Tag Archives: Joy Eckstine Redstone

Betsey Martens of Boulder Housing Partners admits her #1 priority

DONATING TO A BOULDER, CO NONPROFIT DOES NOT HELP THE HOMELESS!

By Max R. Weller

Ms. Martens is soon leaving her position as executive director of Boulder Housing Partners (which might explain why she was so candid in the following comment to the Daily Camera): “For over a decade, Boulder Housing Partners, the housing authority for the city of Boulder, has partnered with the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. Together, we have created programs that now bring in more than $1 million a year in federal funds to support the homeless in Boulder County. This includes the highly successful 1175 Lee Hill project for the chronically homeless.” This is a case of More Homeless People = More Money, and so long as the $$$ keep coming in from both public and private funding sources homelessness will NEVER be ended.

Read her entire letter-to-editor of the Daily Camera here. In case you didn’t know, Betsey Martens used to serve as a board member at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. Naturally, she will seek to trumpet a partnership with that refuge for transients and sex offenders right across the street from her own Boulder Housing Partners.

However, one’s perspective matters — the Homeless Philosopher has NO financial incentive for publishing what he observes firsthand. Here’s an example (from 9/21/2015) of what Ms. Martens call “highly successful” as it relates to an erstwhile resident of Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill: Donna the homeless drama queen at N. Broadway & Laramie Blvd. Copied below in its entirety:

Donna is her Real Name, and after all of her efforts to gain attention I’m no longer going to call her “Doris” to protect her identity.

She’s the ringleader of the bunch of inebriates who have caused so much trouble in the 4900 block of N. Broadway over the course of the past month or so, which has required the intervention of law enforcement more than once prior to this past weekend. Two Native American women (including Donna), two white male pedophiles, and another white male who came to Boulder, CO just recently comprise this group.

On Friday, as they were camped out underneath the pine trees on nicely-landscaped property belonging to the Dakote Ridge HOA, and taking turns staggering in the median at the corner of U.S. 36 while “flying a sign” to gain more booze money, I took my brief turn as a Humble Beggar to gain a few dollars to buy life’s necessities (as I receive no taxpayer-funded benefits of any kind, nor do I patronize any of the Free Giveaway venues except Boulder Shelter for my morning shower and to maintain a small locker) such as food, clothing, camping gear, bus fare, etc. As I held up my sign — HELP SAVE LIVES / NO CASH / FOR DRUNKS — her male friends left first, and then Donna practically crawled from the pine trees down the sidewalk to the spot where I normally sit, on the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant (where business owners, workers, and neighbors greet me as I’m reading a newspaper or a book).

Then, she sort of fell into the roadside ditch there. I went over to see if she was okay, and another person was already doing the same, and Donna was lying facedown at the bottom of that ditch on a long piece of cardboard with a “disaster blanket” or two from BSH as a makeshift bed. BTW, when it rains that ditch quickly fills up with water a foot or more deep. She did NOT respond to our shouts, and since I don’t own a cell phone I asked the other person to call 9-1-1. You never know about these drunkards; they could be sleeping it off or they could be suffering alcohol poisoning which can, of course, be fatal.

Anyway, the Boulder Rural Fire Dept. and paramedics responded, along with both Boulder County deputies and City of Boulder police (this spot is right on the border between county and city). A short minute before they all arrived, after I’d continued to shout at Donna that emergency help was on the way, she’d managed to crawl up out of the ditch and stagger on down the sidewalk in an attempt to make her escape. The paramedics stopped her, spoke to her, and in the end decided against transporting her to detox. In the meantime, I spoke with the deputies and city officers and showed them the mess these drunkards were making on private property that Dakota Ridge residents are paying to maintain.

Now we come to the events of Saturday: Donna and one of her male crew members were passed out again, same place, and she decided to go topless. When she put her bra and shirt back on and staggered out to the corner to panhandle, she decided to “flash” passersby. Certainly, this constitutes Disorderly Conduct in the context of being intoxicated. I figured she was headed for jail this time. Someone who had a cell phone saw Donna topless and called law enforcement. Both a Boulder county deputy and a City of Boulder police officer responded, and after talking to her briefly the deputy put her in handcuffs and took her away . . . To detox, as we learned yesterday morning.

Yes, she was back in the neighborhood yesterday! More than one interested party, including the Homeless Philosopher, told her flat out that she was NOT going back on the corner and making us all look like drunken degenerates. She obeyed us, for a wonder.

You can thank Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill for this whole mess — that’s how she came to be in the neighborhood in the first place, in a brand new apartment, until she was evicted for inviting her street friends to stay overnight and party. She has been hanging around the area ever since then, and I’ve heard that homeless people downtown and on Baseline have threatened to do great bodily harm to her if she returns to either one of those transient hangouts.

Gee, I wonder why these other bums despise her so much . . . Oh yeah, I’ve heard she’s a sneak thief, too.

I’m told that Donna came here to Boulder a few years ago from Denver.

My blog post is “evidence-based” in the same way that Ms. Martens’ letter-to-editor in the DC is; it’s actually a matter of perspective. Or, to put it another way, WHO DO YOU TRUST MORE?

As far as I can tell, from over nine years of direct observation of Boulder’s homeless shelter / services industry, all of the do-gooders involved — including Joy Eckstine-Redstone, George Epp, Greg Harms, Betsey Martens, et al — are utterly clueless and they also possess NO love for awkward facts which tend to expose their narrative for what it really is:

(This post e-mailed to Boulder City Council)

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 

This predator came to Boulder, CO because the do-gooders welcome his kind

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

Read the latest report in the Daily Camera about a rapist migrating to our city to find victims, Transient pleads guilty to sexual assault of Boulder jogger, faces more than 60 years in prison. Copied below in its entirety:

Jonathan Narucki, who pleaded guilty on Monday in connection with the sexual assault of a jogger along Boulder Creek last year, is seen in court in August.

Jonathan Narucki, who pleaded guilty on Monday in connection with the sexual assault of a jogger along Boulder Creek last year, is seen in court in August. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

A transient who grabbed a jogger and sexually assaulted her along the Boulder Creek Path last year pleaded guilty in Boulder District Court this morning in a deal with prosecutors that calls for at least six decades in prison.

Jonathan Narucki, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree kidnapping and one count of sexual assault.

Prosecutors and Narucki’s attorney reached a deal that calls for a 20-year sentence on the kidnapping charge and a 40-year sentence on the sexual assault charge. The two sentences are to run consecutively.

However, the sexual assault conviction falls under Colorado’s indeterminate sentencing law, which means Narucki could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Narucki — a transient from Georgia who had been in Boulder for less than a month at the time of the crime — did not speak at the hearing except to answer questions from Chief District Judge Maria Berkenkotter.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped multiple other charges, including sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, assault and felony menacing.

Boulder police arrested Narucki in June, a few weeks after they say he snatched a woman off of a trail near the 4700 block of Walnut Street, threatened her with a knife and then sexually assaulted her.

The woman told police that she screamed at first, but eventually complied with Narucki’s demands, because she was afraid he would hurt her. She was not able to identify Narucki, because she did not get a good look at him.

Police suspected Narucki had committed the assault — they stopped and spoke with him four times before his arrest, including on the night of the attack — but they were not able to arrest him until obtaining a DNA sample via a warrant, and linking him to the crime scene.

Narucki remains in custody at the Boulder County Jail and is due in court for sentencing on April 19.

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This is the sort of sociopathic scumbag being welcomed with lots of Free Stuff and kind words by self-styled homeless advocates and the clowns running Boulder’s shelter / services industry. Remember who the do-gooders are:

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Darren O’Connor of “Boulder Rights Watch”

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Isabel McDevitt of Bridge House

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Mike Homner of “Facing Homelessness Boulder”

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Joy Eckstine Redstone, involved in many different ways with the issue of homelessness and always as an apologist / enabler for the worst-behaved transients

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Joy with her protégé, Jim Budd — now serving time in Colorado DOC for raping a Carriage House volunteer

Of course, there are scores of other do-gooders who make it possible for the Jonathan Narucki-types of this world to commit crimes here . . . How about we ship all of ’em out along with the worst-behaved transients? Or better yet, require a valid photo ID with a Boulder County address and proof of at least one year’s residency for anyone seeking shelter / services from any Boulder, CO nonprofit.

Why are there so many mentally ill homeless on the streets, in shelters, and in nursing homes?

Three years ago, a friend of mine made me aware of this insightful commentary from the Wall Street Journal and I’ve reposted it here every so often — in part because it sets the record straight on which Irish-American president should carry most of the blame for the mess we see today.

Fifty Years of Failing America’s Mentally Ill

Feb. 4, 2013 7:04 p.m. ET

On Feb. 5, 1963, 50 years ago this week, President John F. Kennedy addressed Congress on “Mental Illness and Mental Retardation.” He proposed a new program under which the federal government would fund community mental-health centers, or CMHCs, to take the place of state mental hospitals. As Kennedy envisioned it, “reliance on the cold mercy of custodial isolations will be supplanted by the open warmth of community concern and capability.”

President Kennedy’s proposal was historic because the public care of mentally ill individuals had been exclusively a state responsibility for more than a century. The federal initiative encouraged the closing of state hospitals and aborted the development of state-funded outpatient clinics in process at that time.

Over the following 17 years, the feds funded 789 CMHCs with a total of $2.7 billion ($20.3 billion in today’s dollars). During those same years, the number of patients in state mental hospitals fell by three quarters—to 132,164 from 504,604—and those beds were closed down.

 

From the beginning, it was clear that CMHCs were not interested in taking care of the patients being discharged from the state hospitals. Instead, they focused on individuals with less severe problems sometimes called “the worried well.” Federal studies reported individuals discharged from state hospitals initially made up between 4% and 7% of the CMHCs patient load, and the longer the CMHC was in existence the lower this percentage became.

It has now become politically correct to claim that this federal program failed because not enough centers were funded and not enough money was spent. In fact, it failed because it did not provide care for the sickest patients released from the state hospitals. When President Ronald Reagan finally block-granted federal CMHC funds to the states in 1981, he was not killing the program. He was disposing of the corpse. (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

Meantime, during the years CMHCs were funded, Medicaid and Medicare were created and modifications were made to the Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance programs. None of these programs was originally intended to become a major federal support for the mentally ill, but all now fill that role. The federal takeover of the mental-illness treatment system was complete.

Fifty years later, we can see the results of “the open warmth of community concern and capability.” Approximately half of the mentally ill individuals discharged from state mental hospitals, many of whom had family support, sought outpatient treatment and have done well. The other half, many of whom lack family support and suffer from the most severe illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have done poorly.

According to multiple studies summarized by the Treatment Advocacy Center, these untreated mentally ill are responsible for 10% of all homicides (and a higher percentage of the mass killings), constitute 20% of jail and prison inmates and at least 30% of the homeless. Severely mentally ill individuals now inundate hospital emergency rooms and have colonized libraries, parks, train stations and other public spaces. The quality of the lives of these individuals mocks the lofty intentions of the founders of the CMHC program.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this 50-year federal experiment is its inordinate cost. In 2009, 4.7 million Americans received SSI or SSDI because of mental illnesses, not including mental retardation, a tenfold increase since 1977. The total cost was $46 billion. The total Medicaid and Medicare costs for mentally ill individuals in 2005 was more than $60 billion.

Altogether, the annual total public funds for the support and treatment of mentally ill individuals is now more than $140 billion. The equivalent expenditure in 1963 when Kennedy proposed the CMHC program was $1 billion, or about $10 billion in today’s dollars. Even allowing for the increase in U.S. population, what we are getting for this 14-fold increase in spending is a disgrace.

Including President Kennedy, five Democratic and five Republican presidents have presided over the 50-year federal experiment. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush appointed presidential commissions to examine the failed programs, but nothing useful came from either. (Emphasis is mine.)

Nor is President Obama likely to do anything, since his lead agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has essentially denied that a problem exists. Its contribution to the president’s response to the Dec. 14 Newtown tragedy focused only on school children and insurance coverage. And its current plan of action for 2011-14, a 41,000-word document, includes no mention of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or outpatient commitment, all essential elements in an effective plan for corrective action.

The evidence is overwhelming that this federal experiment has failed, as seen most recently in the mass shootings by mentally ill individuals in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., and Tucson, Ariz. It is time for the federal government to get out of this business and return the responsibility, and funds, to the states.

The federal government, perhaps through the Institute of Medicine, would be responsible only for evaluating and rating state programs, much as it now does for education. The ultimate responsibility would rest with state legislatures and governors. Then, for the first time in 50 years, somebody could be held accountable for what has become an ongoing disaster.

Dr. Torrey is founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center and author of “American Psychosis: How the Federal Government Destroyed the Mental Illness Treatment System,” forthcoming from Oxford University Press.


I’ve been aware all along of the shocking number of mentally ill homeless men and women to be found in Boulder, CO since I settled here in early 2008. YES, many of them have been prescribed appropriate psych meds at some point; NO, none of these folks I know about will remain compliant with those meds when left to make their own choices. Thus, they spiral down into a dysfunctional state of mind, and all too often these vulnerable homeless are victimized by transient predators.

Recently, as a resident of a local nursing home, I’ve learned firsthand about the homeless mentally ill who are in long-term care there. (Please note I’m NOT referring to elderly dementia patients.) I heard one man from the streets just the other day tell the physician on duty that he wanted to stop taking his prescribed Risperdal; as he put it, “I’m better now, and don’t need it any more.” Outside of an involuntary commitment to a secure psychiatric facility, he can NOT be forced to take any meds. I don’t think he’s a danger to others, but he’s clearly a danger to himself, and I wouldn’t be surprised to read in the Daily Camera one day soon that he’d been run over by a motor vehicle while crossing a busy street in a schizophrenic daze.

And consider what we have here for counseling, putting aside psychotropic meds for a moment:

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Joy Eckstine Redstone and Jim Budd, from their days together at Carriage House / Bridge House circa 2009

I’d say that mentally ill homeless folks in Boulder are being poorly-served all around.

— MRW

No accountability from Boulder Rights Watch

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See this blog’s Boulder Rights Watch tag archive here. These posts tell the story of a Facebook group which consistently supports the small minority of the worst-behaved transients who drift into Boulder County, CO — to the detriment of most other homeless folks and the general public.

Worst of all, the admins and many members of this group are AFRAID of vigorous debate on the most pressing social issue of the day in our fair city: How to make life better for Boulder County’s own homeless men, women, and children. Darren O’Connor, Mike Homner, Joy Eckstine Redstone, et al want to do all of your thinking for you.

Their attitude is un-American, but so very typical of lunatic fringe groups both Left and Right.

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— MRW

Do-gooders welcome another violent transient to Boulder, CO

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

See Police arrest suspect in May sexual assault at Boulder Creek in the Daily Camera. Copied below in its entirety:

Boulder police announced on Friday afternoon that they have arrested a man they allege sexually assaulted a woman who was jogging on the Boulder Creek Path last month.

Jonathan Narucki, 26, is being held at Boulder County Jail on a suspicion of sexual assault, kidnapping, unlawful sexual contact by force, assault and menacing, according to a news release.

Police said they linked Narucki to the May 20 attack using DNA evidence.

A woman reported being sexually assaulted as she took a run near the 4700 block of Walnut Street between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. She told police she was on the Boulder Creek Path when a man grabbed her from behind, threatened her with a knife and sexually assaulted her.

Police said Narucki told them that he had moved to Boulder from Georgia about a month ago and had been living as a transient. The woman told police that her attacker was dirty, unkempt and emitted a foul odor, which led her to believe he was a transient.

Boulder police increased patrols in the area following the attack.

Narucki does not appear to have any prior arrests in Colorado, according to online court records.

Anyone with additional information on the case is asked to call Detective Sarah Cantu at 303-441-4328.

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Of course, it’s the entire homeless shelter/services industry in our city, not only Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, which attracts scumbags from all across America . . . These violent transients consume resources that could otherwise go to helping Boulder County’s own homeless people, including families with kids.

What is wrong with the do-gooders? Feeding, clothing, housing, counseling, and in general coddling a rapist from Georgia? I’ll call them out by name once more: Mike Homner (recently featured in a Daily Camera puff piece on the homeless), Darren O’Connor, Joy Eckstine Redstone (who is now a DC columnist), Isabel McDevitt (executive director of Bridge House), et al. They all have a hand in aiding those who prey on the innocent.

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You know, I’m very happy about having the opportunity to move away from Boulder for good in the near future. This city, where I’ve lived since early 2008, is FUBAR in so many ways it will be a great relief for me to become a part of the Real World again!