any info to staff, even false info. After a few minutes, they asked her to step aside so the rest of us could be logged into the computer record.
 
Her face had open sores on it. She had no body odor I could detect, but that might have been due to the blanket smothering the smell. Otherwise, I saw no physical disability during my brief observation.
 
When I left BSH around 7:20AM to board the SKIP bus, she was sitting on the low wall near the bus stop, the one on shelter property formerly used every morning by the resident potheads.
 
Clearly, this is an individual who needs 24/7 supervision in a secure psychiatric facility somewhere — BEFORE SHE GETS MUGGED, RAPED, OR KILLED by one or more of our fine transient predators who prey on homeless people they perceive as weaker.
 
I’ll be wondering about this woman for a long time . . .

‘Homeless overflow in north Boulder out of control’

Read the commentary by Heidi Davis in the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety:

I live in Trail Crossing in north Boulder. The homeless shelter and the population congregating in north Boulder is negatively impacting our community of families. I fully support the idea behind having a homeless shelter for those who need assistance and shelter while going through tough times, however the shelter has become a “drug den” and an attraction for violent predators. We wake up to drugged-out people sleeping in our community park. We find human waste and garbage on our walking paths and in general do not feel safe living in our own community.

I feel as though the homeless shelter has lost control of its occupants and the city of Boulder is doing nothing regarding the overflow. It is affecting our surroundings, our community and children negatively. I do not understand why the City Council is letting this happen to north Boulder. I feel as though the city has to take a hard look at what they are allowing to happen with the homeless population and how it is impacting the people who live work and pay taxes here.

We cannot use our biking trails due to the congregation of homeless [word edited out by me for clarity — MRW] people drinking under the bridges. We don’t feel safe using the trails due [to] the abundance of homeless illegally camping. I talked to a police person recently and asked him for help with the overflow of homeless up here. He indicated that his hands are tied due to the City Council. When I found a group of homeless people trying to start a fire in the meadows by my house the police were slow to respond and finally a ranger came by after they had dispersed.

What is it going to take for the city of Boulder to finally see that there needs to be some enforcement of laws for the homeless population so we can all coexist and feel safe. This “overflow” of homelessness isn’t working for anyone, especially those who really need the shelter, and the lack of response from our police and government is becoming infuriating. I call on the city to let me know what we can do and what it plans to do to alleviate this problem.

Heidi Davis lives in north Boulder.

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Heidi makes good points, but the real BAD GUY here is the executive director of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. Frankly, my dear, Greg Harms doesn’t give a damn about the neighborhood (I pick up trash from the homeless drunkards every day) nor about the vulnerable homeless men and women inside BSH (many are adult survivors of sexual crimes):

That’s Mr. Harms in the middle, taking a nap at a city council meeting.

My solution, and I admit it’s radical, is to cut off all city and county taxpayer funding to BSH until they acquire new leadership (including a new board of directors), who will adopt a requirement for a valid photo ID showing a Boulder County address along with proof of at least one year’s residency for anyone seeking shelter and/or services at 4869 N. Broadway. AND ABSOLUTELY NO REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS either on or off parole should be accepted!

— MRW

(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.) 

Boulder Shelter loves perverts, don’t they?

See the latest outrage reported in the Daily Camera here: ‘Sexually violent predator’ moves into Boulder homeless shelter, police say. Copied below in its entirety:

David Nicolai Bland

David Nicolai Bland (Boulder Police Department / Courtesy Photo)

A man deemed to be a “sexually violent predator” has relocated from “staying in a grove of trees” along a bike path to a bed at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, police announced Monday.

David Nicolai Bland, 43, was released from the Colorado Department of Corrections in late July and was convicted of a sexually-related crime that requires police to notify the public that he is living in the city, according to a news release.

Bland originally told police that he was homeless and would be staying in a grove of trees along the bike path to the north of Arapahoe Avenue and east of Old Tale Road.

An updated release Monday said that Bland had secured a bed at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, located at 4869 N. Broadway, as part of the Summer Bed Program.

Bland has a conviction in Colorado for attempted sexual assault on a child and a rape by force or fear conviction in California, according to a previous police bulletin. He also has convictions for assault and felony menacing.

Sex offenders can be designated “sexually violent predators” if authorities believe they possess certain personality traits that make them likely to commit further offenses.

Residents who want more information on the relocation may contact the Boulder Police Department at 303-441-4332.

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It doesn’t matter at all to executive director Greg Harms and the board members at BSH that there are MANY vulnerable homeless people, both men and women, currently living there (including adult survivors of sexual crimes).

I loathe these clueless do-gooders!

— MRW

‘Marijuana devastated Colorado, don’t legalize it nationally’

Read the commentary by Jeff Hunt in USA TODAY here. Copied below in its entirety:

Last week, Senator Cory Booker introduced the Marijuana Justice Act in an effort to legalize marijuana across the nation and penalize local communities that want nothing to do with this dangerous drug. This is the furthest reaching marijuana legalization effort to date and marks another sad moment in our nation’s embrace of a drug that will have generational consequences.

Our country is facing a drug epidemic. Legalizing recreational marijuana will do nothing that Senator Booker expects. We heard many of these same promises in 2012 when Colorado legalized recreational marijuana.

In the years since, Colorado has seen an increase in marijuana related traffic deaths, poison control calls, and emergency room visits. The marijuana black market has increased in Colorado, not decreased. And, numerous Colorado marijuana regulators have been indicted for corruption.

In 2012, we were promised funds from marijuana taxes would benefit our communities, particularly schools. Dr. Harry Bull, the Superintendent of Cherry Creek Schools, one of the largest school districts in the state, said, “So far, the only thing that the legalization of marijuana has brought to our schools has been marijuana.” (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

In fiscal year 2016, marijuana tax revenue resulted in $156,701,018. The total tax revenue for Colorado was $13,327,123,798, making marijuana only 1.18% of the state’s total tax revenue. The cost of marijuana legalization in public awareness campaigns, law enforcement, healthcare treatment, addiction recovery, and preventative work is an unknown cost to date.

Senator Booker stated his reasons for legalizing marijuana is to reduce “marijuana arrests happening so much in our country, targeting certain communities – poor communities, minority communities.” It’s a noble cause to seek to reduce incarceration rates among these communities but legalizing marijuana has had the opposite effect. 

According to the Colorado Department of Public Safety, arrests in Colorado of black and Latino youth for marijuana possession have increased 58% and 29% respectively after legalization. This means that Black and Latino youth are being arrested more for marijuana possession after it became legal. (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

Furthermore, a vast majority of Colorado’s marijuana businesses are concentrated in neighborhoods of color. Leaders from these communities, many of whom initially voted to legalize recreational marijuana, often speak out about the negative impacts of these businesses.

Senator Booker released his bill just a few days after the Washington Post reported on a study by the Review of Economic Studies that found “college students with access to recreational cannabis on average earn worse grades and fail classes at a higher rate.” Getting off marijuana especially helped lower performing students who were at risk of dropping out. Since legalizing marijuana, Colorado’s youth marijuana use rate is the highest in the nation, 74% higher than the national average, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Report. This is having terribly negative effects on the education of our youth.

If Senator Booker is interested in serving poor and minority communities, legalizing marijuana is one of the worst decisions. There is much work to be done to reduce incarceration and recidivism, but flooding communities with drugs will do nothing but exacerbate the problems.

The true impact of marijuana on our communities is just starting to be learned. The negative consequences of legalizing recreational marijuana will be felt for generations. I encourage Senator Booker to spend time with parents, educators, law enforcement, counselors, community leaders, pastors, and legislators before rushing to legalize marijuana nationally. We’ve seen the effects in our neighborhoods in Colorado, and this is nothing we wish upon the nation.

Jeff Hunt is the Vice President of Public Policy at Colorado Christian University.

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Consider also the NEGATIVE impact of the migration of hundreds, if not thousands, of unemployed (and unemployable) Marijuana Travelers to this state since weed became “legal” here. It’s not only the youngsters who have dropped out of mainstream society; I see many older potheads who freely admit they’re here to get stoned . . . They also sign up for all of the available social services and take full advantage of the many private nonprofits, which make no distinction between local homeless residents and transients from other states. It’s a ginormous amount of money going down the drain — diverting resources from Colorado residents in need to sketchy characters on the run from elsewhere in the country. Here’s an example:

Florida sex offender now in Boulder, CO

LACKS A FIXED RESIDENCE

Just this morning, this pervert was on the SKIP bus from Boulder Shelter for the Homeless headed downtown, and was advising another transient pothead in minute detail how he could go about obtaining a Colorado medical marijuana card. Why bother, when recreational pot is now available? For that matter, you can still buy weed on the streets at a cheaper price than what is offered by any dispensary or recreational pot shop — and it’s likely to be from the same marijuana grow operation, too.

And there’s no doubt why this trio of knuckleheads came here from Alabama, before the two young men started the Cold Springs Fire last year:

L to R: Jimmy Suggs, Zackary Kuykendall, Elizabeth Burdeshaw

For every marijuana user who behaves responsibly, there are many others driving under the influence, and I see them every day at the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36; you can tell not only by the cloud of marijuana smoke pouring out of their motor vehicle’s windows, but by their tendency to drive in the bicycle lane rather than where they should.

Let the rest of the country learn from this FAILED experiment in Colorado . . .

— MRW 

The Worthy Cause sales tax helps support sex offenders at Boulder Shelter

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY FROM LOCAL NONPROFITS!

By Max R. Weller

I decided it was long overdue for the Homeless Philosopher to post this info — with supporting documentation — because so many cheerleaders of local nonprofits are repeatedly LYING. Just yesterday, someone named Craig Milder made this statement on the Daily Camera Facebook page (copied here unedited by me):

the shelter is not tax payer funded,so dont worry you’re not paying.

Well, guess what? Here’s just one of the Sugar Teats that Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and other local nonprofits are attached to: Worthy Cause III. Scroll down to page 7 for the section on Housing & Homelessness; page 8 tells about BSH in particular; page 9 details Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill and other permanent supportive housing in Boulder County, CO.

(1175 Lee Hill, billed as a collaboration between BSH and Boulder Housing Partners, also received a $4M federal grant to fund construction.)

Boulder Shelter for the Homeless has received these Worthy Cause taxes in the amounts shown by year:

2009 / $25,000

2010 / $25,000

2011 / $50,000

2013 / $58,000

2015 / $62,100

2016 / $100,000

2017 / $25,000

It’s interesting to note the amount of taxpayer support going to Attention Homes and Bridge House as well; many people claim that the latter organization is entirely supported by private donations, but that’s a BIG LIE.

I hope the registered sex offenders, including Sexually Violent Predators, who are finding refuge at BSH will appreciate the ordinary folks helping to foot the bills through the taxes they pay.(BTW, I pay sales tax here in Boulder almost every day.)

Michael Smith

Michael Smith (Courtesy photo)

Another homeless ‘Sexually Violent Predator’ moves to Boulder

Read the story in the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety:

David Nicolai Bland

David Nicolai Bland (Courtesy photo)

Boulder police announced on Thursday that a man deemed to be a “sexually violent predator” has moved into the city.

David Nicolai Bland, 43, was released from the Colorado Department of Corrections in late July and was convicted of a sexually-related crime that requires police to notify the public that he is living in the city, according to a news release.

Bland has told police that he is homeless and will be staying in a grove of trees along the bike path to the north of Arapahoe Avenue and east of Old Tale Road from Sunday to Thursday. The release did not say where he will be staying on Friday and Saturday.

Sex offenders can be designated “sexually violent predators” if authorities believe they possess certain personality traits that make them likely to commit further offenses.

Boulder police spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly referred questions as to where Bland will be staying on Friday and Saturday to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office. A sheriff’s office SVP bulletin stated that Bland will be staying west of Broadway and Lee Hill Road, although it didn’t give specific days.

The bulletin stated that Bland has a conviction in Colorado for attempted sexual assault on a child and a rape by force or fear conviction in California. He also has convictions for assault and felony menacing.

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Because of lenient sentencing (anything less than Life Without Parole for violent rapists and child molesters is lenient in my view), and the fact that Boulder, CO has a reputation for welcoming (or at least tolerating) these scumbags, more and more of them are choosing to reside here.

You know, an ordinary homeless camper is NOT allowed to stay where this guy has arrogantly informed law enforcement he’ll be camping out. WTF?

The truth, of course, is that registered sex offenders can come and go as they please. Ankle monitors? LOL! If a pervert wants to cut it off, that’s just what he’ll do before finding a new victim.

I understand the desire for summary justice Old West-style:

Tombstone, Arizona Territory, circa 1884

Disclaimer: I don’t advocate for this solution, because the risk of killing an innocent man is too great without due process in a court of law.

— MRW 

‘Sheriff says dangerous transients are flooding Larimer County’

Read the report from KDVR Fox31 Denver here. Copied below in its entirety:

Heather “Helena” Hoffman

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — After a homeless sex offender was arrested for the alleged rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman, the Larimer County sheriff urged members of the community to “band together and demand changes.”

Heather “Helena” Hoffmann’s body was found floating in Sheldon Lake in City Park about 6:10 p.m. on June 21.

“Absolutely inexcusable!” Sheriff Justin Smith wrote on Facebook. “She didn’t deserve that fate.”

Hoffmann worked at the McDonald’s restaurant at West Elizabeth Street and City Park Avenue, and was last seen leaving work at 1 a.m. June 21 when her shift ended.

Hoffmann lived near Shields Street and Laporte Avenue, and typically walked home from work, the Fort Collins Police Department said.

Jeffrey Etheridge, 27, was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Larimer County Jail on a charge of first-degree murder. Sexual assault charges were also pending, police said.

(Photo: Larimer County Sheriff’s Office)

Smith said Etheridge was a “newly arrived transient criminal” and a “convicted multi-state sexual offender.”

“Because of current laws and rulings, he was allowed to register as a transient sex offender — with no legal residence,” Smith wrote. “This is not the first murder in our community attributed to a transient, but it’s the most reprehensible.

“In fact, the records show many felony assaults, rapes and attempted murders committed by such transient criminals in recent years.

“It’s time for the community to band together and demand changes in public policy that will protect law abiding citizens from transient criminals like the one accused of raping and murdering Helena.

“I assure you, it’s no coincidence that our community, with a record low unemployment rate is overrun by intentionally unemployed transients, preying on community members like Helena.”

Smith said there has been an 85 percent to 90 percent increase in violent crime in the area over the past three years and the county jail population has increased 50 percent in that same time.

Nearly one in three inmates are homeless, transient or living in a shelter, Smith said.

“I personally see the tragedies brought forth by many of these dangerous drifters, travelers or transients across the county,” Smith wrote. “I see the records of their previous criminal convictions and it’s shocking!”

Smith said many of the transients charged with crimes are too dangerous or too high of a flight risk to be released while awaiting trial.

“We cannot allow this epidemic and these trends to continue,” the sheriff stated. “The time for talk is over — as a community, we must demand immediate action to prevent more tragedies, like the rape and murder of Helena from occurring again in our communities.

“I encourage you to organize with your neighbors, friends, civic groups and business associates and attend the next city council meeting and the next one and the one after that and demand the council take action to protect the community and stop surrendering to the transient advocates who show up, like clockwork, every time the local police attempt to crack down on the dangerous transients flooding our communities.

“Those who enable and encourage this dangerous behavior should be asked to pack up shop immediately.

“Please don’t wait until there is another Helena or another after that before you demand the kind of changes in policy that are needed to protect your community.” (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

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BRAVO, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith! Telling it like it is . . . Thanks to my friend at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless who told me about this powerful statement, which stands in stark contrast to the drivel we get from law enforcement in Boulder County.

Sheriff Justin Smith

— MRW

(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.)