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.) 

‘Victim of assault at 27th and Baseline has died, Boulder police say’

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

Roland Dequina

Roland Dequina (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office / Courtesy photo)

The homeless man who police say was stabbed and beaten with a stick on the corner of 27th Way and Baseline Road in Boulder last week has died from his injuries.

Roland Dequina, 43, died over the weekend, Boulder police spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly confirmed this morning.

James Craig Dobson, the 56-year-old suspect in the attack on both Dequina and another man, Jeffrey Cross, 50, was arrested last week on suspicion of attempted murder and assault, but is now expected to face more serious charges when he returns to court Wednesday for a formal filing of charges.

He is currently being held on $100,000 bond.

According to an arrest affidavit, Dobson, Dequina, and Jeffrey Cross, 50 — all three of whom are homeless — had been hanging out and drinking overnight July 24, and had been arguing throughout the night.

At 10 p.m. July 24, an officer responded to the area and reported finding Dobson sitting near an intoxicated Cross, who was lying on the ground in the fetal position and bleeding. When taken to the hospital, Cross said he got the injuries when he “took a digger,” and Dobson also denied that anything happened.

Four hours later, three people bicycling through the same area found Dequina lying in a pool of blood and called 911. First responders were unable to find a pulse and began performing CPR. Doctors later said Dequina had a skull fracture, brain bleed, lacerations on his face and bruising and abrasions on his chest and arms.

According to the affidavit, police located Dobson at 9:20 a.m. July 25 and took him in for questioning. He admitted he was with Dequina and told police that Dequina threatened him with a stick, so he punched him in the face and then picked up his own stick to defend himself.

Investigators said Dobson’s clothes had blood stains on them and he also had what appeared to be a splinter in his left hand.

Police at the scene recovered a branch that was 12 to 18 inches long and appeared to have been broken off a tree. Investigators said the sharp end of the branch had blood on it and was consistent with Dequina’s injuries.

Dobson’s criminal history includes arrests for obstructing a police officer, criminal mischief, trespassing, theft and burglary.

Should Dequina’s death be ruled a homicide by the Boulder County Coroner’s Office, it would mark the eighth in Boulder County this year.

A man who identified himself as Lex Luther — a friend of Roland Dequina, also know as Donnie — sits in the background wearing a Grateful Dead

A man who identified himself as Lex Luther — a friend of Roland Dequina, also known as Donnie — sits in the background wearing a Grateful Dead shirt to honor his late friend, who was a huge Dead fan. Dequina’s friends have created a memorial at the spot where he was beaten near Baseline Road and 27th Way in Boulder on July 24. Dequina died from his injuries over the weekend. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

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Not surprising that Boulder, CO’s do-gooders — who continue to enable the violent environment that threatens the lives of so many homeless people — are maintaining silence on this case.

— MRW 

‘Formerly homeless residents move into crowdfunded tiny home community’

Read the story from the Denver Post here. Copied below in its entirety:

Denver’s crowdfunded tiny home project has run into more than a few road blocks, but on July 21, fourteen residents moved into their new community and on Saturday they invited reporters in to see it.

Eleven 8-foot by 12-foot homes and a bathing house fill the Urban Land Conservancy-owned property at 38th and Walnut streets. There are also several tables covered by three white pop-up canopies, which are a temporary solution for the missing food-prep and living-room space.

Terese Howard from Denver Homeless Out Loud said the more permanent, cylindrical building should be there any day now, but was delayed because it needed additional permits.

Saturday, after a week of settling in, a conference was held to thank those who had made the completion of the project possible and also to show off the much-anticipated community.

“We didn’t build this village because we like cute tiny houses,” said Howard. “We built this here because we have an extreme housing crisis. Thousands and thousands who don’t have a place to call home.”

Each of tiny homes has a painted grey exterior, wooden steps, a small stoop and a white door. Inside is a single room with two windows and hardwood flooring.

Howard said to view the community as if it were a dispersed house and view each of the homes as bedrooms.

Colorado Village Collaborative is a community-based organization founded by DHOL, Beloved Community Mennonite Church and an aggregation of other organizations and volunteers.

For Amanda McDougald it was almost serendipity. She left drugs, homelessness and an abusive relationship in Killeen, Texas, four months ago to start over in Denver.

“It’s a huge blessing, I’m so grateful to have everything,” she said. “I was literally woken up Friday morning being kicked by cops because I was ‘trespassing’ by sleeping somewhere that said no loitering. And that same evening I was moving into my own home. I have keys and a house and a bed, I’m so grateful.”

The village is not out of the woods yet, however. This is a 180-day pilot project to establish proof of concept. ULC granted a six-month lease of the property for $1 per month.

During that time, they will be scrutinized by the city to make sure that a safe and habitable environment has been established for the residents. After sixth months, the homes will hopefully be unbolted from their cinder blocks and placed permanently on soil.

“Our sixth month countdown began last Friday,” said Nathan Hunt, the Program Director for Economic Justice with Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. “We have a few different (permanent) locations in mind. From here we will figure out a location that works best for the residents for transportation and other factors.”

The lucky 14 were chosen based on risk and need. DHOL chose six out of 60 applicants through an interview process and then let those six chose the remaining residents.

“People who cannot or will not, for good reasons, stay in shelters,” said Hunt, describing the residents: “Trans people … the LGBTQ community in general, people who work odd hours  … people with anxiety and other disorders.”

Other than meeting a risk factor, the applicants need to be currently homeless and commit to the basic non-negotiable rules: No violence, weapons, illegal drugs, discriminatory or oppressive behavior. They also must participate in maintenance of the community.

While 54-year-old Byron Steele is grateful for a place to call home, he said that the homeless problem will still continue to balloon out of control if the real issue, which he said is mental illness, is addressed.

“I’m not here to fake the funk.”  he said.

“I’ve never in my life seen so many 19-20 year olds walking around talking to themselves. To control homelessness you have to get control over mental health.”

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We’ll see how this works out, but it seems to me they’ve chosen some sketchy folks who may be unwilling to behave decently. This is the same misguided philosophy we see in Housing First projects, such as 1175 Lee Hill in Boulder, for chronically homeless single adults — with a history of substance abuse and a dual diagnosis of mental illness. It’s a FAILURE!

Those with significant mental health issues need 24/7 care in a secure psychiatric facility, and it’s ridiculous to think otherwise. Nor are tiny homes suitable for registered sex offenders (who belong in a halfway house with others like them, far away from potential victims), or those needing inpatient treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction (lots of programs out there accepting all kinds of insurance), or the physically handicapped (assisted living centers are designed for them), or the developmentally disabled (group homes with adequate supervision have always been the best option).

There’s no shortage of homeless men and women who are ready, willing, and able to be independent and productive members of any Tiny House Community.

— MRW 

WTF? I remember when Boulder Shelter did NOT allow the homeless to loiter on their property overnight!

Unless you managed to get an available bed, you were out of luck — NEVER were you permitted to sleep outside the facility.

See the story in the Daily Camera here: Boulder police: ‘Sexually violent predator’ will stay near homeless shelter. Copied below in its entirety:

Michael Smith

Michael Smith (Courtesy photo)

Boulder police announced on Friday that a man deemed to be a “sexually violent predator” will be “staying by a ramp that is on the east side” of the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless.

Michael Smith, 48, has a conviction out of Rhode Island for second-degree child molestation, according to court records, and a 2015 conviction for sexual contact without consent.

Smith originally registered with Boulder police in August 2016 and has since lived along Broadway between Violet Avenue and Lee Hill Drive, in an abandoned building east of Arapahoe Avenue and 55th Street and north of the golf course and at 2995 Eagle Way #24.

Smith is required to notify police whenever he moves.

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It just never ends, does it? Ask yourself this question, how do the many adult survivors of sexual crimes who are temporarily staying at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless feel about predators lurking both inside and outside a facility which bills itself as a safe shelter? Ain’t nothin’ safe about it!

— MRW