Letter: Glenwood needs a homeless shelter
Glenwood Springs has a homeless crisis. While we do have nonprofit organizations like Feed my Sheep and Lift Up who provide food for our homeless population, we don’t have an actual homeless shelter. The closest homeless shelter is in Grand Junction, 150 miles away.
The issue with no designated shelter is they set up camp within our surrounding forests. In 2018, there were three fires behind Walmart, which is where the main camp is. Not only that but the trash build up in that forest is getting out of hand. This not only affects the homeless living there but it affects the town, as well as the beautiful scenery surrounding us. But where else are they supposed to go?
Homelessness throughout Colorado is an issue. Grand Junction ,which has two shelters, is still struggling to advocate and deal with their homeless affectingly, going as far as criminalizing homelessness in certain areas. Denver, our capital city, is also struggling to contain their homeless population. The state of Colorado alone has about 11,000 homeless living within it’s borders. The homeless situation has been cast aside far too long. Our neighboring state of Utah invested $100 million into their homeless policy in 2015, which offered homes as well as services to their homeless population. They decreased their homeless population by 91 percent with this policy. Their only downfall was the lack of continually investing. Colorado can take this policy and build on it to find a long term solution.
But starting small, Glenwood Springs can make a change. We need a homeless shelter. We need to advocate to our chronically homeless and provide the resources they need. With a homeless shelter we reduce the risk of fires, trash build up, and overall help those in need. We need to take this issue off the back burner and make it a priority.
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