Tag Archives: 1175 Lee Hill Housing First

Boulder, CO do-gooders on verge of winning Race To The Bottom

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, AND KEEP ON DEMANDING IT EVEN IF IT NEVER COMES!

By Max R. Weller

It doesn’t look hopeful at this point for all of us who see through the smokescreen of “compassion” put out by greedy — yes, GREEDY — nonprofits like Boulder Shelter for the HomelessBridge House, and now Attention Homes (no longer is their mission to help kids ages 12 through 17). Read Boulder board approves housing for homeless at 1440 Pine St. in the Daily Camera. Copied below in its entirety:

A rendering of the proposal to house chronically homeless young adults at 1440 Pine St., Boulder.

A rendering of the proposal to house chronically homeless young adults at 1440 Pine St., Boulder. (Courtesy image)

After 18 months of community debate — often unusually heated, even by Boulder’s standards — the city Planning Board on Tuesday night approved a proposal to build housing for homeless young adults in a new downtown facility.

The board voted 6-1, with member Crystal Gray representing the lone voice of dissent.

The approval will be final unless the City Council moves to call up the project for additional discussion and then overturns the vote. That seems unlikely, based on the strong support from a Planning Board with its members handpicked by the council.

Barring such action by the council, Tuesday’s OK means that the local nonprofit Attention Homes, working with Studio Architecture and the affordable housing developer Gardner Capital, can proceed with plans to construct a new three-story building on what is currently a surface parking lot at 1440 Pine St.

The building will have 40 housing units for chronically homeless people between the ages of 18 and 24.

Attention Homes will relocate its administrative offices into the facility, which will also have space for various support-based services for tenants who in most cases will be trauma victims at educational and job-training deficits.

On the ground floor of the building will be a small “grab-and-go” café — no more than nine seats will be allowed, which the local restaurant and butcher Blackbelly has agreed to operate.

The project was granted a 62 percent reduction under the amount of parking that would typically have been required.

Tuesday’s meeting was a special one called only after a May 18 public hearing on the development ran so late as to require a continuation.

That earlier hearing put on full display the myriad citizen disagreements that have long marked the project.

Many — including the dozens who offered supportive public comments at the hearing — will celebrate Tuesday’s vote as a victory for inclusivity.

Others felt the building was too tall and dense to fit in with the Whittier neighborhood. Certain project opponents said that it was too risky to put at-risk young people near a busy downtown area they said is filled with temptations.

Some took issue with the public process behind the project, and said they were not given genuine opportunities to impact the ultimate proposal.

Specifically controversial was the fact that the developers were virtually locked into the 40-unit density prior to public outreach, because the grant money they’d secured was contingent upon that level of density.

“Exactly what we’re voting on,” Gray said, “is what was put in that grant package before the concept review and before this board even got to hear the public, and before the applicant even got to hear our concerns.

“When you don’t involve people in a transparent and honest process … you’re going to have winners and losers, and we have to change that.”

Chair John Putnam pushed back.

“I would strongly disagree with the suggestion that what happened wasn’t transparent or honest. I think they were following the rules and requirements as laid out, and there are no requirements that you go to the city before asking for grants.”

Offered member Liz Payton: “We need to operate in a way that it doesn’t look like people are taking advantage of loopholes.”

In her comments on the plan, Gray also said that the office and café uses are “so incompatible” with the neighborhood. Payton said it seemed to her “like kind of an incursion” on the surroundings.

Member David Engisn said “I don’t really see that” and member Bryan Bowen said he felt the café in particular would be “really useful in normalizing” the homeless clients who will move on-site.

As a result of this vote, Attention Homes will vacate its current offices at 1443 Spruce St. and move to 1440 Pine St.

The LGBTQ organization Out Boulder County, now located a few hundred feet from the site, has a tentative agreement to move its headquarters into what will be the former Attention Homes space on Spruce Street.

Included in the approval is a plan to designate the rest of the structures on the block — including the old house occupied by Lucile’s Creole Café — as historic landmarks.

——————————————————————————– 

The precedent for this kind of crooked manipulation of zoning regulations was set a few short years ago by the 1175 Lee Hill Housing First project. Partners in that enterprise, BSH and Boulder Housing Partners, claimed this Wet House was “transitional housing” which is a “use by right” in that zoning. But as soon as approval was gained, up went the signs proclaiming 1175 Lee Hill as “permanent supportive housing” — in fact, a congregate care facility specifically prohibited under the zoning rules in place. I can attest to the fact that HF clients are causing all sorts of problems out in the surrounding neighborhood, where I’ve lived for over nine years, due to their drunken and loutish behavior. Deacon Chris Byrne and the rest of the enablers on staff there can deny it, but it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

BTW, a former resident at 1175 Lee Hill, Donna the Homeless Drama Queen, threatened me just yesterday with a lawsuit because I blogged about her return from a failed alcohol rehab at Ft. Lyon (costing Colorado taxpayers at least $100K). Every word I wrote in her case was TRUE, and there are records from emergency services providers to prove it. Her new “protector” is a homeless man who left Boulder way back around Christmastime in 2013, and many of us thought he’d gone home to another state to finish drinking himself to death. I think his feelings were hurt when I couldn’t remember his name right off the bat, even though he also warned me not to blog about his pickled shenanigans in public in the future. Of course, I’ll write what I please when the time comes . . .

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Former 1175 Lee Hill Housing First resident pees in front of passersby in the 4900 block of N. Broadway

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

almost couldn’t believe my eyes as I was playing the role of Humble Beggar on the corner of U.S. 36 yesterday afternoon. This chronic alcoholic, who wasn’t content with boozing it up every day in a brand new $250,000+ apartment managed by Deacon Chris Byrne and the other enablers of Housing First, was evicted after he became violent and smashed a window. Yesterday, he stood right there on the sidewalk in front of the Mexican restaurant and urinated into the roadside ditch.

Of course, Urinating in Public by one of their pet BUMS doesn’t count as bad behavior that damages the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood — not in the mind of the MORON who made this statement in a Daily Camera commentary, Housing First programs work, last December:

In its first year of operation, the program took 31 chronically homeless individuals off the streets, including seven people who were on the municipal court high-utilizer list. After one year, 75 percent of these individuals were still housed. Of the 49 emergency-service calls made from the Lee Hill facility, 82 percent were for medical assistance and there were no calls to the police regarding Lee Hill from the surrounding neighborhood. Also, Lee Hill occupancy was 97 percent and five residents rejoined the work force. These results are consistent with other Housing First programs around the country. They are also consistent with a large body of research that shows Housing First programs save communities between $20,000 to $40,000 a year per client in reduced jail time, court appearances and emergency room visits.

Max may not see this success. But we see it every day; and that is why we will continue to provide meaningful help and hope to the vulnerable and poor in our community.

There are two reasons that Mr. Harms has always discounted incidents like those that occurred yesterday: 1) The chronic alcoholic I saw is no longer a resident of Housing First (shouldn’t this be regarded as a FAIL?), and even if he had still been living at 1175 Lee Hill his gross misconduct occurred away from the facility so it doesn’t count by their crooked standards; and 2) It’s BAD PUBLICITY and hurts fundraising efforts.

Consider the BIG LIE Mr. Harms tells in his published opinion copied above: . . . there were no calls to the police regarding Lee Hill from the surrounding neighborhood.” In fact, because I don’t own a phone, I had to ask other people who do to call 9-1-1 on several occasions due to a different Housing First resident (in good standing at that time) passing out drunk in the same ditch in the 4900 block of N. Broadway. True, I directed the emergency services dispatcher to that location — NOT to 1175 Lee Hill — but it was in fact one of the enablers’ pet BUMS misbehaving in the neighborhood, as we all knew they would when this Wet House was first proposed. Now, I don’t know if Mr. Harms was trained as a lawyer, but he surely can mislead his readers with his slick use of words.

He is right about one thing: I don’t see this success they tout, but I’ve lived in that neighborhood continuously for nine years and I see all the bulls*** which has only gotten worse since 1175 Lee Hill opened.

1175 Lee Hill case manager ‘helps’ aggressive panhandling client at N. Broadway & U.S. 36

Originally published on 4/23/2015 . . .

homelessphilosopher

A LITTLE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY, A LITTLE LESS ENABLING

By Max R. Weller

This is a TRUE tale — and further evidence that the Housing First program here in Boulder, CO is FUBAR.

Who knows what goes through the minds of Housing First program residents in their brand new apartments at 1175 Lee Hill (built at a cost of over $200,000 each)? Since this facility opened last Fall, however, I can report seeing two HF clients panhandling at the nearby corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36. With all of the cash benefits and other social services they receive in addition to housing, you have to wonder why it’s still necessary for them to “fly a sign” as they’ve done for years previously.

The NEW 31-unit, $6 million plus Housing First project at 1175 Lee Hill in Boulder, CO

Please don’t misunderstand — this is no encroachment on me, because I gain all the…

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Boulder Froot Loops protesting again, and more

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

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I may have seen these two at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless one morning recently, but it doesn’t look as if they took advantage of free showers, free soap, free shampoo, etc.

See: Dakota Pipeline protest fuels activists’ passions in downtown Boulder from the Daily Camera. Excerpt copied below:

The Dakota Access Pipeline protest came to Boulder on Tuesday as more than 200 activists rallied in sympathy with protesters at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, with a man and woman locking themselves to the entrance of the Wells Fargo Bank on the Pearl Street Mall . . .

After about 30 minutes of speeches and songs on the lawn in front of the Boulder County Courthouse, roughly 75 of the demonstrators made their way to the nearby Wells Fargo branch at 1242 Pearl St.

Two, identifying themselves as Denise Luttrell and George Ridgik, of Jamestown, used U-locks to bolt themselves to the front entrance of the bank, while others called for people to close their accounts with Wells Fargo. That bank, and others, have loaned money to the Dakota Access project, which would run from North Dakota to Illinois . . .

While Luttrell and Ridgik were bolted to the door, a dozen more activists sat shoulder to shoulder across the bank entrance, at times linking arms with one another.

Despite Luttrell and Ridgik being bolted to the entrance, and the phalanx of protesters arrayed in front of them, bank business continued. Customers came and went through a second entrance at the southwest corner of the bank, off the mall.

Wells Fargo client Richard Hart, of Boulder, voiced mixed feelings about what was going on out front as he walked out the secondary doors, having conducted his business at the bank.

“I’m a proponent of their cause, of their statement. But, I had to make a deposit to cover my company’s payroll — $92,000. I can’t not put the money in the bank,” Hart said.

“It’s inconvenient, but so what?” he said of being forced to use an alternate entrance. “I’m as pro-Indian issues as anybody. But … I can’t work with that.”

Luttrell and Ridgik were cut loose from the bank’s main entrance shortly before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, when bank maintenance staff removed the inner door handles to which they were secured.

“There was a fire code violation of safety, and the bank did not want to be responsible for the liability to them, if something happened to people,” Boulder police spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly said. NO ARRESTS WERE MADE. (Emphasis is mine.)

It must be very frustrating to attempt to incite a police response and FAIL. Is it “police brutality” to more or less ignore these protesting Froot Loops? Some self-styled advocates may think so:

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I’ve almost run out of instant coffee; the huge jar of Maxwell House I got from a friend last October 7th is down to only a couple of days’ worth, and unfortunately this brand isn’t available at King Soopers on Table Mesa where I shop. I understand that Walmart carries it, however. (Hint.)

I had to run off one of the 1175 Lee Hill panhandlers from the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 yesterday, so I could take my usual turn during the noon hour. She was not happy about having to return to her $250,000+ Housing First apartment without liquor money from passersby, either. TOO BAD! Another HF BUM who was kicked out the other day was raising hell near my campsite overnight — so I hope there will be snow and cold temps to drive them away soon. (Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow is now open nightly, operating in their network of churches and a synagogue.)

I’m at George Reynolds Branch Library this morning, and I still haven’t returned to Norlin Library on the CU campus. I just feel bad vibes from the latter, after collapsing there last April while walking across Norlin Quad. Silly, I know . . .

I may be back tomorrow, depending on how I feel with this lingering case of Boulder Shelter Crud.

Housing First residents leave $250,000+ apartments to panhandle for liquor money, and more

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

In the five weeks or so since I returned to my old neighborhood around N. Broadway & U.S. 36, I’ve observed no fewer than seven clients of Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill — the $8M project with just 31 apartments right next to Boulder Shelter for [Transients and Sex Offenders] at 4869 N. Broadway — panhandling on the corner as if they were homeless people in real need of cash to purchase life’s necessities; you know, food, clothes, camping gear, bus fare, etc. Every penny you give to these pampered HF BUMS goes to rotgut vodka, beer, cigarettes, and marijuana. This is why I’ve been “flying” this sign the past few days:

HELP BOULDER’S / SOBER HOMELESS PEOPLE / Thanks!

It’s been very well-received, and I’m grateful for all the other kinds of support (besides money) I’ve gotten from old friends in the area. This past few months has been difficult for me, both physically and emotionally, and I struggle every day not to give up and become a Housing First-eligible alcoholic myself.

leehill

(At the time I created this meme, I’d underestimated the cost of each unit; thus the corrected figure in the title of this post.)

I call it Trump Anxiety Disorder, and I suffered from it to some degree myself before realizing that none of this blowhard’s crazy ideas that would legally require an Act of Congress will ever come to pass. Apparently, Trump himself has quietly abandoned The Wall, The Mass Deportations, The Blanket Ban on Muslims Entering the U.S., and Arresting Hillary Clinton . . . He sounds more like an establishment Republican every day — ROTFL! How do you supporters of the President-elect feel about your hero now? Me, I’m greatly relieved. BTW, I posted this on Facebook the day before the election:

I don’t want to hear a single gripe from anyone who voted for The Donald after Hillary is elected POTUS tomorrow.

YOU Trumpistas are responsible for putting another Clinton into the White House by your unbelievably misguided support of the fake Republican. Any real Republican would have defeated her easily. IT’S YOUR DAMN FAULT!!

An edit is obviously in order, and here it is:

I don’t want to hear a single gripe from anyone who voted for Hillary now that Donald Trump has been elected POTUS.

YOU Clintonistas are responsible for putting a foul-mouthed idiot into the White House by your unbelievably misguided support of the weakest Democratic candidate since McGovern in ’72. Any other Democrat would have defeated him easily. IT’S YOUR DAMN FAULT!!

See: Hitler finds out Donald Trump has won the presidential election.

‘Boulder County city consortium mulls homeless data’

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

Read the report in the Times-Call here. Quoting from it below:

“The study was able to count about 225 chronically homeless people in Boulder County. On average, each of those chronically homeless uses $43,300 each year in emergency room, police, ambulance rides and other crisis services costs.

“By contrast, to build permanent supportive housing would cost roughly $17,000 per year per chronically homeless person, said Jennie Rodgers with Community Strategies Institute.”

My online comment (posting as RealityCheck) follows:

This is the same sort of Funny Math used to scam the public in re Boulder’s 1175 Lee Hill Housing First project — it does NOT take into account the upfront cost of over $8M for the 31 units (over $250,000 each).

Consider what HF residents are doing in their north Boulder neighborhood — drinking, smoking weed, panhandling, and loitering all day in the 4900 block of N. Broadway — and any objective observer must conclude that there is no positive impact for anyone. Indeed, six HF residents have already died from alcohol-related causes at this facility!

manure_lg

It’s another load of fertilizer from Boulder County, CO’s do-gooders

Seven bums on the wall in north Boulder, and more

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

We already know what it is that chronically homeless transients who flock to our fair city are doing by day and by night — but have you wondered just what goes on with those clients in 1175 Lee Hill Housing First and Boulder Shelter’s Transition Program, located next door to each other? The ones who, so we’re told, are trying to get their lives back on track with the help of millions of dollars from both public and private sources?

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No, don’t bother asking Gail Promboin (L), who sold out the neighborhood and her neighbors to buddy up with Betsey Martens of Boulder Housing Partners (R) . . . 

The Homeless Philosopher has lived in this area for over eight years now, and I’ll tell you what the Housing First and BSH Transition Program Posers are doing: Yesterday, when I arrived at my spot along the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant in the 4900 block of N. Broadway, there were no fewer than seven (7) inebriates / potheads gathered there. NOBODY was “flying a sign” on the corner of U.S. 36; they were just drinking and smoking weed and holding their typically loud and stupid conversations in the middle of what is intended to be a business / industrial district and a residential neighborhood. Two of the seven were HF residents (who are on thin ice by their own admission), one is in the Transition Program, and the other four (including one registered child molester) were street bums with varying amounts of time logged in Boulder, CO.

Outside of the confines of the facilities themselves, there is NO supervision by HF case managers or BSH staff — and when you make a complaint by any means nobody in authority takes note of it. To the contrary, Betsey Martens and Boulder Housing Partners issue a press release stating that all is well. Our worthless local news media goes along with the do-gooder party line, and meanwhile millions more dollars are being raked in by the homeless shelter / services industry.

WTF?

I do what I can to sound the alarm on this blog, and every day I’m there I pick up the trash these bums leave behind. Believe me, the situation is continuing to get worse every year!

I’ll e-mail this blog post to Boulder City Council, but it doesn’t seem that a majority of its members are interested in doing anything for folks who own businesses and work or live in this north Boulder neighborhood. Truly, it’s become the city’s de facto Homeless Ghetto. I don’t consider this any surprise, because all BCC members are elected at-large and nobody holding elective office at present has any personal stake in this part of Boulder.


I enjoyed the thunderstorm which began at 12:40AM and lasted only 15 minutes, with some hail toward the end. When I got up and crawled out from my burrow before 5AM, there were still hailstones on top of my tarp, but they had melted away in the surrounding grassy areas; this indicates that my inexpensive Walmart tarp is doing an effective job at keeping heat inside for my comfort, and indeed I slept very well after the brief period of thunder and lightning.

There was another rain shower before 6AM, but as long as the sky doesn’t leak for hours all of my gear will stay dry.

I have a box of Cap’n Crunch to snack on tonight, and if your name is Jessica Alba you’re invited to share . . .

capncrunch

The original Cap’n, with sword