Boulder's "social misbehavior" proposal: Reasonable or a war against the homeless?

homeless.photo.britt.chester.1.205x205.jpg
Photos and more below.
Last August, we told you about a controversial portion of Boulder's ten year plan to fight homelessness: the targeting of so-called "unwelcoming behavior," much of it pinned to members of the community's homeless population.

Now, a Boulder City Council study group has taken on a very similar subject, tagged "social misbehavior" -- and the local branch of the ACLU is concerned that the effect of such a campaign could be to essentially criminalize homelessness. Photos and more below.

The issue is laid out in a PowerPoint presentation pertaining to the study group's meeting last night. The entire item is below, but one key slide describes the "problem" like so:

• Behavior by individuals congregating on the municipal campus has made the area inhospitable to others in the community.

• The behavior includes significant criminal activity. (646 citations in 12 months)

• The municipal campus is a valuable community resource that is not currently available to the majority of community members.

More specifics appear in the "social misbehavior" agenda item shared in a city council packet also on view here.

homeless.photo.britt.chester.2.jpg
Photo by Britt Chester
The document maintains that of the aforementioned 646 citations and arrests during the twelve months between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013, more than half of them -- 326 -- were for trespassing, failure to appear, failure to comply or contempt of court, suggesting to the authors that this defendant population "may not care very much about legal obligations."

Moreover, the packet reveals that "a relatively small number of individuals cause a disproportionately large percentage of the problems." Specifically, of 280 total defendants, thirty of them "were responsible for 220 of the 646 arrests and citations. Looked at another way, 11 percent of the defendants were responsible for 34 percent of the citations and arrests."

Hence, the folks behind the piece believe that tougher enforcement wouldn't be aimed at the homeless population in general, but only those who take part in "criminal behavior" and "fundamentally disregard the law."

Continue for more about Boulder's "social misbehavior" proposal, including original documents.



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
65 comments
jparkersmith
jparkersmith

I am from boulder. Being a taxpaying citizen I do wish that I could use the Boulder Creek path and walk through the parks without seeing the homeless using or drinking of which my taxes keep maintained. It is a well known fact that many of these homeless are there by choice, either being unwilling to work or simply choosing to "live off the land" (meaning living at other people's expense). Two cases of beggars in particular infuriate me: the man on Pearl Street holding the sign reading "Marijuana experimentation, cash or stash please" and the man at Jay Road and the diagonal who I drive past every day with a sign reading "Have family and kids, laid off 1 month ago and need work. Any help appreciated." I am a house painter and stopped in my truck one day because I did in fact need an extra hand on a project. I offered him a job saying that if he was competent I could give him a job ongoing. He turned me down and asked for cash instead. I have been driving past him for 3 years now every day and he still holds the same sign. Obviously he was not laid off a month ago at this point and I must question whether he actually has a family or if that is for pity points. I do feel for the homeless who have no other choice, such as the paraplegic veteran on Pearl and Broadway, but I find it hard to be sympathetic to the pothead boozing moochers who appear to be the majority.

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Drotar, enough with the failed attempts to slobber all over my junk. I simply do not swing that way.

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Drotar here is the typical wannabe Libertarian DWEEB who frequents a bunch of blogs and somehow declares himself to be the sole arbiter of what is "just/Constitutional/fiscally sound," what have you, masking his own otherwise blatant ideological hogwash as "objective sound analysis." No, Drotar, your backwards late 19th century mentality is exactly what hampers both social and economic progress of this country -- a mentality that happens to be shared amongst BOTH major political parties since the ascension of St. Raygun to varying extents, mind you -- and therefore causes it to lag behind much of the rest of the industrialized world. You are very much likely one of those DWEEBS who continually preach the doctrine of Hayek, Friedman, and other "deities" of (unrestrained) capitalism all the while personally benefiting from the social and governmental institutions you claim to despise. Fucking hypocrite suburbanite piece of shit.

Adam Aedro Drotar
Adam Aedro Drotar

Sterling Meeks is the typical pseudo intelligent moron who googles a few key terms and thinks he has more weight in the argument than anyone else.Your liberal idiocy is exactly what makes this country the political laughingstock of the world. You are probably one of the assholes that voted for Obama twice and now bitch incessantly about him. You should kill yourself.

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

"This law is not in-step with our principles. " Was right with you until this very last statement. The cold, hard reality is that these types of policies are very much in line with so-called "reel Murkin" values: greed above all else, even your own mother. This is painfully true in seemingly "liberal" bastions of Boulder and SF as it is amongst country club conservatives elsewhere.

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Part in an ongoing series known as The Gentrification Chronicles

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Limited housing that is caused not primarily by overall lack of land (even though it is a factor in highly dense places like SF and NYC) but by stringent so-called "quality of life" policies crafted and implemented strictly to push and keep "undesirables" (poor, working class) people out of the town/city limits. Economic segregation at its finest.

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Major political parties are different sides of the same corporate coinage. Stop fooling yourself.

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

You clearly never lived nor visited the good ole South. Signed, War Never Fails

lharrington820
lharrington820

DID ANYONE ACTUALLY READ THE ARTICLE? "11 percent of the defendants were responsible for 34 percent of the citations and arrests." These people aren't the homeless you see in New York, mentally unstable or people with physical disabilities. These are large, able-bodied scumbags who sit around doing meth and heroin all day, which by the way creates an extremely dangerous situation for decent people (watch some documentaries on meth if you disagree). Instead of blind activism for a cause you know nothing about, educate yourselves. I'm raising a 1 year old one town over from Boulder, and the people that most of you claim deserve compassion leave dirty heroin needles and meth pipes in the lawn of the local preschool. These are adults who endanger young children. They deserve NOTHING. And by the way, the "homeless" here receive more community and government support than the hard-working people who are struggling to get by.

Mimisaurus Rex
Mimisaurus Rex

How bout build an apartment complex and get the homeless off the streets.. Oh no cant help the people that this state destroyed.

Sher Quintana
Sher Quintana

Boulder is full of snobs..no its not a crime to be homeless..its a crime they have no where to go..

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Part in an ongoing series known as The Gentrification Chronicles.

rpaup41
rpaup41

I really have some faith again. After reading a lot of the comments, most of your really understand. Homelessness is something you can put behind you if your strong. I know I did. I graduated from C.C.D. Auraria in 2011 with an Associates in Art. Since then I've been attending C.U. Denver also on the Auraria Campus. I have sympathy and compassion for the homeless, because I know You can end up homeless for a lot of different reasons. I also own a home in Denver now. It can be done, You can rise from homelessness and be a productive member of society if You just try and "stay away from dope and booze"!

Jay Baca
Jay Baca

ABOUT TIME! for those of you who don't have family there in College. here is what happens- They demand to use your cell phone and get violent if you say no, They follow you until you offer them something, They have raped, They have been in several violent altercations, they break into your car's. Still feeling sorry for them? We have facilities in Denver for this and this is where they migrate from. Why? because they know Boulder is going easy on the crimes because of fools who enable it. I have volunteered with the new homeless and chronic homeless for 15 years and was also homeless myself at one time. I know the walk and the talk. Wake up!

Sean Dolan
Sean Dolan

Homeless and drunk bums lounging all day in city parks are 2 different things....

Jason Joyce
Jason Joyce

I just overheard a homeless man at the Auraria Campus light-rail station complain about receiving a dollar. Talk about snobby!

Reign Peace
Reign Peace

Hypocrites is a great word for this.

Jim Earl
Jim Earl

Boulder I know why i moved away and will never move back. Too Snooty and too Liberal and hypocritical about both. Sad shame!

wither
wither

Some people in Boulder would like to ban people from being poorly dressed for crying out loud. They are whiny, ineffectual, spoiled, insulated bubble people. 


News alert: Having a person ask for spare change is not assault. Acting strangely isn't either, and saying that people are scaring you by acting strangely or smelling bad is merely an admission of a need for your own personal growth, not a reason to suspend basic American rights capriciously and selectively. 

Jessica Hazel
Jessica Hazel

I've decided that I really dislike Boulder and won't be giving my money to that part of Colorado any longer. How sad that a once hippie-ish community has become so yuppie and greedy.

James Gold
James Gold

All you have to do is read the Daily Camera's posts. There ABSOLUTELY is a war on the homeless that is well underway in Boulder. Even the city council is playing a role. It's a disgusting, shameful travesty.

Meesa Sutherland
Meesa Sutherland

Ignorance is bliss! I find it hilarious how people will send money across oceans to help others but won't even let the poor and homeless sleep on it's too rich and too white streets. Think about that next time you foster a starving orphan! Help the people in you own backyard before you try to look like a humanitarian to the world!

Violeta Luz
Violeta Luz

I was born there and like sanfran boulder has done it's hypocritical best to set a very clear line in the sand, "not in my backyard policies". From limited housing which in inadvertently makes it impossible for any one not making 6 figures to by a home and now this. I sappose it's ok to be a drug addict

Sean Milano
Sean Milano

The people that they are targeting are able bodied, full grown losers who are taking advantage of the naivete of people out here. They get more services and better treatment than the avg person.

Robin Shaw
Robin Shaw

The selfless, open-minded democrats doing their thing...

Peacer Will Winn
Peacer Will Winn

I think we have lost all compassion. Colorado is bullshite when it comes to helping the poor.

Pete Copeland
Pete Copeland

What?? Homelessness is an American tradition!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@rpaup41  "Homelessness is something you can put behind you if your [sic] strong. I know I did. I graduated from C.C.D. Auraria in 2011"


So rudimentary English wasn't required for that degree, eh?

wither
wither

These horrible actions have summarized various members of the CU sports team alumni over the past several years as well. We cover those crimes by providing them with lawyers, privacy, and continued attendance at CU. 

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Passionate post, Jay. We're going to feature it as an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks.

lharrington820
lharrington820

So true. I'm in Longmont, and the "homeless" literally drop dirty needles and meth pipes in the lawn of the local preschool. I'm raising a one year old, so the fact that these 200 pound scumbags are endangering children, and than receiving compassion from all these ignorant activists is infuriating. It's good to see someone else with their eyes open.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Quite an anecdote, Jason. Thanks for sharing it.

wither
wither

It's worse than you think there. 

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

You seem to speak for a lot of people, Meesa. Thanks for posting.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Strongly put, Violeta. Thanks.

rpaup41
rpaup41

I help. That's something that people like yourself could never give Me when I needed it. So I promised Myself; that when I got a little something. I would help people in need. Unlike you. You Hypocrite.

rpaup41
rpaup41

I not taking a writing test. I'm commenting on a subject that has made Me a wealthy motivational speaker.

rpaup41
rpaup41

I would hardly waste all the energy it takes for anger on you. I think it's pathetic that's all you can comment about. I speak from My soul. You speak from your arse!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@rpaup41  ... so you're angry at ME because you lack basic English language literacy, in spite of your "college education" ??

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@rpaup41 ... spend some of that wealth on remedial grade school English lessons.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...