STEP ONE: Stop making Boulder the destination city for marijuana travelers from all across the country, who consume resources that might otherwise serve Boulder County’s own homeless people — and there are hundreds, perhaps as many as half not being counted by the annual Point-in-Time survey. Give transients bus tickets back to their home states, where they can apply for and receive social services and freebies from nonprofits. It’s much cheaper than putting them into the criminal justice system here!
Boulder can NOT solve homelessness for the rest of the country, and must strictly prioritize available resources for homeless residents who can document their presence here for at least 9 months,. Other cities do this! Example from San Antonio, TX here.
It seems to me that Boulder County’s Coordinated Entry process strives to keep as many homeless people here as possible; although it’s true that Bridge House has been paying the transportation costs for some to return to their home states, more are arriving every day to replace them.
One good option would be for law enforcement to offer bus tickets in lieu of citations into court for illegal camping or any of the many other petty offenses transients tend to commit on a regular basis. Why wait for a transient to go through Coordinated Entry? Many never do, and their first contact with authority in Boulder County is the city police or county deputies, who are responding to complaints by the public.
During the decade I’ve been blogging about homelessness in Boulder, since 2009, I’ve observed all of the changes the homeless shelter / services industry has gone through. The BOTTOM LINE is that there are more homeless people on the streets now than ever, with a higher percentage being from out-of-state.
It’s clear to me that elected officials have to take the lead in resolving this crisis, never mind what the faux compassion industry leaders say . . .
(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.)