HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!
By Max R. Weller
Excerpt copied from the Daily Camera Facebook page:
Darren O’Connor: Council Member Andrew Shoemaker ran on an anti-homeless platform and has argued against expanding services because it will bring more homeless people to Boulder, but when he does, Human Services staff rebut this false assertion. They rebut it, because they’ve looked at the data and it doesn’t support this argument.
Robert Nelson: This Bridge House survey from 2013 is in line with what homeless people have been telling me for years: http://www.dailycamera.com/…/survey-more-than-half…
Darren O’Connor: 31% come from other parts of Colorado. About like the percentage of employees who come to Boulder every single day to fill our jobs.
Robert Nelson: Darren O’Connor, other parts of Colorado means (primarily) Denver, which we’ve known and opposed all along. Equating workers who commute to Boulder daily with transients coming to grab all the Free Stuff they can is just crazy.
Darren O’Connor: So you wish, Robert. You might be shocked to realize that people without money to spend in our town or work to do here have the same rights as anyone else. And your assertion that they come to grab free stuff is just that, an assertion. Have you talked with people and done a statistical sample to learn this, or just make it up because it fits your narrative?
Supreme Court Justice Stevens ruled in 1999 that the Constitution provides “the right to enter one state and leave another, the right to be treated as a welcome visitor rather than a hostile stranger.”
Robert Nelson: I’m homeless myself and have rubbed elbows with the good, the bad, and the ugly among both transients and Boulder County’s own homeless residents (who are being shortchanged on limited resources by so-called travelers) for many years now. Are you now or have you ever been homeless yourself? Are you now or have you ever been an employee of any homeless shelter / services provider? (I have extensive work experience doing so.) It seems to me that you engage in a lot of self-promotion and do NOTHING whatsoever for those of us who are homeless residents of Boulder. Things are changing now, and I hope that travelers will get all the consideration they deserve: Bus tickets back to wherever they came from, inside or outside of Colorado, and sack lunches to-go.
Darren O’Connor: So you’re unable to get a meal, unable to stay in a shelter, and unable to get any mental health or other services because so-called travelers are eating up the resources? I doubt any of that is true.
Robert Nelson: Darren O’Connor, you’re just full of unwarranted assumptions! FYI, I buy my own food at King Soopers, live outdoors year-round with appropriate camping gear (NEVER gotten a ticket), and I don’t use any other services except for my morning shower at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (where I also keep a small locker). I donate to various charities, including BSH, and NOT just nickels and dimes. Maybe you should expand your horizons, and begin to meet the 80% (my estimate) of the homeless in Boulder who are able to behave decently.
And that’s where I’ll leave the debate, which really is more of a glimpse into the mind of one priggish and condescending do-gooder, Darren O’Connor of Boulder Rights Watch: