As I was eating my delicious meal in my comforting home, I read Ali Flint’s Feb. 7 letter to the Colorado Daily titled “The UMC: New Boulder homeless shelter?”. Her comments made me realize our Boulder community’s ignorance of why there are homeless people in Boulder. We complain about these individuals for taking up our space that we deserve because we pay taxes, bills, etc., but we do not think of the reasons for why they do so.
According to the CoPIRG student chapter at CU, there is only one shelter in Boulder that offers less than 200 beds for the night. There are more than 550 homeless in the Boulder County that cannot all fit in these shelters. Since this service is only provided for the night, the homeless are forced to be outside even if it is negative fifteen degrees. BOHO, Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow, provides emergency warming huts when it is thirty degrees but this is during emergency situations. These homeless individuals are forced to wander through the Boulder community looking for any warm locations to reside in.
CoPIRG completed a survey where they interviewed a large number of homeless individuals to figure out why there are so many homeless individuals. One reason is that many have an illness and do not receive adequate, if at all, financial support or work compensation from the government or other agencies. Because these individuals have records of having psychological problems, no matter how serious, they find it very difficult to find jobs. With no source of income, they eventually become homeless.
Boulder residents need to support organizations such as BOHO, the Carriage House, and other similar organizations so that they can expand their services and help the individuals who have no homes in our community.