The ‘stay homeless’ message
One of the eight stabbing victims injured Monday morning has been homeless for seven years, according to Jakob Rodgers’ front page article. As there are quite a few “get off the street” programs and opportunities available, provided by our homeless service industry, why has this woman been on our streets for this seven-year period? Who has been telling her to “stay homeless”? Unfortunately, the same agencies within this industry also have a menu of “no questions asked” handouts that are telling the homeless population to “stay homeless”. A significant minority of that group are listening to this message. There is also the misinformed and misguided “charity”, money given out car windows to vagrants, housed and homeless, by softhearted (and softheaded) citizens. This “stay homeless support” has created a subpopulation of homeless people that is creating many problems for our city, the neighborhoods unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity of the agencies providing the handouts, the programming that actually helps people off our streets and the homeless.
Just ask the Mill Street or Ivywild residents what it is like living with the swarm of enabled vagrants supported by the neighboring Rescue Mission. There is a response that could relieve this issue, at least partially. Salvation Armies and Rescue Missions in a number of communities have recognized the “toxic charity” that handouts can represent and have revised their programming to reduce the problems caused within the community. These very successful programs move people off our streets without the “stay homeless” message attached to the handouts.
The major members of our local industry appear to consider the subject of “helping vs enabling” to be a third rail, to be actively avoided in public discussion.
It can be done; our Salvation Army recently dedicated a few beds to be “rented” for $15 a night. The person can keep his (I believe this is men only) bed while working and saving money to move into real housing. The person can stash his belongings under the bed, avoiding having to carry stuff all over town. They also can avoid having to queue up every night for a “no-questions” bed. This service is saying “stop being homeless!”, loud and clear. The unfortunate aspect is that the service providers are also sending out the “stay homeless” message with their handouts.
I hope this stabbing will shake things up enough for our community to have a real conversation on this issue. We can reduce the support for vagrancy here. I am very tired of living in a town that has the reputation of being “a good place to be homeless” (as reported by our CSPD HOT team).
Moving in the wrong direction
I see the city made national headlines Monday for a stabbing spree. This doesn’t surprise me with the homeless problem we have downtown, along with being able to drive around all day long without seeing a police car. The Police Department seems understaffed and has not kept up with the booming population of Colorado Springs. This along with the overwhelming and ridiculous bike lanes that are taking up half of the streets downtown seems to indicate that city management is making bad decisions and moving in the wrong direction. The last time I was paying my hundreds of dollars at the Department of Motor Vehicles I failed to see a separate line for bicyclists. If we are going to make things fair for the privilege of sharing the roads then let’s not forget about registration fees and taxes for everyone.
Reducing traffic down to one lane on a two lane street does nothing but make traffic twice as long when sitting at a traffic light not to mention other problems such as emergency vehicles. Are they going to use the bicycle lanes when they need to get through traffic?
A wave of EVs on the horizon
OK, I get it. You don’t like the rich people and their electric cars and seek to vent your hostility by recommending really high annual fees — $1,000 or more for electric vehicles. That’ll show ’em!
Your Sunday Editorial Board text contradicts itself by claiming EV owners pay not one penny toward transportation infrastructure, followed by grudgingly admitting we pay $50 annual fee for exactly that. I concede $50 is low, since a hypothetical ICE vehicle getting 20 mpg and annually driving 10,000 miles would pay about $110 in gas tax for transportation infrastructure. So let’s add another $50 or $60 to the annual EV registration.
But wait – what about hybrids, which are only part EV? Should their annual contribution to transportation infrastructure be increased, by $25 or so to compensate for the gas tax they avoid?
I am an EV owner (you guessed?) and I prudently took advantage of the government subsidies available to EV purchasers. In my opinion, the Colorado EV purchase subsidy has a glaring fault in that the subsidy is a credit toward state income tax, and in my case (I’m not rich), covered all of my state tax obligation, remitting to me the remaining subsidy in cash. That is just silly. I would have been satisfied having no state tax payable for that year and forgoing the subsidy balance payment.
A wave of EVs is on the horizon.
Their purchase price will come down substantially while maintaining the advantages of minimal annual maintenance, low “fuel” cost/mile, and a marvelous driving experience.
Plus, they are quiet, don’t exhale noxious fumes and stink up the place.