Once-beautiful Denver succumbed to vagrant enablement a few years ago. It was a pathetic attempt not to be outdone by Seattle and Portland – which have long sought not to be outdone by San Francisco. To be a great city, the thinking apparently goes, you have to be a filthy one.
And so filthy vagrants overran downtown Denver and hip “LoDo” where they now camp on the sidewalks, poop in the gutters, shoot-up in the streets and assault passersby.
The city is finally sweeping them, a little, in anticipation of its hosting of the baseball All-Star Game next month. Aware that the town will be on national TV, so far this year Denver has conducted as many vagrant camp sweeps as all of last year. The tent city is finally gone from the downtown jewel across from the state capitol building, Civic Center Park. The chain link fencing surrounding the capitol itself has finally been taken down, and vagrants are prohibited from camping there.
But they still befoul the residential/retail neighborhood that is trying to emerge just east of downtown. And they’re still stinking up the sidewalks just two blocks from Coors Field where the All-Star Game will be played. Maybe by the time of the game, the vagrants will be swept from there as well. We can only hope.
Give Denver a little credit for its belated cleanup. In doing so, they’re risking their growing reputation as a big city every bit as incompetent and incontinent as the others. A little more of this, and people might start calling Denver a cowtown again. (They do still parade livestock down the main downtown business street when the Stock Show comes to town. We like to imagine it’s a little like Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls. It’s Denver’s running of the cows.)
It’s reasonable to ask where the vagrants go when Denver cops order them to leave. The lefty enablers who control City Council suggest that the vagrants have nowhere to go other than their camps, and that to eliminate their camps is to eliminate their lives.
But in truth, the sweeps have not cost any lives. Not one.
That’s because the vagrants actually have plenty of places to go. The obvious place is the shelters, which are typically unfilled in the summer and much of the winter as well. They also go to the less-conspicuous places that they used to go before the lefties enticed them onto the streets and sidewalks for the purpose of illustrating the lefties’ virtue and America’s wickedness.
The reason the vagrants don’t use the shelters and inconspicuous places all the time is that inconspicuousness is exactly what they don’t want. These people have nothing to live for. No job, no friends, no ambitions, no religion, no cares. But like the rest of humanity, they have needs. Apart from the need for food, their most basic need is for a little lovin’.
Most can’t get any lovin’. So, like any other immature and irresponsible non-adults and pseudo-adults, they seek the next best thing: attention. For their daily attention fix, they camp on the sidewalk, poop in the gutters, shoot-up in the streets and accost passersby.
That’s why they’re there, and that’s where they’ll stay for as long as we allow them to. The reason they’re in your face making a filthy spectacle of themselves is not despite the fact that it’s annoying. It’s because of it.
Let’s hope the city/town learns from its All-Star Game sweeps. This place can be beautiful again.
Postscript: The last time Denver had a Republican mayor was 43 years ago.
A friend of mine has a business near downtown. The city kept citing him for not having cleaned up after the vagrants behind his building.
Glenn, The old saying goes, “if you wanna eat, you gotta do some work.” The following is copied from an internet search for the Civilian Conservation Corps. My day worked with them in the 30s in Glenwood building parks. Give these guys the option and maybe some sense of purpose and dignity might be ignited.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a voluntary public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men ages 18–25 and eventually expanded to ages 17–28. Robert Fechner was the first director of this agency, succeeded by James McEntee following Fechner’s death. The CCC was a major part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal that provided manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state, and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men and to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States. Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000. Through the course of its nine years in operation, three million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a wage of $30 (equivalent to $600 in 2020) per month ($25 of which had to be sent home to their families).[
The American public made the CCC the most popular of all the New Deal programs. Sources written at the time claimed an individual’s enrollment in the CCC led to improved physical condition, heightened morale, and increased employability. The CCC also led to a greater public awareness and appreciation of the outdoors and the nation’s natural resources, and the continued need for a carefully planned, comprehensive national program for the protection and development of natural resources.
In the mid-‘90s — the last time we had functional government (except for the brief Trump interruption of Marxist madness) — Clinton Democrats and Gingrich Republicans gave us “Workfare.” Dunno what happened to it — it must have been too good an idea.
Those programs were for people who wanted to work but couldn’t find jobs.
Not sure they would be applicable to people who want to hang out in pop-up tents on public property doing intravenous drugs, while employers are unable to fill numerous positions.
Interesting! This is being played out in small tourist towns on the east coast as well! City council needs a good sweep too!!! Pay attention voters!
Denverites ought to wise up and just declare every day All Star Game Day.
Probably not though … as they seem to have developed a bad habit of electing and re-electing Democrats and their DNA sharing socialist progressives into political office …
Soylent Industries has offered to help with indigent relocation.
There are some things you don’t want in your sausage, or protein powder.
Ain’t going to Denver for any reason. Four years ago, having five hours to kill at Union Station between plane and bus, I walked up 16th Street to the State Capitol, in the midst of some massive “Pride” event unlike anything I had ever experienced. Between the bums and the freaks, who outnumbered ordinary people two-to-one, I thought I had wandered onto the set of a “Clockwork Orange” sequel in the middle of “wholesome” Colorado. Had I been asleep for twenty years like Rip Van Winkle? — When did this happen, HOW did it happen?
Leftist moving into colorado in the late 90s and voting leftist into office.in the 2000s
I ain’t no commie, but I am willing to reason certain things out. Let me compare the life of a person to the life of a brick. If I have plans to building a building and I buy 25,000 bricks, what happens if my plan fails. Well, I can take all my bricks and move them to a storage yard or some out of the way property and leave them there come sun, rain, cold and wind. They will require no upkeep, file no lawsuits, go nowhere else on their own
You can’t do the same with a person, and therein lies the flaw in the idea of treating the individual solely as an economic unit. Whether there is an economic need for a person or not, that person still needs to be maintained in the interim. For another thing, my stacks of bricks are not going to start producing baby bricks which now are going to need maintenance and, eventually, education and then some future utility.
What this points out is the fallacy of the “don’t work, don’t eat” argument and the fallacy inherent in the idea that if you cut off any welfare or social safety net support you can force people to seek work and start to support themselves. I don’t think so. You might make some people want to, but how is taking away what support they get going to make the people nobody wants already suddenly more desirable? Do people think that the worst off and least wanted are going to finally learn how to do that magic tap dance that will make their prospective employer suddenly crave them? I don’t think so.
Some of the homeless have worked before and could start working again immediately. As hard as it is to believe, some of the homeless became so as the result of unemployment, and once they became homeless, they just let homelessness become a way of life for them. Some have tractable problems. Some have intractable problems.
One thing is for sure though. Nothing like a program of petty public works – things weed abatement and cleaning up vacant lots – can ever be adopted. The public unions will make sure of it, So it has to regular job just like everyone else does, or bust. That mean, for almost everyone, bust.
Glenn, I’ve said it before and I will say it again, your writing is excellent in all aspects,starting with the mechanics–that is the English, but equally important, the ANALYSIS! Wow! The ANALYSIS!\
Thank you for you work! Honestly, it inspires us!
But we do dare to quibble with this excerpt: “Maybe by the time of the game, the vagrants will be swept from there as well. We can only hope.” No, no, no: We can only hope that the feces provided by the vagrants reveal that Denver, in its eagerness to “show Atlanta how to be truly elite, and how to accomodate the wacko lib/lefty/’progressive’/moral relativist/subjectivist/humanist/secularist/Democrat fools who coddle the grifters,” blows up in their faces. But we know that big tech will not allow the feces provided by the vagrants to be showcased, or even referred to and it is the major problem for these blue governments, and probably will not be allowed to influence their promotion of the irrational defense of the sick lib/lefty/”progressive”/moral relativist/subjectivist/humanist/secularist baloney.
And now Pat Stryker of ” Turning Colorado Blue” with her bazillions in inheritance, wants to build a 500-700 bed transient hotel in North Ft Collins,
to ruin an area only recently emerges from city councils decades long neglect.
The average daily transient population here is 100-200, so I guess we are to relieve Denver of thier population.
Guaranteed word will spread the Front Range of her ” love”.
Great! This is GREAT, GREAT GREAT news for Denver!
But here’s the problem. The vagrants won’t actually use the big new shelter. Because it’s not shelter they’re seeking, it’s attention from you and me. They’re on the street not because there’s no shelters, but because the street is where they can get in our face.
I honestly believe that. They’re not like you and me. If they were, they wouldn’t be in their present circumstances.
It seems to me that it’s leftist government that wants to “get in our face.” The message is something like, “Here are more victims (along with POCs, etc.”) of your crappy civilization with its systemic oppression. If your precious sensibilities are offended, too damned bad. It’s all coming down, baby.”
What we are witnessing, on so many fronts, is deliberately induced civilizational collapse. Our entire culture is becoming as suicidal as these street people are.
As for the stupid All-Star Game that shouldn’t be there in the first place — bread and circuses offered up by The Evil Empire? I can’t make sense of any of this.
Every time I read of this sort of situation, I am reminded of the sign over the front door of a boys reformatory school in Moscow, Russia:
If it is hard, we will help you.
If you don’t know how, we will teach you.
If you don’t want to, we will make you.
First, these are not “homeless people”, they’re drug addicts and/or alcoholics. As one Seattle news station discovered, the “homeless” problem is an addiction problem, first and foremost. And most of these people are not living on the streets because of some misfortune in their lives, they’re doing it intentionally as a lifestyle choice. They don’t want to live in a structured environment with rules, which is why it’s nearly impossible to get them to use shelters or subsidized housing.
Second, the solution to this is simple: Do the opposite of what caused it in the first place. It was leftist permissiveness and refusal to enforce the law that caused what had always been a much lower-level problem suddenly mushroom into a full-blown crisis. Leftists simply refuse to enforce the law, whether it’s immigration law at the border, or laws against vagrancy in our cities.
The answer is to enforce the law, and to make it very difficult and uncomfortable to try to live on the streets. Leftist politicians have made it all too easy to live on the streets without consequence, so the number of addicts doing it has exploded. Create incentives to live on the streets, and you will get more “homelessness.” Disincentivize it, and you will get less, simple as that.
There was a time when able-bodied human beings were expected to do something productive during a portion of their day in order to meet their, and their families’, needs for food clothing and shelter.
That now applies to some people only, and they are also expected to provide for those unwilling to do so themselves. Yes, there is mental illness, and we need to return to involuntary custodial care for those who cannot meet their basic responsibilities, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” notwithstanding.
But self-inflicted mental illness should not be subsidized and encouraged.
Every morning there is a line of adult men with sleeping bags in front of the Denver Central Library when it opens, preparing for a hard day of snoozing and watching porn. The books and other reference materials there are of less import than maintaining stocks of naloxone.
And the library administration takes great pride in the role they play supplying the needs of this “underserved” population.
Yeah, it’s getting so bad at my local library that I’m afraid to drop my grandkids off for “Drag Queen Story Hour,” or pick up all those other wonderful books and materials on non-traditional people and lifestyles.
Face it, people with degrees in library science have the same DNA as those with degrees in education. It’s time that community library boards were subjected to the same scrutiny that local school boards are now starting to experience.
What you said…
So back in the 1970s the leftists closed all the insane asylums, saying the insane would be just fine; they only needed to take their medicine. So now they are homeless on the streets. We need to rebuild the insane asylums. And get them off the street. Then we need to build some sanitoriums for the addicted. And get them off the streets. If they become capable of “working from home”, then they can work from their sanitorium homes. Whoever is left on the streets need to get off their rusty dusties and GO TO WORK. Even if they have to work 3 jobs to get back to being financially independent. My grandparents and great-grandparents would be appalled at what has happened to this country that they helped to build. A couple of them had education only through age 15 and managed to become VERY PROSPEROUS! And, Glenn, that includes my paternal grandfather who was a Founding Father of Aspen. When he got to Aspen, it consisted of 35 miner’s tents. PERIOD. He was responsible for making Aspen into a city.
Yes … we need to build and re-build new insane asylums and sanitariums but I would put all of the leftists infesting city halls and legislatures at the HEAD of the line and have them all committed before the homeless!
I hear you, Layna. My own father lost his father — my grandfather — at the height of the Great Depression when my father was five. My father flunked the 6th grade twice. we now know he was dyslexic, but at the time he was just thought to be stupid. Then he dropped out of school in the eighth grade to help support his widowed mother. He lied about his age to join the army when he was 17 near the end of WWII
He later got his GED and worked his way into the middle class. He ultimately had a career as a self-trained engineer with the Defense Communications Agency where he worked on the NORAD early warning system.
Enabling vagrancy does the vagrants no favors. Nor does it do any favors for the rest of the country. Tough love begins with the word “tough.”
So many things to say about this story. I’m not suggesting that he wouldn’t have overcome it, but your father didn’t have the counterculture whispering in his ear, and a drug culture no farther away than the boys’ bathroom at school. Yes, there was alcohol (which reduced my father to indigence and despair), but how benign that seems now! Also, if he were in school today, he’d be blessed to get out of there by the 8th grade.
But the moral of your tale is irrefutable. Your father lived in a tough love world, and it led to his redemption.
Soylent Industries has volunteered to build the asylums.
Might as well make the trade complete. Denver steals all star game from Georgia over bogus claims about a new law and meanwhile Denver ships all of its homeless to Georgia. Might as well make the screwing complete.