The city of Denver will spend a total of $1.7 billion from 2021 through the end of 2023 on homelessness. The spending would increase from $465 million in 2021 to an estimated $660 million in 2023, a 42% spike. Where is all this money going? Can we see an annual report of how every dollar was spent?
We need to do better.
Couldn't we use these funds to provide housing for people, and provide on-site substance abuse, and mental health help, and training to teach them valuable skills like plumbing, electric, mechanical skills, etc so they can get jobs and get back on their feet? What if people could be given training duties in their own provided housing to help learn and work on building maintenance, cleaning, plumbing, electric, painting, gardening, etc so they learn valuable skills, and gain purpose, pride, and the feeling of being valued in their community? With all the millions of dollars the city of Denver is collecting via taxes to help solve homelessness, we want to know: where is all this money going?! How could it be spent more wisely to truly help & motivate people get back on their feet?
Rather than focus on building endless new housing which is most often not affordable at all and only exasperates the high cost of living here, why not build homeless shelters and housing into our existing empty office buildings, motels, and other empty commercial buildings that already exist?
There are vacancies everywhere along Colfax and in downtown Denver, couldn't we use the homeless funds to help create safe places for people to have access to housing, showers, training, counseling and job training so that they can regain respect and feel like they're part of our community?
Let's do better, Denver!
Our Denver community treats our dogs better than we do our humans. Organized tent cities in parking lots are not a good solution. Allowing people to camp in their vehicles is not a good solution.
Certainly the money is there to help solve this rapidly growing community issue, so how can we better spend the millions of dollars collected to help combat homelessness by providing safe indoor (not tent) housing, as well as on-site counseling and skill training so that we're actually making a difference? Let's give people their dignity back by helping them help themselves and provide a safe place to do it.