Denver has its share of vagrants. The rule is evidently that you can illegally camp on the sidewalk and poop in the gutter until a lot of people complain. Once dozens or hundreds of people complain – they don’t publish what the requisite number is – the city will tell the vagrants they have two weeks to shuffle down the road to trash some other site.
What the vagrants then do, naturally, is leave for a few days and then come back to the same place again, where they stay again until enough people complain again and they get the two weeks’ notice again and then they leave for a few days again. I’d say it’s a case of rinse and repeat, except these feral humans have not seen a rinse in months.
The vagrants are offered shelter in several vagrant shelters, but typically refuse to go there unless it gets very cold, which in Denver it fortunately sometimes does.
The city council sees this as a problem, but not in the way you would assume. The problem they see is not that there are too many vagrants panhandling and pooping up the downtown. It’s that there are too few.
So they’re addressing that problem. They formally approved a plan to pay people $1,000/month to be vagrants. This is in addition to the $40,000 to $100,000 per year per vagrant that they’re already spending on vagrancy according to a non-partisan research organization. (The number is inexact because it’s hard to get a fix on how many vagrants there are.) To put that figure in perspective, it’s two to six times what Denver spends per pupil per year on schools.
I should pause to mention that the city council wokesters don’t call the vagrants “vagrants” because that word connotes dirty, panhandling, substance-abusing, mentally ill drifters. For a while, they instead called them “homeless people” but they dropped that phrase when it came to connote dirty, panhandling, substance-abusing, mentally ill drifters. The nom du jure is now “people experiencing homelessness” which I expect to last only until that phrase comes to connote dirty, panhandling, substance-abusing, mentally ill drifters.
Back to the incentive program to recruit additional vagrants. City council will pay vagrants $1,000/month but there’s a condition. The vagrant must be either a woman, a transgender, or a “gender non-conforming” person, which is apparently a person who does not conform to his/her true gender (but doesn’t that impermissibly admit that people have true genders?). Straight white and black men need not apply.
It’s a little like Harvard’s reverse discrimination in admissions, except at Harvard it’s whites and Asians who need not apply. The Supreme Court will strike down Harvard’s racial discrimination in a case this term, but that will only make Harvard sneakier with it.
Like Harvard’s program, Denver’s program is obviously illegal. City council probably knows that, but the approach of the left these days is to knowingly and delightedly commit illegalities in the name of justice until a court orders them to stop, and maybe after then as well.
The theory behind Denver’s sexual discrimination is that the chosen groups are especially vulnerable. So why don’t they use the free shelters? And since they don’t use the free shelters, what makes anyone think that they’ll use the free $1,000/month to get shelter?
As for their vulnerability, women living on the street are indeed vulnerable. But what about transgenders and gender non-conformists? Is there any data suggesting that they’re more vulnerable on the street?
By the way, since when is the left concerned about the vulnerability of people on the street anyway? If they are concerned about that, why did they defund the police?
I once played around with vagrancy because I was curious who these people were and what their lives were like. I made a sign saying “Survived Cancer but Lost my Job.” (The sign was technically true, but misleading.) I stood with my sign outside the Hotel Jerome in Aspen. After an hour of being studiously ignored and just before I was about to quit for the day to go into the hotel for a nice single malt, sans sign, a person stuffed a bill in my hand. “Thanks,” I said. As he walked away, I saw that it was a Benjamin.
I tried to return the $100 to him, but he refused to take it back, saying “I’m just sorry to see you in this predicament.” I sheepishly walked down the block and donated the money to the local Catholic Church, asking that it be used for their vagrancy services. (I’m aware of only one vagrant in Aspen apart from the Aspen city council. Everyone called him “the homeless guy.” I haven’t seen him in a while.)
In the course of my investigation, I learned that even the shelters – maybe especially the shelters – urge people not to give cash handouts to vagrants. That’s because it enables their life of destructive vagrancy. They ask that you give money instead to the shelters so that it can be used for shelter, food, counseling and rehab rather than for alcohol and drugs. That sounds self-serving, but it makes sense.
Denver seems not to recognize that paying people money to be vagrants with no strings attached, other than to claim that they are a woman or a cross-dresser, will not cure them of their vagrancy, but will instead enable them to continue it, perhaps with a new dress.
This program undoubtedly makes some virtue signalers feel good about themselves, but it’s all at the expense of both the taxpayers and the vagrants. Shame on Denver city council.
Wait until word gets out…the inrush of new applicants should be a thrill to watch for Denverites, especially those with “Coexist” bumper stickers and “In This House We Believe” yard signs.
Well, before Denverites rush out to buy prosthetic breasts and get in line, they should know that they can’t apply for this windfall; they must be chosen by the gods of the Denver Basic Income Project, before randomly being assigned different payout schemes. Because “social justice” or something.
Always a catch, even when the program is brainless and worthless.
By week two of a 100-level economics class, a student will (or should) have learned that when you subsidize something, you only get more of it. For decades now, Progressives have been subsidizing insanity. And now we have a lot of it, both on the streets and in the halls of government.
Sad truth but so well said.
Thank you for your voice of honesty.
This guy used to write for the Aspen Times. Every year he was voted best column/article/opinion guy. A few years ago Aspen Times fired him because the didn’t like what he wrote. Every year since, he still gets voted best writer guy. It’s been funny. Right after they fired him, he started writing his own column, still lives in Aspen. It’s free and u just subscribe. He’s good at pointing out the craziness.
Douglas County is asking for another huge amount of $$$ for the schools. We just gave them a huge amount about 3 years ago. Our taxes went up like $1000. This could do it another $500. Mike said they going to chase us out of Colorado. These stupid politicians and the stupid voters.
Sent from my iPhone
Interesting about the sign to get donations. I knew a male RN 32 years ago who was a hospital colleague of my wife in New Orleans and he made a sign on a cup entitled “Smega Relief” and stood near Jackson Square to see how gullible people were. Folks actually put a some coins in the cup after which he left.
Did you mean smegma? I’d like to see someone try a “Maga Relief” sign to see what happens.
We need to use unoccupied apartments/houses to house the homeless. There are plenty available. I read the other day that there are 65 million empty homes in China.
Could the local pols be expecting (hoping?) the vagrants to use the $1k to buy drugs and O.D. to clear up the problem???
What if they instead illegally start buying handguns & ammo with it to protect themselves??
Do any other areas similarly and foolishly do anything like this, and if so, how has it turned out??
On another note – any chance of switching to an easier-to-read (darker/ bolder) font for this excellent blog? 🙂
I am glad that you have learned the valuable lesson of rectification of language, as taught by Confucius, grasshopper. The problem is not “homelessness.” That is merely a symptom of the problem, which is drug/alcohol dependency and mental illness. There was a time when more descriptive terms were applied, viz., “bum” or “hobo.” “Bums” would never think about taking a job to make money on which to live and were content to stay in oneplace until forced to move on. “Hobos” would frequently take menial, temporary employment to finance their travels. “Vagrants” were either “bums” or “hobos” who did something to irritate the town fathers and wound up in jail for thirty days for “vagrancy”, then were given “the bum’s rush” out of town. We will never deal effectively with the problem as long as we (i.e., the powers that be) refuse to use proper terminology. Their refusal is based on fear of being called “insensitive” or worse, “racist,” so until those words lose their power, there is no hope of solving the problem.
The Great Fire of 1910 in Idaho and Washington was fought in part by “bindle stiffs,” who were rounded up in the streets and rail yards of Spokane and sent to the front lines. Today’s variety doesn’t carry bindles but pushes shopping carts, and Spokane currently has the largest “camp” of such individuals in the State of Washington. Progress.
I meant to say Idaho and MONTANA mostly. It burned 3,000,000 acres and killed 87 people. The “stiffs” who survived did get paid and were fed. Who knows, some may have found religion.
“This program undoubtedly makes some virtue signalers feel good about themselves, but it’s all at the expense of both taxpayers and the vagrants.”
Regarding the virtue signalers — the Denver Basic Income Project, which has been contracted to administer the program, and whose mission statement is to “build a healthier society grounded in social justice and centered around improving human thriving” — I mean, how could they sound any more virtuous? I’d love to know how at the end of the year they plan to quantify the degree to which “society” has become “healthier” and “thriving” has been improved as a result of their noble endeavor.
Meanwhile, the taxpayers pretty much include all of us, since this project has been seeded with $2,000,000 of American Rescue Fund Act money, which I thought was supposed to provide relief to people laid off or put out of business by Covid restrictions.
Are the lucky selected vagrants going to be asked for evidence of their deprivation-by-Covid status?
Wow … I might as well abandon my $750K SoCal home, chop off my genitalia, put on a dress and wig, and then get on the next Greyhound bus to Denver!
Then again … there is always the option of going to Canada to become a high school vocational teacher.
Although I’m well into my fifties and pushing 60, I’m still a strong swimmer. Perhaps I can self-identify as 20 and become a trans-female swimming champion like this one.
Maybe there is a future for me as an icon on the Wheaties cereal box … although a better name for such a breakfast treat would be Cheaties.
So many options … what to do?
Better yet … I’ll just opt for my continued heterosexual marital bliss here in military-town suburbia nestled between San Diego and Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, doesn’t it seem more and more like life is imitating art? The geniuses at South Park nailed it several years ago …
We have the political establishment, academia, medical experts, and the media actively aiding, abetting and promoting mental illness as normal and healthy.
Now Denver community leaders will pay you to sexually mutilate yourself while living in your own filth and addicted to drugs on their city streets. So … where exactly is the compassion in this?!?
George Orwell would be so proud!
I live in Portland.
Hard drugs are legal here.
We have many homeless drug addicts.
It is an economic cycle.
Instead of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that used to go to landlords every month, those same dollars go to drug lords.
In turn, the government enabled the homeless drug addicts with hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.
In turn, the drug lords contribute to the democratic establishment.
I think in economics this is called a “virtuous cycle”,but I wouldn’t.
I’d call it a ‘vicious cycle’. These enablers do not respect human dignity.
Well said!and entirely accurate.
Well written as an explanation of insanity!
I might add, as I had written about LA AND SF:
these government bureaucrats are simply the same idiots they have always been. They are the Social Reformers with cillege degrees looking for a pathetic constituency to care for. And like all non-profits, following Parkinsons 3rd law, a bureaucracy tends to grow and expand as an organization by adding new layers of administration. (This is why we need SUNSET LAWS)
Sunset these ‘DO-GOODERS’.
They are only feathering their own nests. i. e. They want more power and more people reporting to them and they need to expand their constituencies!
Max Weber could have told these reformers this, but our brilliant sociology professors sweep this I under the rug.
Hey … great interview on Jesse Watters FNC show.
P.S. Right now, the only video clip I could find is on the leftist propaganda site Media Matters … you are definitely on their radar now.
If you’re not catching flak saying comes to mind.
Glenn was a good interview. Let’s all agree to have his back.
Dear Gosh! The comments below your “Spot” at Media Matter, no standard Lefty site…..it is THE Lefty site with Soros’s $$$$ and All, I digress, the comments below are riotous, just bile that mostly can’t stay on point, and they are going to rule the world, oh what a world it will be. Good appearance, not quite an Emmy winner but…….