Tag Archives: Housing First 1175 Lee Hill

Boulder’s do-gooders manipulate the news media


By Max R. Weller

Read the latest puff piece in the Daily Camera: Once a flashpoint, Boulder housing for chronically homeless marks 1st year with few problems. Quoting from it below:

The 31-unit, $8 million facility opened its doors in November 2014 after overcoming intense neighborhood opposition. Many north Boulder residents believed the facility would become a magnet for the kind of unsavory behavior they said already afflicted the area due to the presence of the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless just to the north.

Many opponents were skeptical about the Housing First model, which does not require participants to be sober or address mental health or other issues in order to receive housing, and others worried that by locating housing right next to the existing homeless shelter, participants would be less likely to leave behind old friends with problematic behaviors.

In a study of the first year of operation, though, Boulder Housing Partners, which owns and manages 1175 Lee Hill, found that neighbors had not placed a single call to the police about the facility or its residents, nor had they made any complaints to property management.

Here’s the comment I left on BHP’s Facebook page, where they posted this so-called study:

“There were no calls to the police from the neighborhood related to Lee Hill or its residents. Likewise, BHP, the property manager and owner of Lee Hill, received no complaints from the neighborhood.” WTF? Who do you think you’re kidding? I don’t own a cell phone, but I had to ask others who do to call 9-1-1 several times because of drunken HF residents who were creating problems in the area around N. Broadway & Laramie, the entrance to the Dakota Ridge neighborhood. You can tell all the WHOPPERS you like, but those of us who live in north Boulder know the TRUTH. And I’ve frequently made verbal complaints to staff at BSH regarding specific troublemakers at 1175 Lee Hill, right next door. And how do you explain Case Manager Chris Byrne actually standing on the corner of U.S. 36 with Donna helping her fly a sign, right before you finally woke up and threw her butt out?

BTW, this same comment I left on the BSH Facebook page was deleted.

It’s all of a piece, anyway, the Homeless Ghetto which has been created in this neighborhood. If 9-1-1 dispatchers in their call logs and police officers in their written reports record the address as 4869 N. Broadway — even if a specific incident occurs next door at 1175 Lee Hill — it’s just ingrained habit from the almost-daily emergency responses made to this area. I’m not going to pay the city for their hours of research, at something like $30/hour, to try and separate it all out. When I’m present in the neighborhood, I’ve seen with my own eyes that Boulder PD responds to the Housing First facility itself, and for calls about HF clients elsewhere in the neighborhood.

Those of you who follow this blog know how often I’ve written about the problems these do-gooders are enabling . . .

All of which brings me to the point of today’s post. Continuing excerpt from the Daily Camera report:

Gail Promboin, a longtime north Boulder resident who strongly opposed locating the facility so close to the homeless shelter, attributes the success in part to the participation of former opponents on the advisory committee that developed the management policies.

Promboin, who continues to serve on a neighborhood advisory council to 1175 Lee Hill, said she was “totally surprised” by how well things have gone. But when asked if she was wrong to oppose it, she conceded she was “partially wrong.”

“I was partially wrong, and partially, we made them focus very clearly on the challenge of having that facility right next to the shelter,” she said.

She praised Boulder Housing Partners for working with neighbors and designing an attractive building. A mural of a hot air balloon by north Boulder artist Sally Eckert graces the Broadway side of the building.

“For people who are new to the neighborhood, I don’t think they know what it is because they keep a low profile, and there is no reason to know,” she said.

Here’s what I posted to my own Facebook page:

The news media keeps referring to Gail Promboin as a critic of Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill, who lives nearby. Here’s a picture of Gail (L) together with Betsey Martens (R), the executive director of Boulder Housing Partners, at the groundbreaking ceremony for this project — and they’re all smiles.


Should we be surprised? I doubt Gail has ever seen one of the pickled idjits from either Housing First or Boulder Shelter right next door, passed out in a ditch belonging to the Dakota Ridge HOA.

I think she might have been a plant — someone who pretended to be opposed but was then “won over” by the wonderful work of the do-gooders.

I’ve never seen a crowd like this show up to help pick up empty beer cans and vodka bottles left behind by their chronically homeless little darlings — it’s usually just me and a laborer or two from the small commercial district in the 4900 block of N. Broadway.

Here are the links to just seven of my blog posts on Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill in general, and its cast of characters in particular:

Donna the homeless drama queen at N. Broadway & Laramie Blvd.

There’s a better way than the 1175 Lee Hill boondoggle.

1175 Lee Hill case manager ‘helps’ aggressive panhandling client at N. Broadway & U.S. 36.

Let’s review the true costs.

Boulder Housing Partners: greedy bastards.

“Sexually Violent Predator” returns to Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. Quoting from this blog post below:

True, because HUD funds are involved in the 1175 Lee Hill boondoggle, a registered sex offender like Kerry Whitfield won’t be eligible for housing there — but he’ll be right next door at 4869 N. Broadway (BSH) with as many as a dozen others. It’s all a part of the Homeless Ghetto being created in north Boulder.

Thanks to the homeless shelter/services industry, my north Boulder neighborhood is going to HELL.

Maybe when I return to this neighborhood in a short while, and begin camping outside once again, I’ll see Betsey Martens and Gail Promboin with trash bags in hand, picking up empty beer cans and vodka bottles. More likely they’ll just keep pretending that everything is peachy keen, and I’ll be picking up the bums’ trash myself . . .


Alpo Man and other award-winning panhandlers

Just for fun, this look at past panhandlers on the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 in Boulder, CO — along with my lament that Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill has attracted many more drunken sociopaths who are NOT at all funny.


By Max R. Weller

2009 Boulder Freddie Award

(Originally published on December 30, 2009).

Named after that classic Red Skelton character, Freddie the Freeloader, I’ve decided to create this special way to recognize the most entertaining of Boulder’s panhandlers . . .


The 2009 winner, a guy who simply blew away all of his competition, is “Alpo Man”. I just heard about him last night and the story is secondhand, but the source is reliable: This homeless guy panhandles in south Boulder, and like many others he takes care to maintain the most filthy and downright grubby appearance possible to portray that pathetic down-and-out persona. Panhandlers claim that this makes more money — but Alpo Man has added a special twist. He stands there with his cardboard sign, eating out of a large can of Alpo dog food for all to see.

Don’t be misled; Alpo Man dumps out the dog food…

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Transients’ snow day; why are they here?


By Max R. Weller


Photo posted by “randomdancer” to the Daily Camera website, following this story:

‘Cold weather and cold feet’: Boulder County’s homeless seek shelter from the storm

The problem with randomdancer is twofold, as I see it: 1) He acknowledges that he continues to use Community Table and other Free Giveaway venues, so he’s NOT really self-reliant as he pretends; and 2) He foolishly believes that there is an employer willing to hire Drunk Guy pictured above, and also a landlord willing to rent an apartment to him. ROTFLMAO! On what planet, randomdancer?

The short-term solution is for Boulder PD and local nonprofits to offer the $5 bus tickets on RTD heading back to Denver, along with a sack lunch and a bottle of water to-go. In the longer term, these nonprofits must REQUIRE valid photo ID showing a Boulder County address from anyone seeking shelter/services; as word spreads through the nationwide homeless people’s grapevine, Boulder will no longer be mistakenly regarded as the Big Rock Candy Mountain for wandering bums.

Spending well over $10M to house only 79 homeless men and women out of the hundreds here in Boulder County is insane, but that’s what has happened with Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill (31 residents) and Ready to Work transitional housing at 4747 Table Mesa (48 clients). For the dollars already squandered on these grandiose projects, every single homeless adult might have found permanent residence in several Tiny House Communities located at various sites in the county:


It is painfully obvious to the Homeless Philosopher that no significant progress can be made until the current nonprofits’ leadership — greedy executive directors and clueless board members alike — is replaced and a fundamental rebuilding of the approach to homelessness takes place. Rather than More Homeless People = More Money, the creed of the nonprofits should be Working to House Everyone and Put Ourselves Out of Business.

What is a Tiny House Community?


By Max R. Weller


Tiny Houses by OM Build in Madison, WI: Nothing like it exists in Boulder, CO!

By now, everyone who cares about the subject of housing the hundreds of currently homeless people in Boulder County is aware that the 31-unit Housing First project at 1175 Lee Hill — right next door to Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and directly across the street from Boulder Housing Partners — is prohibitively expensive, costing well over $200,000 per unit up front with substantial ongoing annual costs for staffing the facility 24/7/365. Bridge Houses’s 4747 Table Mesa “Ready to Work” project is not much cheaper. Whether it’s Permanent Supportive Housing or Transitional Housing, respectively, only 79 men and women have been given a roof over their heads in these two hugely expensive ventures (over $10M combined); hundreds more of our own county’s residents are left on the streets . . . There has to be a better way to house homeless single adults than this! And a better way than the homeless people’s warehouse approach which robs them of both dignity and self-respect:


Men’s bedbug-infested emergency dorm at BSH.

Luckily, various organizations in truly progressive cities across America are showing us how to deal with housing homeless residents in a cost-effective way. Read Could America End Homelessness Quickly By Doing This? Excerpt follows:

With help from the community Occupy Madison has built nine tiny houses, a day resource center, laundry facilities and a community gardening space in the village. Each tiny house is 96 square feet and is made of recycled and reclaimed materials. They include a bed, a toilet, solar panels for electricity and propane heat. Each house costs around $5,000 to build; the money was raised with private donations.

While there are millions of vacant homes in the United States at this time, many believe simply using these homes for homeless people may not be a doable solution. Of course it could work and would probably be better than simply letting them sit, perhaps this solution could be another way to begin creating community amongst homeless people in a sustainable fashion. Not only that, programs to help educate people and end homelessness would also need to be run along side this type of solution.

“Rather than taking people form the streets and putting them in a building, we thought we could work together to create our own structures,” says Luca Clemente, with Occupy Madison for WKOW in Madison. “We don’t give houses to homeless people, we enable people to build their own houses to create their own futures.”

The village is located on a piece of commercial property and is paid for by private donations. The members of Occupy Madison won the approval from the city with assistance from many different local supporters. Much of the support came from other non-profits such as: Friends of the State Street Family, The Bubbles Program (which provides free laundry services), OM Build, Homeless Ministry at Bethel Lutheran Church and Madison Street Pulse.

Some of the Occupy Madison organizers have stated in regards to working with the system rather than against it: “Our approach to working within the system came only after we realized that without dotting every ‘i’, and crossing every ‘t’, the city and the county would never let us operate — they used every opportunity to enforce ordinances, regulations, and seemingly arbitrary whims against us. This paralleled precisely the persecution of everyday, unaffiliated, homeless individuals. When you are homeless, ‘the system’ is rife with obstacles designed to prevent creative innovation or adaptation– we at Occupy Madison experienced the same headaches.” Organizers also stated: “In many ways, we have had much more success since we changed our approach. This was due not only to how we communicated with city and county offices (we never shirked from being open or transparent), but how we are perceived by Madison’s genteel liberal population. It’s stunning how a flowerbed on a windowsill can be so much better for PR than the window itself, or the house it’s attached to.”

There are six other cities across America that are adopting tiny homes, while others are installing homeless spikes . . .

Boulder, CO prides itself on being smarter and more compassionate than other cities in America, but where is the evidence of either in regard to housing Boulder County’s own homeless people?

Tiny House Communities in other cities are exclusively for carefully screened homeless residents of those cities — NOT for the worst-behaved transients who happen to show up from all over the country! In addition, rent must be paid and assigned community service to maintain common areas must be done, and a strict code of behavior must be followed. Tiny House Communities are NOT like Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill in Boulder, which caters to chronically homeless alcoholics/drug addicts with a dual diagnosis of mental illness. Tiny House Communities have a positive track record in other cities — but the entrenched homeless shelter/services providers in Boulder, CO will NEVER stand for anything that takes away from their stranglehold on millions of $$$ spent annually (although Tiny Houses can be built for $5,000 apiece as in Madison, WI rather than $200,000 for a HF apartment here in Boulder). Local nonprofits which refuse to lead or follow should just get the hell out of the way!

What about the transients from Denver and elsewhere, who flock to Boulder to grab all of the Free Stuff given away by our shelter/services providers? For this group, the best option is to hand each one the $5 bus ticket on RTD back to Denver, along with a sack lunch and a bottle of water to-go.

BTW, I don’t judge the entire population of Boulder by the ignorant and hateful comments spewed forth on the Daily Camera website . . . I know that most folks here are better than that, which is why I go to the effort of trying to persuade them with this blog.

I just don’t get it . . .

Moving to Frisco 052

I have never understood why anyone would choose to lie down and rest or try to sleep on concrete. Always, somewhere within walking distance, a soft grassy area can be found, and it’s much more likely to be out of sight. I admit that I have NO empathy for folks who are either too pickled to use any common sense or who want to give the finger to society; and yet, the worst-behaved bums are the focus of Housing First at the same time they’re the least likely to benefit from having a roof over their heads.


‘From the Editorial Advisory Board: Camping ban’


By Max R. Weller

Read the opinion piece in the Daily Camera. My comment is copied below:

First of all, for much less than the $10M+ already spent to house only 79 homeless men and women, out of hundreds on the streets in Boulder, CO (an accurate “census” is impossible to obtain), — that’s 31 residents in Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill (over $6M) and another 48 residents in Bridge House’s transitional housing at 4747 Table Mesa (over $4M) — a Tiny House community might have been built to house everyone in need. Here’s a CBS report from two years ago with details: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ti…

Second, as Travelers leave Boulder they’ll create vacancies in the available stock of Tiny Houses, so the new arrivals can still be housed (albeit in very modest circumstances). I think that 1,000 Tiny Houses would be sufficient, and at $5,000 apiece that totals $5M, half of what has been spent for just 79 homeless people at present.

Third, Boulder is surrounded by 70 square miles of [Empty] Space, so a couple of dozen acres for a Tiny House Community would scarcely be missed by any reasonable person.

Fourth, the status quo of the local homeless shelter/services industry is failing on a grand scale. Time for everyone to admit that painful reality, and instead seek innovative solutions as seen in more progressive cities like Madison, WI.

Fifth and last, self-styled homeless advocates do NOT speak for me, NOR do they speak for the homeless people I know. Their views simply aren’t newsworthy because they don’t offer real solutions. Why should I — as a homeless man who has lived in Boulder and its environs continuously for eight years — care about tickets for Illegal Camping or any of the other petty offenses a score or so of the worst-behaved transients receive by the bushel? I’ve NEVER been ticketed myself, and I credit my sobriety for it.

Frankly, I expect nothing to change, because Boulderites are too stubborn to admit the self-evident TRUTH that homelessness is an issue that Millions and Millions of dollars spent as it’s now being spent will NEVER solve.