Tag Archives: Betsey Martens Boulder Housing Partners

Betsey Martens of Boulder Housing Partners admits her #1 priority

DONATING TO A BOULDER, CO NONPROFIT DOES NOT HELP THE HOMELESS!

By Max R. Weller

Ms. Martens is soon leaving her position as executive director of Boulder Housing Partners (which might explain why she was so candid in the following comment to the Daily Camera): “For over a decade, Boulder Housing Partners, the housing authority for the city of Boulder, has partnered with the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. Together, we have created programs that now bring in more than $1 million a year in federal funds to support the homeless in Boulder County. This includes the highly successful 1175 Lee Hill project for the chronically homeless.” This is a case of More Homeless People = More Money, and so long as the $$$ keep coming in from both public and private funding sources homelessness will NEVER be ended.

Read her entire letter-to-editor of the Daily Camera here. In case you didn’t know, Betsey Martens used to serve as a board member at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. Naturally, she will seek to trumpet a partnership with that refuge for transients and sex offenders right across the street from her own Boulder Housing Partners.

However, one’s perspective matters — the Homeless Philosopher has NO financial incentive for publishing what he observes firsthand. Here’s an example (from 9/21/2015) of what Ms. Martens call “highly successful” as it relates to an erstwhile resident of Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill: Donna the homeless drama queen at N. Broadway & Laramie Blvd. Copied below in its entirety:

Donna is her Real Name, and after all of her efforts to gain attention I’m no longer going to call her “Doris” to protect her identity.

She’s the ringleader of the bunch of inebriates who have caused so much trouble in the 4900 block of N. Broadway over the course of the past month or so, which has required the intervention of law enforcement more than once prior to this past weekend. Two Native American women (including Donna), two white male pedophiles, and another white male who came to Boulder, CO just recently comprise this group.

On Friday, as they were camped out underneath the pine trees on nicely-landscaped property belonging to the Dakote Ridge HOA, and taking turns staggering in the median at the corner of U.S. 36 while “flying a sign” to gain more booze money, I took my brief turn as a Humble Beggar to gain a few dollars to buy life’s necessities (as I receive no taxpayer-funded benefits of any kind, nor do I patronize any of the Free Giveaway venues except Boulder Shelter for my morning shower and to maintain a small locker) such as food, clothing, camping gear, bus fare, etc. As I held up my sign — HELP SAVE LIVES / NO CASH / FOR DRUNKS — her male friends left first, and then Donna practically crawled from the pine trees down the sidewalk to the spot where I normally sit, on the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant (where business owners, workers, and neighbors greet me as I’m reading a newspaper or a book).

Then, she sort of fell into the roadside ditch there. I went over to see if she was okay, and another person was already doing the same, and Donna was lying facedown at the bottom of that ditch on a long piece of cardboard with a “disaster blanket” or two from BSH as a makeshift bed. BTW, when it rains that ditch quickly fills up with water a foot or more deep. She did NOT respond to our shouts, and since I don’t own a cell phone I asked the other person to call 9-1-1. You never know about these drunkards; they could be sleeping it off or they could be suffering alcohol poisoning which can, of course, be fatal.

Anyway, the Boulder Rural Fire Dept. and paramedics responded, along with both Boulder County deputies and City of Boulder police (this spot is right on the border between county and city). A short minute before they all arrived, after I’d continued to shout at Donna that emergency help was on the way, she’d managed to crawl up out of the ditch and stagger on down the sidewalk in an attempt to make her escape. The paramedics stopped her, spoke to her, and in the end decided against transporting her to detox. In the meantime, I spoke with the deputies and city officers and showed them the mess these drunkards were making on private property that Dakota Ridge residents are paying to maintain.

Now we come to the events of Saturday: Donna and one of her male crew members were passed out again, same place, and she decided to go topless. When she put her bra and shirt back on and staggered out to the corner to panhandle, she decided to “flash” passersby. Certainly, this constitutes Disorderly Conduct in the context of being intoxicated. I figured she was headed for jail this time. Someone who had a cell phone saw Donna topless and called law enforcement. Both a Boulder county deputy and a City of Boulder police officer responded, and after talking to her briefly the deputy put her in handcuffs and took her away . . . To detox, as we learned yesterday morning.

Yes, she was back in the neighborhood yesterday! More than one interested party, including the Homeless Philosopher, told her flat out that she was NOT going back on the corner and making us all look like drunken degenerates. She obeyed us, for a wonder.

You can thank Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill for this whole mess — that’s how she came to be in the neighborhood in the first place, in a brand new apartment, until she was evicted for inviting her street friends to stay overnight and party. She has been hanging around the area ever since then, and I’ve heard that homeless people downtown and on Baseline have threatened to do great bodily harm to her if she returns to either one of those transient hangouts.

Gee, I wonder why these other bums despise her so much . . . Oh yeah, I’ve heard she’s a sneak thief, too.

I’m told that Donna came here to Boulder a few years ago from Denver.

My blog post is “evidence-based” in the same way that Ms. Martens’ letter-to-editor in the DC is; it’s actually a matter of perspective. Or, to put it another way, WHO DO YOU TRUST MORE?

As far as I can tell, from over nine years of direct observation of Boulder’s homeless shelter / services industry, all of the do-gooders involved — including Joy Eckstine-Redstone, George Epp, Greg Harms, Betsey Martens, et al — are utterly clueless and they also possess NO love for awkward facts which tend to expose their narrative for what it really is:

(This post e-mailed to Boulder City Council)

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‘Let’s prosecute bad-actors pretending to be do-gooders’

Read the commentary from the Denver Post editorial board. Copied below in its entirety:

Cynthia Coffman

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman wants to add investigators to track nonprofit fraud and abuse.

American families, corporations and foundations gave nearly $373 billion to charities in 2015 according to the National Philanthropic Trust — that’s 2.1 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.

Yet across the nation there are only about 350 state regulators scrutinizing charity operations, according to a groundbreaking report released this fall by the Charities Regulation and Oversight Project at Columbia Law School and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy.

That fraud and corruption are occurring within these tax-exempt entities is undeniable.

The Internal Revenue Service is wholly ill-equipped to serve as anything other than a warehouse for nonprofit annual tax forms known as 990s.

Both the Clinton Foundation and the Donald J. Trump Foundation escaped scrutiny until the leaders of both clashed in a political showdown. In case you missed it, both foundations proved to be lacking integrity in their own unique ways, unless you think self-portraits and luxury hotel in Haiti are money well spent. New York’s attorney general remains on the Trump investigation.

This all makes the case for Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s request for an additional $350,000 a year to beef up the state’s nonprofit investigations unit.

“To me, this is some of the worst fraud that people can commit because the resources they are stealing and converting to personal use are resources that aren’t going to the people who need that money,” Coffman said, as she presented the funding request to the state’s Joint Budget Committee.

She came to the meeting armed with real cases for fraud within Colorado’s nonprofit sector her office had prosecuted. Coffman wants two full-time attorneys and an investigator for the unit, according to a Denver Post story about her request. A separate unit, the consumer fraud division, currently handles nonprofit fraud investigations.

According to the Columbia Law School analysis, 13 states or territories have a dedicated bureau for nonprofit investigations similar to what Coffman wishes to establish. Another 14 handle charities within consumer protection divisions.

In Colorado, as in 59 percent of states, all of the work doesn’t fall on the attorney general’s office, however.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office investigates nonprofit complaints as well. After investigating, the secretary’s office can pass on the case to the attorney general for prosecution.

Together the two helped shut down the Cancer Fund of America, an entity which misspent millions for the founder’s personal needs rather than charitable good in a 50-state investigation.

We believe Coffman when she says she needs more resources to pursue the bad-actors who pretend to be do-gooders. After all, she’s a Republican who just proposed to grow the size of government — something must be amiss.

More active enforcement could cause everyone in the nonprofit game to clean up their act, spend a little less in administration, a little more on charitable missions. It would serve as a clear reminder to administrators that they should follow the state’s solicitation rules more closely.

There is the possibility for nonprofit investigations to be hijacked by the political leanings of those in power, but that’s true of any branch of government led by a politician.

Whether it’s a Clinton or a Trump in Colorado, we hope Coffman’s new team would investigate equally. 

———————————————————————————

Left to right: Betsey Martens of Boulder Housing Partners, Greg Harms of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, and Isabel McDevitt of Bridge House.

Who wants to start the chant? LOCK ‘EM UP, LOCK ‘EM UP, LOCK ‘EM UP!!!

(This post has been e-mailed to Boulder City Council.)

Why Tiny Homes won’t work in Boulder, CO

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

OVE Site Plans 13 Aug 2013_Page_1

Opportunity Village Eugene (OR) site plans (click on image to enlarge)

Why NOT in Boulder?

The rules in any of the Tiny Homes Communities in cities elsewhere are VERY STRICT compared to what you find here in Boulder, CO’s emergency shelters or transitional living programs run by local nonprofits. This makes Tiny Homes unsuitable for the worst-behaved transients, but they would be great for a select few homeless men and women, maybe many dozens, if only you could keep the apologists / enablers like Isabel McDevitt, Greg Harms, Betsey Martens, and the Boulder Rights Watch crowd AWAY FROM ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. Everything these yahoos touch becomes FUBAR, and most Boulderites don’t trust them any more than I do.

See for yourself how it’s designed to work in an ideal setting with this link to Opportunity Village Eugene (OR). Quoting from the website below:

Opportunity Village Eugene (OVE) opened in August 2013 as a “transitional micro-housing” pilot project. The vision was to create a collaboration between the housed and unhoused that provides stable and safe places to be through cost-effective, human-scale approaches for transitioning the unhoused to more sustainable living situations. 

It accommodates around 30 otherwise homeless individuals and couples at a time in simple, micro-housing (60-80sf) that provides residents with security, stability, and privacy. By consolidating utilities to common cooking, gathering, restroom, and laundry facilities we were able to keep costs very low, providing an intermediate solution between the street and traditional housing. 

OVE is a self-governed, peer-supported community with oversight provided by SquareOne Villages. 

A Community Agreement lays out the basic rules of the village, while an ever evolving Village Manual outlines the policies and procedures for operating and maintaining the village.

 5 Basic Rules:

  • No violence 

  • No theft

  • No alcohol or illegal drugs on-site

  • No persistent, disruptive behavior

  • Everyone must contribute to the operation and maintenance of the Village. 

What you get:

  • A small, safe and private space to call your own

  • Access to common kitchen, bath, laundry, gathering, and workshop facilities

  • Computer and wi-fi access

  • Quarterly bus pass 

What you give:

  • $30/month utility fee

  • 8 hours/week of front desk duty

  • 2 hours/week towards community improvement

  • Clean community bathroom once a month

  • Attendance at the weekly village meeting 

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

‘DU report on homelessness is unfair to Colorado cities’

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

Read the Denver Post editorial here. Copied below in its entirety, with my comments following:

A campaign that misrepresents the treatment of homeless people in order to promote a “Right to Rest Act” in the legislature continued this week with the release of a highly biased report by law students at the University of Denver under the supervision of professor Nantiya Ruan.

The report is so out of touch with the attitudes of many cities and towns toward the homeless that it actually compares various ordinances against trespassing, camping, park curfews, and obstructing rights of way as equivalent to Jim Crow and other vile exclusionary practices of the past.

The report makes much of the claim that Denver spent $750,000 enforcing laws in 2014 that affect the homeless, and accuses cities of “attempting to ‘solve’ the visible problem of homelessness by making them ‘invisible’ through criminalization.”

This is flatly and offensively false. Denver is not trying to address homelessness mainly through enforcement but by spending huge sums on health care, shelter, counseling, income support and a variety of other social services. Officials estimate the city spent $40 million on such services for the homeless in 2015 and will spend $47 million this year. And the City Council recently signed off on contracts for a housing and support program that will target 250 of the city’s most chronically homeless people at a potential cost of roughly $10 million.

No one is trying to sweep homelessness under the rug — not in Denver nor in many cities that are proud of their own initiatives. Cities as diverse as Fort Collins and Montrose have aggressive efforts to provide the homeless with stable housing and services.

A reader would appreciate none of this from the DU report. Instead, Colorado municipalities are portrayed as instituting a mean, petty campaign to harass the homeless and drive them away.

It may well be true that ordinances regulating vagrancy and loitering in some towns need updating so they are not impermissibly vague under federal court rulings. But cities where most of the homeless reside quickly adjust their laws to legal realities. When federal Judge Christine Arguello issued a sweeping ruling against Grand Junction’s panhandling rules last year, for example, cities like Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs quickly tweaked their ordinances as well.

The report’s authors clearly believe that anti-camping laws and park curfews should be unconstitutional because of how they affect the homeless — and apparently even laws that bar the obstruction of sidewalks and other public spaces. But they are not unconstitutional at the moment — and in some cases have been on the books for a century.

Cities have legitimate reasons to worry about allowing parks and vital urban spaces to become semi-permanent camps. But House Bill 1191, which the report praises, would order local governments to stop enforcing ordinances to that end. HB 1191 should be defeated, just as a slightly different measure was last year.

The law school report promotes strange beliefs about economic reality, too, at one point even claiming that “throughout Denver’s history, few have benefited from the economic growth while many have struggled … .”

Yes, many have struggled. But it is silly to claim few have benefited from economic growth. Average inflation-adjusted income today is multiple times what it was, say, in 1900. Which is why, by the way, Denver can afford to spend so much on its homeless population.

Homeless people line up at the Denver Rescue Mission  on April 1, 2014. (Hyoung Chang, Denver Post file)

Homeless people line up at the Denver Rescue Mission on April 1, 2014. (Hyoung Chang, Denver Post file)

My only criticism of the DP’s Editorial Board is that they didn’t go even further and label the self-styled homeless advocates as “damned liars who are making a living and/or enjoying the spotlight by exploiting the homeless” — which is, of course, what Boulder’s own Media Whores like Jim Budd (now in prison for rape), Joy Eckstine Redstone, Isabel McDevitt of Bridge House, Mike Homner, Darren O’Connor, Greg Harms of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Betsey Martens of Boulder Housing Partners, and others of their ilk do at every opportunity. A pox on them all!

It’s hard enough being a homeless man, woman, or child without the phony do-gooders pissing everyone off, to the point where the homeless themselves — rather than the corrupt shelter/services industry the advocates promote — become targets for a righteous anger.

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Followers of the do-gooders in an organized demonstration in downtown Boulder, CO a few years ago.