Letter: Need a full homeless solution
As a homeowner and resident of the block between Feed My Sheep and the Extended Table, I attended the City Council-sponsored discussion of the Glenwood Springs “homeless problem” with some interest. I was amazed to learn of the thousands of Feed My Sheep clients and the tens of thousands of meals served annually by the Extended Table. Proportionally the incidents we have experienced in our 12 years in our home are miniscule when compared with these numbers of needy served.
I do have to ask my fellow Glenwood Springs citizens: How many incidents would be too many at your home? Maybe you live in an outlying neighborhood and see panhandling when you come downtown, but no one leaves footprints in the snow when trying your garage door. You have probably not called the police about a person living in their car in front of your home, only to be told that it is legal as long as the car moves every three days. You probably haven’t opened your door to find a man relieving himself by your home, nor picked out of your bushes the nice bags of toiletries handed out up the street.
The superior services offered in Glenwood Springs to the homeless and down and out also enable a lifestyle for a few that can adversely affect the rest of us. Giving a person a sleeping bag and dinner and sending them out to find somewhere to stay not prohibited by the “No Camping on City Property” signs sends them onto private land or in search of other more urban solutions. A more complete solution might be to send them to more structured living situations where bathrooms and trash service can be provided, such as our well-equipped neighborhood parks. Ah … that would be on city property and maybe in your back yard. Providing only part of the solution is part of the problem.
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