Tag Archives: Boulder Shelter for the Homeless

Here’s the truth: Hundreds of “Coordinated Entry” homeless people are STILL living on the streets

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, DON’T BELIEVE THE LIES BUREAUCRATS SPREAD!

By Max R. Weller

First, acquaint yourself with the details of this NEW and highly-touted means to address homelessness: Boulder County Homeless Systems Coordinated Entry.

Now, let’s take what we’ve been told by those in authority both recently and in the past:

1) Boulder Shelter for the Homeless has a maximum capacity of 160 occupants, per order of the Boulder Fire Marshal. This will NOT change.

2) Bridge House’s Path to Home is designed for 50 clients, but will take in more overnight during life-threatening weather conditions only; for sake of argument, let’s say the total is 100 every night.

(So far, that’s 260 homeless people.)

3) There are likely 1,000+ homeless folks county-wide who haven’t been through Coordinated Entry yet, and I’d guess that most of ’em (like me) will never do so for a variety of reasons.

Karen Rahn, Boulder Director of Human Services, is claiming that 500+ homeless people have been through the Coordinated Entry intake process to this point. Okay, let’s take her at her word, which leads us to this question:

Where are all of those unaccounted for? 500+ minus 260 equals 240+ (not even counting the non-participants in Coordinated Entry).

True, there may be some homeless people being given overnight shelter in Longmont, but it’s not in the hundreds. NOT even close!

I’ll tell you where the missing homeless are — they’re on the streets, camping out like they have been in the past. Either that, or they just drifted on down the road as so-called Travelers do . . .

Ms. Rahn is also claiming that only 17% of those who have participated in Coordinated Entry are transients here for less than a month, while 53% have been residents of Boulder County for 2+ years. AHEM! These are PHONY statistics, apparently depending on the self-reporting of the transients themselves, without documentation, and a number belied by what can be observed by anyone at BSH and various other venues where the homeless gather (such as Boulder Public Library). Here’s my unscientific impression: I’ve NEVER seen so many new faces of homeless people as I have during the past six moths or so, and I’ve been living here in Boulder and its environs since early 2008.

The Daily Camera’s Editorial Advisory Board weighed in on this issue: Homeless or transient. Most of them are slowly beginning to see the light, but still cling to some outrageous falsehoods and negative stereotypes pushed by the do-gooders in both government agencies and private nonprofits.

(Bear in mind, there’s NO money at stake for me in this FUBAR homelessness strategy; I simply call it as I see it.)

BOTTOM LINE: Boulder County does NOT have the housing units available in order to accommodate the hundreds of homeless people in need. Adding 30 or 40 more apartments each year will accomplish little, perhaps nothing at all as the Transient Migration to Colorado continues apace. Once you accept this truth, the whole Coordinated Entry business is exposed as a sham.

2017 Pinocchio Award is given collectively to everyone involved in Coordinated Entry! 

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‘Public safety in focus . . .’ Since when does Boulder city staff give a damn?

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN — NOT MARIJUANA TRAVELERS AND SEX OFFENDERS!

By Max R. Weller

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

Two homeless men, who refused to give their names, share a bite to eat while sitting in Central Park in Boulder.

Two homeless men, who refused to give their names, share a bite to eat while sitting in Central Park in Boulder. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

The Boulder City Council held a lengthy workshop session during its meeting on Tuesday, aimed at fine-tuning the new management plan for the city’s homeless shelter.

That plan has been drafted and redrafted through the fall, as the city and the shelter attempt to agree on operational terms that satisfy the shelter, the people who live near it and officials who are working to implement a new homelessness strategy.

Reaching a draft that leaves all those parties feeling good has proved to be very difficult in recent months, and the lingering discomfort of some players in this process was on full display at times during Tuesday’s discussion — particularly on the issue of “sexually violent predators” in north Boulder.

No decisions were made following the council’s hearing, as the council was giving guidance to City Manager Jane Brautigam, who is tasked with negotiating on a management plan with the shelter that sits along north Broadway near Lee Hill Road.

That negotiation process is nearing an end, though, and the assumption at the meeting was that the council might not reconvene on this issue until June.

Following a “good neighbor” meeting on Oct. 2 with north Boulder residents who live near the homeless shelter, administrators proposed dialing back some operational changes in order to address concerns they heard at the meeting.

At the meeting, neighbors learned of a plan that would see the shelter open 160 beds year-round for homeless people classified as having “moderate” or “high” needs.

The shelter would operate within the larger homelessness strategy that de-emphasizes emergency services and requires homeless people seeking help to register with a “coordinated entry” system that aims to refer people to appropriate paths out of homelessness or toward agencies that can help them.

More than 500 people have completed the coordinated entry screening to date, according to Karen Rahn, the city’s director of Human Services.

The shelter is primed to undergo some significant operational changes, beyond becoming more of a year-round site. It would also eliminate “clean and sober” requirements and amend the way it handles people deemed by the state to be “sexually violent predators,” of which there were four at one point last summer.

It would also eliminate morning services — such as showers and breakfast — for walk-up clients (Emphasis is mine — MRW), and forbid shelter clients from leaving and re-entering the facility during the daytime except in cases where those clients had appointments or otherwise important business to handle.

“If all you want in the community is a shower and a locker and you’re not interested in services, no, there is not a place to go,” Rahn said of this likely change at the shelter, describing the general point of “coordinated entry.” (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

Some neighbors of the shelter spoke during the public hearing about the various ways in which they feel unsafe living nearby. One man talked about a homeless man found staying in his basement, while another woman said that her son is regularly harassed on the way to school by homeless people offering drugs and alcohol.

“It sounds like so many disagree with what we’re doing,” said Mirabai Nagle, the councilwoman who was elected in November. “If (neighbors) just aren’t happy, and they inundate us with this amount of emails, to me that says we’re doing something wrong, possibly.

“Are we serving our residents who are homeless or are we serving a greater influx of transients? I don’t know if our infrastructure and budget are set up for this.”

Several veteran council members went around explaining to Nagle the “context” for Tuesday’s discussion, related to the broader homelessness strategy.

But even after that, Nagle turned to the neighbors in the crowd and said, “Does this make sense to you?”

Audience members shook their heads and one shouted something before being shushed by Mayor Suzanne Jones.

“We hear you,” Jones said to the neighbors. “It’s a balancing act of trying to figure it out. We appreciate your input.”

There was some discussion later at the meeting of whether that section of north Boulder needs its own police annex.

“I certainly understand the neighbors’ concerns up there in wanting more police presence,” police Chief Greg Testa said to the council. “But I have the staff that I have and we have to answer 911 emergency calls for service throughout the entire city, so I cannot just assign officers to patrol the area of the shelter.”

Jones said to Testa that he should let the council know if he needs more resources to keep the community safe, and Testa thanked her for that, but added that it would be a challenge to hire more officers even if the money were there, due to officer shortages in the area.

Some citizens said that cellphone coverage is spotty in parts of north Boulder, which makes them feel even less safe. Councilwoman Lisa Morzel said that she walks the area frequently and can confirm the service is “really bad.”

The council agreed upon one way they think they can make things safer: limiting the number of “sexually violent predators” who live at the shelter at any one time to one. That was an idea that came from Councilman Aaron Brockett and, while it was not final — as nothing was Tuesday — it did seem popular among the members.

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Regarding the parts of this story I italicized above, the Homeless Philosopher himself will be banned from Boulder Shelter for the Homeless despite having been a morning visitor there for almost a decade — without ever receiving a single disciplinary consequence for any inappropriate behavior. Most of the residents at this facility can NOT make that claim, so I’m wondering now if my friend R. was spot on when she said to me: “Max, you have a bulls-eye on your back. The shelter wants to get rid of you!”

Generally speaking from my years of experience, the walk-up homeless clients at 6AM who seek a hot shower, access to a small locker, and a hot breakfast (which I only rarely eat) are NOT troublemakers when compared with BSH residents staying in the facility overnight. BUT, ending so-called morning services is low-hanging fruit that both city staff and the executive director, Greg Harms, can  grasp and point to as their effort to ensure the safety of residents, workers, business owners, and customers in the neighborhood. It’s horse pucky, of course:

Scooped up by Karen Rahn.

(BTW, I have friends among all of those neighborhood groups listed above, and I wish that city staff would ask them about me. And the newspaper, too.)

But, I digress . . .

The REAL problem here is that the new and highly-touted Coordinated Entry for homeless shelter / services is a sham. It’s the same worst-behaved transients without ties to Boulder County who are being given a hearty welcome, and Boulder County’s own homeless people continue to be shortchanged. Yes, we have been LIED to by the bureaucrats and the nonprofit do-gooders alike. And most Boulder City Council members seem to be willing to play along . . . Furthermore, of the 500+ people who have been screened to date, you can depend on NOT a single one of them finding permanent housing and remaining in it long-term — 5 years, let us say. ALL of them will recycle through the system over and over again, which guarantees JOB SECURITY for everyone involved in running this con game.

 True now more than ever! 

I’m NOT a happy (homeless) camper this morning

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

Yesterday afternoon around 2PM, I arrived back in my north Boulder neighborhood to find no fewer than 5 scurvy-looking BUMS partying on the wall in the 4900 block of N. Broadway; the only one of ’em I knew was the Central Park Stabber, who went to prison for a short time after being convicted of attacking another homeless man with a knife:

David Hall (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

The other 4 miscreants were strangers to me, but they appeared as if they came from LA’s Skid Row . . . To top it off, Drunk Brian was panhandling on the corner of U.S. 36, and I have little doubt he’s the one who invited all of these BUMS to ruin the otherwise peaceful ambience of this area. It’s what DB has done over the years, recruiting the worst-behaved drunkards and dope fiends he can find to keep him company — call it “birds of a feather flock together.” Perhaps I should refer to him as George W. Hayduke, the fictional character in novels by Abbey, because that’s what he called himself online rather than step up like a man and use his REAL identity.

I just walked right on by this bunch, and read a book at my nearby campsite instead of playing the role of Humble Beggar. So much for yesterday.

This morning I was waiting outside of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless before it opened at 6AM, as is my habit of many years, for my morning shower and hot water to make my own instant coffee. I observed one of the residents (a transient from Alabama) being put out by staff, apparently because of some altercation with another resident who spoke with police officers when they arrived. One officer took a statement from the latter man, while the other officer drove away to look for the guy who had been told to leave.

While this bit of drama was wrapping up, a zTrip taxi pulled up to the curb where RTD buses pick up and unload passengers, and a developmentally-disabled BSH resident stumbled out of the back seat, eventually falling down. I could smell the alcohol from 15′ away. The man, who had gone to the hospital at some point overnight, wasn’t wearing either socks or shoes. He tried to engage me in conversation, thinking that he was still at the hospital and I was a nurse. He asked me to get him a cup of coffee! I told the pickled idjit, “If I had a cup of coffee now, I’d drink it myself.” Surprisingly, a staff member let this fool into the facility at 6, ahead of several other homeless people in line.

This should answer your questions about how the new and highly-touted Coordinated Entry system is working out . . . So far, anyway, it’s the same old sorry crap as always. The bad behavior inside the zoo always spills out into the surrounding neighborhood, and NEVER have I seen anyone on shelter staff deal with their wayward clients off premises; I’m the one who picks up the empty beer cans and vodka bottles, and challenges the bums’ disrespectful attitudes to everybody else.

Really, people, if you’ve donated cash, goods, or your time as a volunteer to Boulder Shelter for the Homeless you should reconsider and find a truly worthy charity to support.

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

Boulder city staff deliberately misleads city council and public

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

See the story in the Daily Camera here, Housing restrictions not answer on ‘sexually violent predators,’ Boulder staff tells council. Copied below in its entirety:

Boulder’s City Council should not adopt any laws limiting housing options for “sexually violent predators,” and should instead form a working group and try to improve inter-governmental cooperation on the issue, city staff recommends.

This summer, amid community tension over multiple “predators” moving into Boulder’s homeless shelter, the City Council requested more information on ways it could better monitor and manage this population — including by a possible ban on renting or buying housing within a certain radius of community gathering places, such as playgrounds and schools.

Sex offenders are given the additional “predator” label if they are convicted of certain sex crimes, including sexual assault and sexual assault of a child from a position of trust, and then deemed by officials to have personality traits that make them a greater risk to reoffend.

There are currently three “predators” living at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. A fourth, Christopher Lawyer, who was convicted of kidnapping and raping a newspaper carrier, was at the shelter but recently reregistered in California.

All three have been discharged from parole and are no longer under state supervision, which means that a couple of the council’s previously brainstormed ideas for increased monitoring, including making them wear GPS ankle bracelets and sending them to a halfway house, are not feasible.

It is still possible for Boulder to exclude the “predators” from living in certain areas, but city staff has looked into this and agreed it’s a bad idea.

Studies have repeatedly shown that limiting housing options for sex offenders and those deemed “sexually violent predators” does not improve public safety and may in fact increase the likelihood of recidivism.

Such laws can effectively zone certain individuals out of contention for local housing. One Florida study found that, of nearly a million housing units studied, only 4 percent complied with state and local restrictions.

A memo from city staff to the council stated that, “The significance of the impact of housing restrictions is the lack of housing availability leads to transience, homelessness and reduced employment opportunities. Housing instability is associated with increased rates of recidivism.”

For that reason, authorities on the issue, including the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board, advise communities not restrict where sex offenders can and cannot live. Even so, several communities in the state have implemented restrictions.

The Boulder City Council will hold a public hearing on the matter Tuesday evening, during what will be the last meeting of these nine council members. Following last week’s election, three new members will be sworn in Nov. 21, and Matt Appelbaum, Andrew Shoemaker and Jan Burton will vacate their seats.

During the hearing, staff will recommend the council not take any significant action for now, and instead move to “direct the city manager to have the police work with the state Department of Corrections to monitor placement and residency of sexually violent predators.”

The memo to the council continues, “In addition, staff recommends that the city manager form a working group consisting of members of the community as well as representatives from the police department, the human services department, the city attorney’s office, the county and the state Department of Corrections.

“This working group would be tasked with making further recommendations regarding potential city policies and legislation.”

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Boulder city staff is deliberately misleading city council and the general public, because there are MANY MORE registered sex offenders staying at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Boulder Community Treatment Center (B.C.T.C.), Bridge House’s Path to Home, or otherwise lacking a permanent address than just the 3 Sexually Violent Predators. Furthermore, a lot of the sex offenders are from elsewhere in Colorado or even from other states! The last thing Boulder needs is another “working group” when the solution is clear: Provide bus tickets to ANY transient now stranded in Boulder, CO so they can return to wherever they came from . . . Boulder can’t solve the world’s problems, and there is NO effective “treatment” for pedophilia or sexual violence against adult women. City staff is trying to sell us on more Rainbows & Unicorns here, instead of securing the safety of our citizens — including the homeless survivors of sex crimes who are staying at local homeless shelters. 

See for yourself how many perverts are in our community, and please bear in mind there are others who refuse to register with the police as required by law: City of Boulder Registered Sex Offenders.

I don’t believe we should follow the direction of city staff in this case, and throw up our hands in surrender to sex offenders who drift to Boulder, CO from all across the country. Better to fire the city manager and her legion of ninnies who came up with this crackpot idea . . .

Tax support for homeless perverts (many are transients) in Boulder County, CO

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

The Worthy Cause sales tax helps support numerous registered sex offenders (including Sexually Violent Predators most likely to re-offend) in residence at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and Bridge House’s Path to Home. These vicious felons are living alongside the adult survivors of sexual crimes, and the latter group apparently receives no consideration.

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.)

Bad luck this morning, but still better off than other homeless people I see

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS FROM “COORDINATED ENTRY”

By Max R. Weller

I hadn’t been to Boulder Shelter for the Homeless since last Friday morning, and suffered from repeated attacks of Durchfall over the weekend. I didn’t play the role of humble beggar on the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36, returning to my campsite early to read and doze both Saturday and Sunday. This Monday morning, I happened to cough and that was enough to cause an embarrassing accident as I was starting to get up around 5AM.

It was time to do laundry at BSH, anyway . . .

After I’d showered and changed into clean clothes, however, I couldn’t find my wallet with all my remaining cash anywhere. I borrowed a dollar for the washing machine from an acquaintance, one who has borrowed money from me in the past. Later, I even retraced my steps back to my campsite and rooted through all of my gear, but no luck there . . . I must have forgotten to put my wallet into my locker — being distracted by my schmutzige Hose — and some opportunistic thief went through my pockets as I was in the shower, no more than 8′ away. (Me, I wouldn’t stick my hands in schmutzige Hose for any amount of money.)

Anyway, after the fruitless search of my campsite I stopped on the corner, without my “HAVE A GOOD DAY” sign, and it was no more than 5 minutes before a kind passerby gave me the $5 I needed for a day pass on RTD. Thus, I’m now sitting here in the warmth of Norlin Library on the CU campus.

Tomorrow, I shall have to make a concerted effort at “flying a sign” to replace my lost loot. As for food, I have plenty in my cache and won’t go hungry today.

To get to the point of this post: When I arrived at Boulder Shelter to await its opening at 6AM, there was some poor fool wearing just one tennis shoe (which was soaking wet) and nothing at all on his other foot. He rang the doorbell, and the staff member who answered gave him a “homeless disaster blanket” in its cellophane wrapper; Barefoot Bum stuck his bare foot in the bag and limped around until the door opened at 6. I’m sure there’s a story here involving alcohol and/or other mind-numbing substances, but I didn’t ask about it.

There was also Existential Drama from a homeless couple who have been hanging around since last Spring, and sometimes have had the use of an older SUV with Washington state license plates. Apparently, they spent last night outside without a tarp and got into a serious argument about who-knows-what; the young woman was crying, as the young man told her to go away. She cried repeatedly, and the young man told her to leave repeatedly. (I wished they’d both scram, but it didn’t happen.)

As happens so often, I was reminded how fortunate I am — all things considered:

NOT my campsite; I don’t have neighbors.

Give the transients bus tickets back to where they came from!

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

Read the story in the Daily Camera here: Conflicted Boulder City Council creates new plan for homeless sheltering in severe weather. Copied below in its entirety:

Jason, left, and Mark, both of whom refused to give their last name, take a nap on the grass in front of the Glen Huntington Bandshell in Central Park in

Jason, left, and Mark, both of whom refused to give their last name, take a nap on the grass in front of the Glen Huntington Bandshell in Central Park in Boulder. Both of the men are currently homeless. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

The Boulder City Council entered Tuesday night’s meeting with a dilemma concerning severe-weather sheltering for the homeless.

In a 5-1 vote — Sam Weaver, Andrew Shoemaker and Lisa Morzel were absent — the shorthanded council approved a new plan that will offer the homeless emergency shelter for an estimated 60 to 80 nights between December and February, up from the standing approach that would have done so for only about 20 estimated nights.

But the council, by its own admission, did not necessarily resolve the conflict inherent in Tuesday’s discussion.

The dilemma arises from the fact that Boulder is leading a countywide shift in homeless services, which is centered on a plan to offer homeless people personalized paths to long-term stability by getting them registered with a new “coordinated entry” system.

This way, the thinking goes, homeless clients will be better known to the system, and less likely to repeatedly need to seek out emergency, “Band-Aid” solutions.

Notably, the new strategy de-prioritizes these emergency solutions, such as walk-up sheltering and the services provided by now-dormant Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow, as money and time is diverted to long-term programs.

But where does that leave homeless people who are not a part of the coordinated system, but still seek out shelter on cold nights?

For a City Council banking on this overall strategic shift, the challenge on Tuesday was to strike a balance between respecting the new strategy and implementing a severe-weather sheltering policy that responds to the very real threat to life that winter conditions present.

Councilman Matt Appelbaum stressed that the new systems need to jibe, and not run in parallel.

“It makes sense not to try to create a parallel system,” Mayor Suzanne Jones agreed. “But we also don’t want people to die on the streets.”

The key to that balance, according to Boulder’s Human Services director, Karen Rahn, is to get homeless clients who come to the severe-weather shelter involved in the coordinated entry system as soon as possible, so that they’re not coming back over and over for one-off nights of shelter — and thereby subverting the whole intent of the new program.

Rahn’s staff recommended a plan that would have seen emergency sheltering triggered whenever the National Weather Service issued a winter weather warning or watch, or temperatures were at or below 20 degrees.

This would cost the city an estimated $60,000 and lead to shelter being open somewhere between 50 and 60 nights from December to February.

The council felt that recommended plan would be insufficient.

Following a motion from Councilman Aaron Brockett, the council approved a plan to trigger emergency shelter under all the conditions named in the staff recommendation, plus in the event of weather with temperatures below 32 degrees and predicted snow.

That plan will provide sheltering between 60 and 80 nights this winter, according to estimates, and cost about $80,000.

“I think the imperative is to have people not dying on the streets when it’s preventable,” Brockett said.

Before casting the lone dissenting vote, Appelbaum said that the city needed stricter criteria for anyone seeking severe shelter, lest the overall plan be subverted.

“Go with the new system. Make it work,” he said. “Get people to go through the evaluations, the navigation system and so on. … I’d certainly have it so people are required to enter the system after a couple of uses.”

But, much as this council wants to see the coordinated entry program succeed, Appelbaum’s warning against “parallel” systems didn’t compel five of the six members present on Tuesday.

Following the council vote, city staff will move ahead in seeking out a provider, and hope to have details of the severe-weather sheltering plan in place by November.

“It’ll be a little muddy, and that’s the way it is,” Jones said of the conflicting efforts. “That’s the way it’s going to have to be.”

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Two points come to mind:

1) You can NEVER force anyone to become a permanent dependent on the social services system against their will, apparently NOT even if they’re mentally ill and a danger to themselves. Just look at the scores, perhaps hundreds, of transient Froot Loops in Boulder County, CO right now; many have been part of the “homeless circuit” traveling around the country for years!

(The Homeless Philosopher falls into a different category — that of crotchety old hermit — but he is equally determined to live apart from the misguided “programs” offered by clueless do-gooders.)

2) What happened to the vague promises to begin PRIORITIZING homeless shelter / services here for residents of Boulder County who are in need, and who request assistance? It seems to have been put aside . . . I see nothing different at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless this season; my educated guess is that more than half of clients there are from outside our city and county of Boulder, and many are Marijuana Travelers from outside of Colorado altogether. WTF?

If you’re concerned enough to want to lessen the risk of homeless people dying of exposure, OFFER THEM BUS TICKETS TO WARMER CLIMES! Giving homeless petty offenders a choice between being cited into court (and then sent to jail upon conviction for various offenses) OR a bus ride out of town would result in at least 90% choosing the latter option, I’m absolutely convinced.

(BTW, what those two BUMS pictured above need, more than anything else, is for someone to come along and kick their lazy butts!)