Living in the car

Reprinted from the Daily Camera. Councilman Bob Yates posted on the city council Hotline that he was concerned about the vehicles housing people parked at the Diagonal Plaza. He found the conditions deplorable, unsafe and unsanitary. He said, “I do not believe that these encampments reflect Boulder community values.” He then set the wheels in motion for the encampment to be shut down and the residents forced out. That got me …

Jail, mental illness and homeless

The interrelated problems of homelessness, jail overcrowding and lack of effective treatment for people with mental illness must be addressed. Every year these problems get bigger. Criminalizing vagrancy and mental illness has not been effective in solving the problem. In 2014, according to an article in the Daily Camera, 40 percent of the prison population had a diagnosed mental illness. Many of these people are homeless. We have merely kicked the …

Camping Ban

In the wake of the great recession more people are losing their jobs and their homes. As the number of homeless people rises the funds available to help them is shrinking. Banning sleeping overnight in public does nothing to stop homelessness. It merely adds to the difficulty of being homeless. How are those ticketed supposed to pay the fine? How far into the woods do they need to go to avoid …