Tag Archives: Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow

FAKE CIVIL WAR: Boulder’s do-gooders all agree that More Homeless People = More Money

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING GREEDY HOMELESS SHELTER / SERVICES PROVIDERS!

By Max R. Weller

It just tickles me no end that two of the biggest failures among local homelessness providers — Joy Eckstine-Redstone and George Epp, formerly running the defunct Carriage House homeless day shelter and chief enablers of convicted rapist Jim Budd, founder of the soon-to-be defunct Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow — would initiate public hostilities with Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and its executive director, Greg Harms. To be sure, BSH and the moron(s) in charge there deserve all the criticism that comes their way . . . It’s just that Ms. Eckstine-Redstone and Mr. Epp have no more credibility than Mr. Harms!

All three of ’em are CLUELESS.

Anyway, here’s the commentary in the Daily Camera: Telling secrets. Copied below in its entirety:

A homeless man panhandles on the Pearl Street Mall in February.

A homeless man panhandles on the Pearl Street Mall in February. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

Communities at their best are like families, but that’s also true for when a community is at its worst. Communities have secrets, just like families, and react in the same predictable ways. Some of us keep the secrets close, some of us are the scapegoats, and some of us stridently insist on the dysfunction being heard. Every tome on family therapy insists on a central theme: for a family (or community) to heal, that the secrets must first be acknowledged and then integrated.

What does this have to do with homelessness? There is an unspoken secret in our community. It is the lack of cooperation from the leadership at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. This lack of cooperation has stymied nonprofit leaders, government agencies and homeless rights group for many years. They have been approached with ideas for collaboration that were innovative, cost-saving and humane by: Bridge House, Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow (BOHO), Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement (HOPE), the Community Foundation, and many others.

Now, there is a real change happening in how homeless services are designed and delivered in the city of Boulder. Courtesy of the Homeless Working Group (part of the city’s Housing and Human Service’s Department) and the Corporation for Supportive Housing (consultants hired by the city) a radical shift in services is happening. And, as many of these changes depend on the cooperation of the Boulder Shelter, homeless individuals are at risk in our community. Life-sustaining services have already been closed.

As of May 1, Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow ceased to provide emergency warming centers and Bridge House stopped providing day shelter. It is proposed by the Homeless Working Group that each of these services essentially be incorporated into the operations of the shelter in the fall of 2017. However, the shelter has not agreed.

And, since many of the recommendations of the working group incorporate mainstream best practices, you could argue that this is not a real problem. After all, the homeless services and homeless advocacy worlds do not disagree in principle with the ideas. It incorporates best practices like:

• Immediate assessment using validated tools that measure vulnerability;

• Short-term rental assistance to stabilize people in housing;

• Rapid re-housing that prevents long term destabilization and use of expensive services;

• Housing First services that prioritize housing for people that are mutually both the most vulnerable and the most expensive to serve.

Setting aside another questionable assumption — that Boulder as a community will agree to more low-income housing and that neighborhoods will accept such housing, this basic problem remains. The Boulder Shelter cites its management plan as the reason that they can’t provide year-round shelter or day shelter. They have been citing that management plan for years, as this certainly isn’t the first time they’ve been asked to consider these concepts. The management plan, by ordinance, must be re-evaluated every three years. It has not been changed since 2002.

Let’s examine exactly what the plan says about any needed modifications: “These hours of operation, and corresponding hours of ingress and egress of Shelter residents, may be modified by the recommendation of the Neighborhood-Shelter Action group.” Admittedly, the rest of the sentence reads “to accommodate school schedules” but it does state that it can be modified.

Additionally, the plan states, “Residents will be allowed to stay at the Shelter during the day when the weather is life threatening and other sources of day shelter are not available (such as Thanksgiving and Christmas days.)” Since there is now no other source of day shelter and many winter days in Boulder are life threatening, it appears that providing day shelter is a legitimate possibility.

This year is the next time the management plan will be re-evaluated. The city wants the shelter to provide additional services and has taken away other services in anticipation of cooperation from the shelter. But those agreements have not yet been made. We believe the shelter’s management plan needs to be modified. It is for the good of the entire community.

However, if we return to our metaphor of a dysfunctional family, we as a community are enabling the shelter. Much like the alcoholic in the family system, the city is attempting an “intervention” designed to bring the shelter into cooperation and collaboration with itself, and with other homeless service providers. Will it succeed? Let’s hope, as the lives and well-being of many homeless people hang in the balance.

Joy Redstone is director of the Student & Community Counseling Center at Naropa University. She is a former executive director of [Carriage] House. George Epp is a retired Boulder County sheriff [and board member of Carriage House].

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Over four years ago, I posted this on my blog: Boulder, CO needs a homeless people’s day center open all week. I’ve also discussed so-called best practices for homeless shelters, specifically having shelter / services in ONE location instead of spread out all over town as we see here in Boulder. Boulder Shelter for the Homeless is it! No question about it, and if Greg Harms has to be fired for this to happen then so be it.

Having said this about a year-round day shelter, I remain absolutely opposed to “emergency” overnight shelters in the summertime. A little summer rain never hurt me, nor has it hurt anyone else I know who is homeless in Boulder, but I’ll grant you that a 100-Year Flood is a special circumstance which can be dealt with if and when it occurs again in our lifetimes (NOT likely).

The Primary Goal must be to reduce the numbers of transients using finite resources which should be prioritized for Boulder County’s own homeless men, women, and children. It would seem, however, that the yahoos running things want to KEEP the Alabama arsonists, Florida sex offenders, and other riffraff from all across the nation in our city year-round. NO, HELL NO!

(E-mailed to Boulder City Council)

Official word that BOHO is finished forever:

See their website here.

You know, one of BOHO’s employees this past winter was a Marijuana Traveler I know from Indiana who only arrived here last Fall, and his entire focus in life is smoking dope. He only took the BOHO job because they paid him $14 per hour (he claimed) and he could smoke weed at work (of that, I’m certain).

There continue to be rumors about embezzlement of BOHO funds among the homeless folks at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. I think it’s more likely that the churches were just fed up with drinking, drugging, fornicating, and vandalism at their facilities — and the various insurance carriers involved threatened to cancel their policies.

— MRW 

NO, HELL NO! ‘Boulder seeks partner on temporary shelter for [worst-behaved transients]’

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN — NOT THE BUMS FROM ELSEWHERE!

By Max R. Weller

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

Xander King makes jewelry at the Boulder Main Public Library on Wednesday. King is homeless and a self-described traveler who has been in Boulder for the

Xander King makes jewelry at the Boulder Main Public Library on Wednesday. King is homeless and a self-described traveler who has been in Boulder for the last month and a half (emphasis is mine — MRW). He said he was once ticketed in Boulder for camping on a cold and snowy day when he was keeping warm in his sleeping bag. “I thought that was a little uncalled for,” he said. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

Boulder is prepared to partner with an outside organization on a temporary summer sheltering program for the homeless, the city announced this week.

A request for proposals describes a desire to pair with groups “with experience in homeless sheltering to plan and implement a temporary shelter or authorized camping program, and manage all aspects of a shelter or camp operation, including start-up, staffing, program rules and oversight, client services, security, sanitation, liaison with the city and shut down.”

Officials said preference would be given to “building-based” shelter sites, but that outdoor sites could be considered, too.

The city is hoping this partner will emerge in the next two weeks, roughly, in time to get something up and running between about June 1 and Sept. 30. As of Wednesday, no suitors had reached out, according to Zach McGee, a city spokesman.

The timing of the announcement is significant: Boulder, which has an urban camping ban in place, said on April 28 that it’d be spending more than $300,000 to increase police patrols while also increasing the frequency of homeless encampment sweeps.

This exacerbated an existing challenge to enforcement. Boulder seeks to clean up downtown, among other areas, by reducing urban camping — but with walk-up sheltering closed during warmer months, there aren’t any legal ways to sleep for homeless people not already entered into a transitional program.

Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Shoemaker highlighted this dilemma in a comment last August.

“We need to come up with a summer shelter solution that gives an alternative for people to have a place to sleep,” he said. “Then, if you choose to sleep along (Boulder Creek), it’s no longer, ‘I have nowhere to sleep.’ It’s, ‘I chose not to go where I could sleep.'”

That idea was not supported by a City Council majority, and was not included in a slate of programmatic changes that became effective May 1.

So why is Boulder soliciting proposals now, two weeks after taking the first steps toward a systemic shift in homeless services, and just a few days before the council convenes for a Tuesday study session on the city’s long-term approach?

“In hindsight,” Mayor Suzanne Jones said Wednesday, “it might have been choreographed better.”

The announcement of newfound city interest in a potential summertime shelter was the result of conversations between Shoemaker, Councilman Sam Weaver, staff of Boulder homeless service providers, city Human Services Director Karen Rahn and City Manager Jane Brautigam.

“The chain of events has caused a number of people to say that we do need to provide options, and as a result the city manager has presented or is attempting to provide another option to us,” Shoemaker said, when asked about the timing of the request for proposals.

“Whether it comes to fruition as an option because someone bites on it or whether we as a council ultimately decide to follow through because someone agrees to do it remains to be seen.”

Brautigam was out of the office on Wednesday and Rahn could not be reached for an interview.

McGee said the city is “intending to support” the potential summer shelter financially, but added that no specific spending limits have yet been identified, as no organizations are yet considered serious candidates.

The Boulder Shelter for the Homeless on north Broadway is one site, though, that might seem a prime candidate, but can already be ruled out.

That facility will have about 40 unused beds every night this summer, but the shelter’s original management plan requires that no walk-up services will be provided during the emergency sheltering offseason — a concession to neighbors.

It’s this quandary that partially informed the city’s decision to seek out another city facility, the East Boulder Community Center, as the possible site of cold-weather emergency sheltering for this summer. The north Boulder shelter could provide such a service, under a different management plan.

However, if an organization comes forward to partner with the city on a summertime shelter, there will presumably be no need for a separate shelter at the East Boulder Community Center for nights with bad weather.

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I have never met Karen Rahn, described above as the city Human Services Director, but I’ve NEVER trusted her one bit; it’s always seemed to me that she is way too sympathetic with those apologists / enablers of the worst-behaved transients who have made our city FUBAR.

I’m sincerely hoping that this gesture is no more than a sop to the crybabies at Boulder Rights Watch . . . Goodness knows that our main goals should be: 1) TO PRIORITIZE SHELTER / SERVICES FOR HOMELESS RESIDENTS OF BOULDER COUNTY; and 2) to move the Travelers, who have no respect for this community (why else would they pee and poop in Boulder Creek?), on down the road far, far away. Or at least as far as Denver.

Clearly, the group founded by convicted rapist Jim Budd — Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow (BOHO) — is finished forever. Good riddance!

Given the fact that recent heavy rains have soaked all of my camping gear, and there may not be a chance to dry it all out today, I’m considering retreating to a motel room tonight. BTW, this is a situation in which I could really have used that $350 some thief on the staff at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless stole from my locker there. I can still afford it, however, and the lure of a Real Bed in a private room is strong . . .

Boulder, CO’s summertime cutback in homeless services WORKS for all of us

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN — NOT THE WORST-BEHAVED TRANSIENTS FROM ALL ACROSS AMERICA!

By Max R. Weller

NOTE: This post is in reply to the Daily Camera’s Editorial Advisory Board: Gimme Shelter. It will be e-mailed to each member whose opinion was published, and they are all to varying degrees much in need of guidance from homeless people like me . . .

I’ve been living outdoors in Boulder, CO year-round since early 2008 — except for last summer when I was hospitalized and then convalescing in a nursing home for five months. That’s 8 summers (minus 2016 and not including 2017). The differences I’ve observed firsthand (and learned about by talking to other homeless Boulder County residents) with the closing of emergency overnight dorms at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and emergency warming centers operated by Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow have been entirely positive. The overcrowding, filthy conditions, noise levels, confrontational attitudes, colds and flu, etc. are now GONE — just like the transients who regard Boulder as their wintertime destination city, instead of Miami or San Diego or anywhere else in a warmer clime.

For those who aren’t aware of my circumstances, I have NEVER applied for any form of taxpayer-funded benefits, except Medicaid when they brought the paperwork to me as I lay in the ER. Nor do I make the rounds of the many Free Giveaway venues run by various do-gooder organizations in our city. I’m able to buy all of life’s necessities (NO tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs) with the cash donations I receive from goodhearted passersby at a corner just outside of the city limits in my north Boulder neighborhood.

When I read bleeding-heart drivel like that linked to above, it makes me want to vomit — those of you who subscribe to it are clueless, and dogmatic in your cluelessness! You know who you are.

To his credit, Alan Stark is correct in saying: “In my view, we have no responsibility to feed, clothe, and house transients. And the difficult truth of providing for transients is that the word gets out and draws more transients.” Unfortunately, he then runs off the rails by supporting the 1175 Lee Hill Wet House in which 7 alcoholic residents have died to this point, with others creating problems associated with drunkenness out in the neighborhood. BTW, the Housing First advocates’ Funny Math works by ignoring the upfront costs of building such facilities ($8M for 1175 Lee Hill) and by also pretending there are no ongoing costs annually (well over $500K at this boondoggle).

And Chuck Wibby hits the mark, too: “Is [Boulder Shelter for the Homeless] the best place to house a repeat ‘sexually violent predator’?

“. . . kudos to the city for finally taking some concrete steps to reign in the current system that has proven to be a failure. It’s about time we focused our resources on those who truly need the help.” And I’m here to tell you that current resources would take care of all the homeless people in Boulder County, single adults and families alike, if the Alabama arsonists and Florida sex offenders and assorted other riffraff were refused shelter / services here. Give ’em bus tickets to Denver and sack lunches to-go, rather than ticketing them and keeping them here in a very expensive criminal justice system.

Really, Cha Cha, Judy, and John: Do we want the Civic Area to return to what it used to be? And the rest of Boulder along with it?

Scenes at the Peace Garden. Would you feel welcome sitting in this cloud of dope smoke with your kids? 

I say NO, HELL NO!

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

‘Makeshift emergency homeless shelter possible at East Boulder Community Center’

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

Edward Mahan, who is homeless, takes a nap on a bench near the Boulder bandshell on Wednesday.

Edward Mahan, who is homeless, takes a nap on a bench near the Boulder bandshell on Wednesday. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

Among the service changes to which the local homeless must adjust this week is the closure of the emergency, bad-weather warming center and overnight shelter that had been operated by the organization Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow, prior to its suspension of programming on Monday.

The provider, better known as BOHO, opened its doors every night of the year between Nov. 15 and March 15, but hosted the homeless on “offseason” nights when the weather was cold or wet enough to trigger concern about the basic safety of those who’d have otherwise been sleeping outdoors.

That service will now be provided by the city, Human Services Director Karen Rahn said Wednesday.

“We kind of have a gap between May 1 and October” — when the north Boulder homeless shelter opens to walk-ups — “where if there are some days where bad weather happens, we would want to have a plan in place to be able to have sheltering for extreme weather,” Rahn said in an interview that followed brief comments to the City Council on Tuesday night.

The announcement that city staff and funds will help fill the BOHO gap was welcome news to the homeless and their advocates, but many details of Boulder’s plan remain unclear.

For one, the criteria under which the city would open the emergency shelter is undefined. Rahn said Boulder plans to make judgment calls in deciding whether or not to open.

Temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday nights hovered around 40 degrees, and some light rain fell on the city. But neither was enough to trigger action by the city.

BOHO had explicit triggers: They’d check national weather forecasts every day at 5:30 a.m., then open up if and when the temperatures slipped below 38 degrees and there was at least a 30 percent chance of precipitation. They’d also open anytime the temperature was below freezing.

The location of Boulder’s BOHO substitute is also not certain. Rahn told the council on Tuesday that “we would be doing that at the East Boulder Community Center,” but said on Wednesday that that facility, at 5660 Sioux Drive, would in fact “be one location that we could use, but there’s other options we’re exploring.

“I can’t say what those options would be, because we don’t know for sure that we’d have commitments from other locations to provide emergency overnight sheltering,” she added.

Were the city to make use of the community center, the homeless there would sleep in the “ballroom” of the facility, Rahn said. The center is on the outskirts of the city and not particularly close to many services or main roads, but homeless clients would be asked to take public transportation to the site.

“Transit is, at best, poor to the rec center,” Councilwoman Mary Young said Tuesday, commenting on the city’s plan.

Officials interviewed Wednesday also did not specify how much Boulder would be prepared to devote — both in terms of staff time and costs — to a city-run offseason emergency shelter. However, they said such numbers would be available soon.

Decisions about how and where the city manages this makeshift program will have wide-reaching effects; roughly 80 people would sleep in BOHO emergency beds on average nights, said Bill Sweeney, the organization’s director.

“I’m concerned for people who may very well suffer from exposure to the elements when that may not have been a necessary suffering,” Sweeney said by phone Wednesday.

Several council members were more concerned with the fact that this project is now in the hands of the city, and not the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless on north Broadway.

That building has a total of 160 beds, and at least 40 of them are slated to be open every day from now through October.

“I think the community kind of expects that it’s an emergency shelter and that people would, in adverse conditions even outside of the May 1 deadline, be able to seek shelter there,” Councilwoman Lisa Morzel said. “I hope … that they would have some compassion.”

Asked why his shelter won’t be a part of filling the gap left by BOHO’s closure, Director Greg Harms offered one dominant reason: The shelter’s 2002 management plan states that no walk-up services will be provided during the offseason.

“There are a couple of exceptions for us to stay open during the day when the weather’s really, really bad, but our agreement with the neighbors pretty clearly states when we can do emergency kinds of (overnight) services, and that ends on April 30.”

Council members Andrew Shoemaker and Bob Yates, both attorneys, criticized that 2002 plan as being “poorly written” and “vague,” and each suggested that the city might do well to attempt to renegotiate, or somehow rework, the detail that seems to preclude offseason nighttime sheltering even in cases of life-threatening weather.

Yates said he thinks that the city has “a pretty good position,” legally speaking, from which to challenge that policy.

The council will meet May 16 to discuss broad changes to the city’s approach to solving homelessness.

Many in the community, including some council members, have questioned the decision not to kick off that conversation prior to Monday, when day sheltering, emergency warming centers and other programs were cut off.

“I have to express concern about the timing here,” Councilman Aaron Brockett said. “We’re dealing with this as a council in a couple of weeks and we haven’t had a chance to hear about the new proposals in detail.

“It seems like there’s a lot changing before the council and the community have had a chance to weigh in on whether we’re moving in the right direction.”

Rahn said she feels the city is being “proactive about making sure we still have the basic safety net of services available,” but she conceded Wednesday that “the timing was awkward — no doubt about it.” 

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NO, NO, NO! Why in hell is there any need for an off-season (outside of the October 1st to April 30th “season” as defined by policy at current shelter / services providers) emergency homeless shelter, anyway? I’ve lived here continuously since early 2008, and the one and only life-threatening weather event in my experience was the Great Colorado Flood of September, 2013 — which has been labeled as a 1,000-year rain and 100-year flood. BTW, I did retreat from my north Boulder neighborhood to my friends home in Longmont for the duration; to my certain knowledge, not a single homeless person drowned, although dozens of them ripped off the Red Cross and FEMA for both replacement camping gear (whether they actually lost anything or not) and financial compensation of as much as $2,000 (pretty ritzy homeless campsites to be worth that much):

Another thing that peeves me about this article is the quote from Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow director Bill Sweeney. It’s a failed organization, and Mr. Sweeney is one of those responsible for the train wreck that is (or should I say was?) BOHO. STFU, Bill . . .

Greg Harms, naturally, makes another disingenuous statement — but you can bet the rent that nobody at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless gave a clear indication to neighbors that registered rapists and pedophiles would be in residence at that 4869 N. Broadway facility when it was proposed.

As to Edward Mahan, pictured at top, what he really needs are a swift kick in the rear end and a ticket on the RTD bus to Denver . . .

I’ll NOT be staying at any city-operated emergency shelter, either. And if I can get along without one — with help from Real World friends — why can’t these BUMS manage to do likewise?

Stop enabling the Transient Pansies! It’s the biggest reason they continue to hang around in Boulder, CO.

— MRW

A good start to ending the Transient Migration to Boulder, CO

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN — NOT THE WORST-BEHAVED TRANSIENTS FROM ELSEWHERE!

By Max R. Weller

Read the report in the Daily Camera here: Homeless worry as day shelter closes and Boulder plans systemic shift. Copied below in its entirety:

Steve and Kyla wait with other homeless people for Deacon’s Closet to open on Thursday. Homeless people wait outside Deacon’s Closet to pick up

Steve and Kyla wait with other homeless people for Deacon’s Closet to open on Thursday. Homeless people wait outside Deacon’s Closet to pick up clothing. This clothing bank is part of the First Presbyterian Church in Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

On Friday at the First Presbyterian Church annex on Walnut Street, a group of homeless people lounged as an April snow whirled outside, on what was the third-to-last time daytime sheltering would be offered in Boulder.

Beginning Monday, this service, provided in rotating church locations by the organizations Bridge House and Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow — better known around town as BOHO — will end.

BOHO’s Residents’ Shelter, a year-round nighttime space that accommodates up to 40 people, will also cease operation. Seventeen BOHO staff members, all of whom are formerly homeless, will be out of work.

Also closing Monday is the Bridge House resource center at the Walnut annex, which has long been the primary place for Boulder’s homeless to seek out direct access or leads to things like medical care, bus passes, housing vouchers and applications, and birth certificate and social security card reclamation.

This is all a part of a planned systemic change to the way local government and “safety net” non-profits will approach homelessness.

A new vision, centered less on emergency services and more on transitional and permanent housing solutions, promises to bring a series of new programs at new locations with new priorities.

Some services, like those provided by the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless on north Broadway through Bridge House’s Ready to Work program, will either remain intact or be expanded.

But as the snow fell Friday and the homeless keeping warm indoors pondered the prospect of no longer having a day shelter at which to get a free lunch or even simply a safe place to stay for a few hours, the focus was on the immediate impact, and morale was low.

“These people are concerned. They’re not real happy,” said Ron Hempstead, a 53-year-old homeless Boulder native.

“It’s the simple things that just make day-to-day existence a little easier when you’re homeless. So it does feel like they’re pretty much throwing us to the wolves.”

Jordan Samuelson, who a few years ago suffered injuries from a car crash that cost him his job and ultimately his housing, said the end of day sheltering in Boulder will “leave a lot of people in a lot of dire.”

Just two days earlier, the city had announced plans to up enforcement of its urban camping ban by increasing police patrols and encampment sweeps in some of the areas with the highest concentrations of homeless people.

“A lot of us are worried, especially when you see a day like today,” Samuelson said, pointing out toward the snowy street. “This town is becoming so homeless-unfriendly.”

Cutbacks precede planning

On May 16, the City Council will discuss the long-awaited recommendations produced through months of meetings by a working group on homelessness, convened by the council in the fall and tasked with evaluating budgetary and programmatic changes Boulder should make as it joins communities around country in shifting toward a “housing first” approach.

“We can’t abandon the needs for temporary, short-term solutions,” said Isabel McDevitt, executive director of Bridge House. “But we need a continuum that is more focused toward the exits than the entries, and right now, because of our lack of a coordinated system and a lack of a cohesive strategy, we’ve been way too focused on the emergency system.”

One of the central goals expressed by the council and sure to be featured in the yet-to-be-publicized working group recommendations concerns a new kind of intake program.

As officials across Colorado grow increasingly concerned with what’s commonly described as an influx of younger homeless people more prone to being transient-by-choice, Boulder plans to begin implementing something like a library card system, wherein clients can be tracked by name and services accessed.

This, theoretically, will allow providers to both better understand and assist people on individual bases, and to identify which homeless people are local and should be prioritized for city services, and which are simply passing through.

“People who need help would go to a location, and everybody who’s trying to access services would go through there,” explained Karen Rahn, the city’s director of Human Services. “It could be that this happens at a couple locations, to make it convenient. But wherever it happens, people will be assessed or screened using common, standard tools and process. Everyone trying to access services will be known to us, and we’ll be able to track them through the system, so that people are less likely to fall through the cracks.”

Rahn said she’s aware many homeless fundamentally distrust police and anyone else trying to “track them,” and promised that the new focus is “not interested in names … but in knowing how people are going to get help.”

It’s not clear exactly where this revamped intake will happen moving forward. The changes starting Monday come 15 days before the council even gets a crack at the working group’s recommendations and begins discussions of future budgeting and facilities based on those recommendations.

“The timelines don’t match up”, said McDevitt, “so we basically have to problem-solve for the summer and then really put emphasis as a community to implementing what’s in the workplan.”

Today’s outlook

The plan, at least for the very near term, is as follows:

Case management services, previously offered at the annex resource center, will now be provided at sites of various organizations, like the library and Clinica Family Health.

The nightly dinner put on by Bridge House’s Community Table Kitchen will continue, and the lunch schedule dissolved by the closure of day sheltering will be replaced by a sack-lunch program.

The north Boulder shelter will expand its “clean and sober” transitional program to 120 beds, up from 90 last summer and 60 three years ago. In the mornings, breakfast, showers and laundry will all be available there, too, as they have been.

Meanwhile, as a city news release stated, “implementation planning for fall services will take place over the summer with a goal of launching most service changes by Oct. 1.”

Without knowing the long-term plan, and staring down a series of service losses starting this week, many of those who access these services or advocate for the homeless are displeased.

“The so-called plan is so much fairy dust, sprinkled across the entirety of Boulder,” Darren O’Connor of Boulder Rights Watch wrote in an email to the council, “with the (working group) and the city moving forward wishing homelessness and homeless people, and their very real and dire needs, will all go away.”

At least one member of the working group, who requested anonymity, said O’Connor’s assessment wasn’t far off.

“I was there for all those meetings,” they said. “We didn’t get (expletive) done.”

That member continued, “At the end of the day, we could’ve all gone and had a coffee and said, ‘OK, let’s get rid of this and that and try to use the shelter more. We don’t know what it’s gonna look like, but we’ll try to figure it out later.’ A one-hour meeting could’ve accomplished what ten of those did.” 

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What a bunch of crybabies! So now the transient pansies have been deflowered and will have to do more to help themselves — sounds good to the Homeless Philosopher:

1) No more drunken flophouses at either Boulder Shelter for the Homeless or Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow;

2) No more “day shelter” in the pleasant summer months (nobody will melt when it rains, I promise);

3) No more Free Lunches for the bums;

4) No more “resource center” directing the bums where to go for Free Stuff;

5) An increased focus on shelter / services for Boulder County residents in need, rather than Alabama arsonists or Florida sex offenders or other assorted riffraff from around the nation.

I’d sum it up with this meme:

Of course, the local homeless shelter / services industry wants to focus more on so-called transitional living programs — that’s where the BIG MONEY from both private donors and government agencies comes into play, and we’re talking about millions and millions of $$$ each and every year in Boulder, CO alone! There has never been much moola in emergency shelters and soup kitchens intended to meet short-term needs of the homeless.

It’s another post, and I won’t go into it here, but the only program clients who ever “succeed” in any transitional living arrangement are those in the 10% who would have done so on their own, anyway . . .

This is only a beginning to ending the Transient Migration, folks; now, we must see Boulder police turned loose to move the bums on down the road. How about it, City Council members?

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

Submitted letter-to-editor of Daily Camera 4/26/2017

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP THE TRANSIENT MIGRATION TO BOULDER, CO!

By Max R. Weller

Assuming I didn’t inadvertently run over the 300-word limit for a letter-to-editor, this should appear on the DC’s website and in print this weekend: