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We've got two presentation for the homelessness strategy discussion. First one is the meaty one:…
These get pretty dense, bc there are so many definitions (navigation, permanently supportive housing) and so much data that it's hard to parse. I'll do my best.
I think I struggled a bit to capture the main tension, which is this: Boulder has a housing first strategy for homelessness (get ppl into housing) which is a best practice and a good model.

We've housed almost 400 ppl in the past 2.5 years, which is great.
It also has coordinated entry, which is when every person seeking services is directed to one single screening entity.
Critics contend that ppl fall through the cracks. Almost all of these services, for instance, are for single adults. There's no women shelter, for instance (there will be in the fall, as private nonprofit Mother House is starting one up).
There's also a gap between when people are screened and directed to housing and when they can actually get into housing. So what do they do in the meantime? They're not allowed to legally sleep outside, or in cars, or with too many other people.
Critics want solutions for this. Staff argues that any $$ taken away from housing first means fewer ppl can be housed, which is the only way to end homelessness.
Anyway, I hope that's a better explanation of the issue. I'm sure I'm still leaving things out.
Firnhaber starts by addressing allegations that staff intentionally blocked recommendations from Housing Advisory Board and Human Relations Commission bc they disagree with them.

Not true, he says: Recommendations came too late to be included in the packet.
Fair, but *amended* packets have been sent out in the past with late additions, or attachments sent to council (and shared with the public) in some official capacity. That didn't happen this time.
Also odd: There's a slide in tonight's presentation about those recommendations, from official Boulder boards, and then a slide with "recommendations" from a citizen group who wants to step up ticketing and arrests of persons experiencing homelessness.
That's not entirely unprecedented either, though it is rare. So it seems like the city giving equal legitimacy to this citizen petition as with Boulder's boards and commissions, who are appointed by council and are often subject matter experts or ppl with lived experience.
Not always, tho: Sometimes just political insiders.
Anyway, Firnhaber said that such criticisms of staff threatened "psychological safety" and referenced the Tipton report, in which planning/public works staff said criticism from council and the public was affecting their ability to do their jobs, etc.
Back to business:

Vicki Ebner on diversions for ppl who aren't local ppl experiencing homelessness: That's not just buying ppl tickets out of town, she says.
We do a lot of work to make sure they are ending up with family, friends or another shelter, she says. We make sure they have some place to land.
There is no followup, critics have noted. Providers counter that its' incredibly difficult and expensive to do. Money is better spent on solutions for local unhoused population.
Really good glossary here:
Ebner going over the city's COVID response for ppl experiencing homelessness, which was a great success.

Boulder set up a separate location for this population and never had a widespread outbreak. Only a few positive cases.
"We don't have hundreds and hundreds of people in shelters or hotel that are at risk," Ebner says.
One of the biggest changes being proposed by staff is combining severe weather shelter with the Boulder Shelter, which will be a loss of 72 beds. That's on top of 50 beds lost already by combining Navigation services with Boulder shelter, and beds closed due to COVID.
Projections show that demand for shelter will exceed capacity every month from October to March, which you might also note are known as Winter in Colorado.
Council is most likely to object to this suggestion, since having not enough beds during winter, right after a predicted wave of evictions, seems like kinda a bad idea.
Staff's plan is to send some ppl (~18 a night) to hotels.
And they hope that capacity at Boulder Shetler will increase once more ppl have been placed into housing. They've set a goal of 64 ppl between May and December.
Gotta say, no city issue has worse and more confusing charts and graphs than homelessness. Dear Lord, the colors, the numbers... Absolutely unreadable, some of them.
Like who is ya'lls graphic person?? Honey, I'm sorry but... You need help.
Back to COVID: Boulder will keep that COVID Recovery Center open for the rest of the year. It's not at an old church that BHP owns and will redevelop into senior housing.

Every unhoused person who accesses any service is being screened for COVID.
8 ppl have tested positive so far, which is far less than in Denver. (Which also has way more ppl experiencing homelessness.)

But still, Boulder did a really good job when it came to COVID and unhoused folks.
What does Boulder spend on homelessness? $4.13M
2020 Adult Homelessness Budget = $2,113,275
• Services and supplies = $1,143,400
• Housing = $969,875
Affordable Housing dedicated to Permanent Supportive Housing in 2020 ≈ $1,192,550
Family/Youth Homelessness and Prevention = $822,200

Forgot to mention earlier (or maybe I did?) family homelessness efforts are all centered on prevention, bc shelters are really bad for kids.
But if a family is already homeless, they can get help through EFAA very quickly. So families are kept entirely separate from the city/county system we're talking about tonight.
As noted in the council packet: Families are more likely to live in their vehicles than are single adults experiencing homelessness.
Some places that are testing out safe parking have lots just for women and/or ppl with kids.
Back to severe weather shelter (open only in the winter, and only when temps drop below 32 or 38 with rain/snow): It was open every night once COVID hit. Staff recommending returning to weather-triggered.
Most ppl who use that aren't local, Ebner says.
Moving on to slide 14, which contains the *most* confusing graph in this entire thing. I had two people look at it and see if they could figure it out. They could not.

We are all blonde, but still.
It's about unhoused people who go through the municipal court system.

Municipal court (Sept. 30, 2009 - Sept. 30, 2019)
114 high utilizers = 455 years of homelessness (avg of 9 years each)
37,184 jail nights
1,354 court charges
Top 30: $753,100 in EMS expenses
The court has a system where, if you make steps toward getting documentation or housing (like applying for programs or getting a license, which they help you with) your charges get dropped.
It's very successful: 1,082 cases = 31% good behavior diversions (274 ppl) 11% housing-focused diversion (32 individuals — 5 moved into PSH, 2 have vouchers and are looking)
"HSBC is really a learning system," Ebner says. "Our rate for getting ppl out of the homeless system is increasing as the years go by."
This counts all "exits" not just ppl placed into housing. So if you're put into an addiction treatment program, or Ready to Work, or sent to live with family/friends or another shelter in another town, that is an exit.
In the first year of this new system, 15% of those screened achieved exits.
Year 2: 28%
Year 3: 33%

(These are staff provided. I haven't crunched the numbers myself.)
But I have written about it before:…
Some numbers I did crunch: 26% of all those screened and prioritized for placement in housing have actually been housed.
What happened to the rest? Hard to say, Firnhaber said in an interview earlier today. Some have moved away, some are still homeless.
Others are in the Boulder Shelter.

It takes many months to get into housing, Firnhaber said. There are just not enough units, though every affordable housing development now sets aside some units for formerly homeless.
One criticism of staff is that their memos NEVER include any "opportunities for growth" or identify any gaps in the system.

There is a "challenges and actions" slide (18) in the presentation, though.
I also am frustrated by what I perceive is a lack of willingness to admit where things could be made better. I mean, everyone is trying to fix homelessness, right? How can you fix something if you never admit what needs fixing?
Let me model it for you: Boulder Beat does great in-depth coverage and analysis. BUT I'm only one person, so no editing (many typos!) not a great capacity for coverage and no one to balance missing perspectives, biases, questions I didn't think to answer, etc.
See? It's not that hard!
Ebner: "We're not going to be able to solve homelessness for everybody that may want to come to Boulder." We have to make sure we're putting resources to those already living in Boulder County.
"It's much easier to help someone avoid homelessness than to help them once they are homeless," Ebner says.
Excluding CU students, 7,200 ppl in Boulder live below the federal poverty line.

~60% spend more than 30% of their income on rent.
"As the pandemic continues, nobody knows how many ppl in the community" are going to need help to avoid homelessness, Ebner says
Something new: Staff proposing a pilot team of three ppl
- Mental health professional
- Person with lived experience
- Person with experience providing homeless services
They would interact with ppl experiencing homelessness to try and get them to services and also inform them "about
camping ordinances" as well as "reporting encampments."

Would work with the police's HOT (homeless outreach team, which is 2 officers)
Getting to the HAB/HRC recommendations, which council also asked staff to research at its annual retreat earlier this year.…
Staff does not support safe camping or safe parking, Ebner says. It would cost too much and take too much work.
Ebner: Tiny homes could work, but probably doesn't make sense in Boulder bc land costs so much $$$.
RE safe camping and parking, Ebner says: It could be unsafe for the clients and nearby neighborhoods.
Firnhaber is taking over now to specifically address HAB and HRC recommendations.
Those boards had significant criticism of staff's research into safe camping and parking, which they said was biased and missing information.
On tiny homes specifically, while that's promising, Firnhaber says, most places where those are have more land than Boulder. Most of our developable land is .5 acre to 1 acre, he says.
Firnhaber: "The dif between tiny homes in Seattle and Boulder is first of all our land cost is a bit higher, but more importantly, our fees are higher, we require foundations, we have regs around requiring radon mitigation, every residence requires sprinkler systems."
"In Boulder, it costs $60,000 to create a residence before you've even done anything."
"I thought Hogan Pancost would be that location" where it made sense to do tiny homes, Firnhaber says. Council went a different direction.

Yeah. As in mentioned it once and then never addressed it again or explored it.
Then took the land out of circulation for any development of any kind.
Firnhaber going over the HAB/HRC recommendations one by one.
What staff supports: Updating the dashboard every 30 days
Educating the community
Exploring creative, alternative funding models
What it doesn't support: Everything else, including an oversight committee

But part of that, it does, which is getting more input from ppl who are experiencing homelessness or previously experienced homelessness
Firnhaber on Safer Boulder's push for more ticketing/arrest of ppl experiencing homelessness: It's hard to categorize these as things we agree with or don't. It's hard to know what's behind these, what ppl are thinking.
"Categorizing homeless individuals as criminals, we didn't really support the way that was portrayed," Firnhaber says.
Moving on to council qs.
Reps from the HAB and HRC are here to answer qs. They asked to present but were turned down.

Boards don't always present (often they are just here for qs) but they have before and a lot recently.
Brockett: What's "reunification" vs "diversion"? in terms of exiting homelessness
Ebner: Diversion primarily is reunification, but it could be paying for someone's car repair or negotiating with a landlord to let them back into housing.
It's "light-touch," Ebner says.
Firnhaber: A car repair would help someone get to a job so they can stay in housing.
Brockett: But the point would be either that they were housed or kept in housing? All the ppl at the end of it have housing?
Yes, Firnhaber says.
Firnahber going over bed reductions: 282 last year
160 at Boulder Shelter
72 at SWS
50 at Navigation

Today: 90-100 at Boulder Shelter + COVID recovery center and hotel placements
"It's a drop of a little over 100 beds," Firnhaber says.
Brockett: "That's a significant reduction"
SWS will have about 30 beds available if we consolidate at the shelter, right?
Firnhaber: Correct
Brockett: "That's a much smaller number than we've had in the past. That may well have capacity problems and may not be sufficient."

What's our plan if we have a blizzard and 30 beds but 60 ppl?
Firnhaber: Let me first go over "proactive" solutions, which (in the packet) include service providers communicating to the current unhoused population that there simply won't be enough beds come winter.
"Communicating with them about where they're going to be staying in the winter is critically important," Firnhaber says.
"We've seen that homeless individuals using the services do manage based on the availability of services. It will behoove us to be very clear in our communication with individuals about what the actual capacity is. All of us share the concern around capacity...."
"... particularly in the first year," Firnhaber says.

Also (as mentioned earlier): Housing more ppl to free up Boulder Shelter beds.
Brockett: That's how we plan to avoid having overcapacity. But what if we reach that point? Do we have a backup plan?
Firnhaber: "We do not have a backup plan."
Wallach: How many beds do we have at the COVID recovery center?
Firnhaber: 20-30
Wallach: That will run through next April?
Firnhaber: Yes
Wallach: "Do we have a Plan B if we're still stuck in the grips of the pandemic?"
Firnhaber: BHP hopes to break ground fall 2021, so we could keep that going until then
Wallach: The BTHERE pilot (3-person outreach team), when will that be operational?
Firnhaber: Next 30-40 days, with the grant $$ the county is getting.
Young: That program, what's the difference from existing program on mental health? (EDGE)
Firnhaber: Edge is when someone calls 911 and someone needs mental health assistance, providers come with Boulder PD.
Firnhaber: It's crisis intervention. BTHERE is trying to "address what we see as a shortfall in our work right now, which is engaging ppl who are not engaging with our system right now."
This has helped in other communities, Firnhaber says.
Young: 7,200 ppl believe the federal poverty line. That's pretty low. Even at 200% of that, it's pretty low and requires ppl to access services. How many people are at that level?
Firnhaber: Idk, but "it's well more than 7,200"
More than half of ppl in the affordable housing program are below 30% of area median income. (The point being they earn an income that is so low, they qualify for gov't help)
Young: You said an oversight program isn't possible at the city level, bc homeless response is a county-wide coordinated program. Could residents engage with the county on that?
I think the answer is yes....?

Young: How many affordable housing units are coming online between now and the winter sheltering season? (Oct.)
Firnhaber: 220 units in all of 2020 "one of the best years we've had in quite some time."
But the actual number, I don't know, Firnhaber says, bc BHP is now freeing up units for formerly unhoused individuals.
"We're housing between 10 and 20 individuals every month ... over a year at that rate," Firnhaber says. "There's no reason to think that's not going to continue."
Young: How does that correlate with the number of shelter beds we're losing?
Firnhaber: It's not a 1-to-1 correlation. It's something like 2-to-1: Every 2 individuals housed is going to free up a bed at the shelter.
Young: With safe parking and camping, are there any land use issues, barriers to prevent that?
Firnhaber: That's been a discussion point for many years. There are Dif management systems that would have to be in place. ... City did a tour in 2016 and didn't find an appropriate site to go forward.
Charles Ferro is answering Young's q: Safe to park is a "fine line" between what would be considered an accessory use vs. campground. If something's going to be routinely used, it would be a campground and are limited. There are def land use considerations.
Young: Is there anything that would prevent a private landowner from establishing safe parking? Like a group of neighbors who wanted to let ppl safe park on their property? Or a commercial property owner from establishing safe parking?
Ferro: Yes I think there are. We have some really specific regulations on the use of mobile homes on private property. The q is one of enforcement. Is it one RV overnight? 8 RVs? "There are def land use considerations that would preclude those on a regular basis."
Young: Walmart allows parking on their parking lots. What would someone in Boulder have to do to allow that?
Ferro: Target, for example, isn't industrial zoned, so you couldn't have a use that would be considered a campground.
Young: So it would have to be in an industrial or agricultural zone?
Yes, Ferro says, it would require a use review to allow a campground in either of those zones (which is a planning board/ council process)
Young: With tiny homes, could they establish a village if they had the land?
Ferro: They're still required on a fixed foundation. Our building code update this year allowed homes as small as 400 ft, but they still have to meet lot standards.
You need a 7,000 sq ft lot in RL-1 which is 71% of city's residential land, and everything that goes along with single family detached homes.
You can read more here:…
Brockett: Can a private homeowner allow someone to sleep in their car on private property?
No, Ferro says.
Brockett: The tiny home village idea, you could put 1 tiny home on a lot in a low-density residential area. But if you found a lot in medium- or high-density zone, could you do a tiny home village?
Ferro: "I don't want to say it's impossible. It would be very difficult."
For Ponderosa Mobile Home Park (where mobile homes are being replaced with fixed-foundation ones), the staff had to modify "every single" standard to allow that, Ferro says.
Brockett disputes Firnhaber's recollection on the tour of the city for feasible land for safe camping/parking.

There were some that were possible, Brockett says, but it was a policy decision to not pursue it.
Wallach: I assume religious institutions can use their parking lots for ppl to sleep in their vehicles? (or safe camping)
No, Ferro says. The city has partnered with faith orgs in the past to allow camping, but it was on a limited basis.
Carr: There's a federal law that limits local gov't to regulate religious institutions in what they can do with their land, for religious purposes. "We try to walk softly" and work with those organizations.
Friend: When you talk about campgrounds being OK in industrial zones, do we have any campgrounds in Boulder? I usually think about camping in green places...
Ferro: I'm not aware of any campgrounds in Boulder
Young: There used to be a KOA at Valmont/63rd

Now it's KOA Lake and open space!
Young: Faith organizations could work with the city and come up with a management plan to allow safe parking or camping?
Ferro: That's typically how we've addressed it in the past.
Swetlik: Does each dept. account for what dollars are spent on $$ spent dealing with homelessness? Do police, for instance, track how much $$ they spend on enforcement? Parks and rec?
Brautigam: We have asked dept to keep data on how much $$ they spend on homeless services. It is very difficult to do that, bc there are things that are easy to understand (HOT spending) but misc expenses are tough.
"There's some data I will not be able to get you," Brautigam says in response to Swetlik request. For example: Time spent responding to unhoused persons. It might be 5 min in a 10-hr shift or 1 hr for a police officer; we can't know that.
Chief Herold: I can tell you in the aggregate how much time police spend on homelessness. It fluctuates from year to year, 10% to 20%. It's seasonal. 2020 being much higher than other years.
Swetlik: When we give tickets to enforce the camping ban, what's the process? Do they end up in jail? Do they wind up back on the street, so enforcement is pointless?
Herold: I look at it as an intervention point for services. HOT doesn't enforce the camping ban; they work with unhoused persons to get services.
Municipal judge Cooke: There's a certain % of ppl who don't come to court after a camping ban ticket. Theoretically they get arrested and go to jail.
"Our goal is to get at the root cause, and that becomes the sentence," Cooke says.
Doesn't really get to the data that's needed: How many camping ban tickets are issued to the same people?
Herold: In these encampments, we find drugs, ppl with felony warrants, with weapons. "We find signs of serious criminal issues we have to address."
Friend: Putting aside other criminal activity, if someone is arrested for violating the camping ban and isn't interested in services and so gets another ticket... what happens then?
Cooke: If someone continues to camp and they come to court, we're going to work with them repeatedly, and try to engage them to do things that will help get them from homeless to not-homeless. (We covered a bit of this earlier in the thread.)
That's best-case, Cooke says. If ppl continue to get tickets and not come to court, they will get a jail sentence. But a sentence for a camping ticket is 1 day in jail.

"To be honest, that doesn't change a lot of behavior."
Most repeat offenders have other things going on: mental illness, etc., Cooke says.
Young bringing up warrant clustering: Don’t issue warrants for low-level violations (like camping) until there are multiple ones (missing court 3 times on 3 Dif cases), to avoid multiple jail stays
Plus it take a lot of police time to enforce every time.
Swetlik: You mentioned there are some communities we can't serve under current approach, like ppl addicted to meth. I assume there are others... couples? Ppl with pets? Are there several groups like this we can't provide temporary or permanent shelter to right now?
Firnhaber: I don't think any of those examples would prevent ppl from getting into housing.
(I asked this same q today and didn't get a different response. Answer was: ppl on meth, ppl with mental health issues, ppl who are service-resistant)
Firnhaber: Pets not allowed in shelter, so it's difficult for us to get into shelter.
Swetlik: And couples?
Firnhaber defers to Greg Harms, director of Boulder Shelter.
Harms: We do not have the capacity to serve couples together. They're welcome to stay, but in separate dorms.
Firnhaber talking about meth-resistant housing, which is being piloted.
Swetlik: Any idea if we know what % of homeless population has meth addiction?
Young: There are federal laws that limit what you can ask someone about their service animal, right?
Harms: Yes. What we can ask, legally, is what service is the animal trained to do for you?
Friend: We hear a lot about ppl who have been here less than 6 months. Where do they fit? Are they newer homeless? Chronically homeless?
Ebner: They're typically newer to homelessness but not new to homelessness.
Friend: Where did 6 mos. of residency requirement come from?
Firnhaber: The county collaborative: City of Boulder, Longmont and BoCo.
Friend: Did council weigh in on that?
Firnhaber: No
Friend: What's the % of homeless who are identified sex offenders?
Cooke: I'm not sure I can quantify that. We're looking at criminal histories now.
Cooke: Sex offenders is a wide range. The most common is indecent exposure; most of the sex offenders are not felony sex offenders.
Friend: Does that include peeing in public?
Cooke: No, that's not a sex offense.

Pee freely, my friends!
Friend (I think) asks how many ppl placed into housing are still housed?
Ebner: We don't track that on the dashboard, but Dif programs (and the county) does track who returns to homelessness and how long they stay in housing.
Friend: What about for diversion or reunification?
Ebner: We have a 30-day followup we've just started doing, but it's hard to get much followup with the low-income population; cell phone numbers change, etc.
Friend: Why did we give Safer Boulder their own slide? Other community groups wrote in? And we made it even with HAB/HRC?
Firnhaber: That was a council member request.
Friend: Where can ppl go during the day? Libraries are closed, we don't have day services.
Ebner: Nowhere, really, but that's not different from any other time. "In some ways, having some time outside is actually healthier" bc it doesn't facilitate spread of COVID.
Firnhaber: We opened up a temporary bathroom at Mapleton, and elsewhere. New bathrooms along the creek at 9th Street. "But that has been a challenge."
Friend: Can we get more clarification on our plans for who is in line for housing (particularly with expected evictions) and shelter when demand exceeds capacity?
Firnhaber: We have an update on that Aug. 4, but it includes increased funding for rental assistance.
You can read more about that here:…
Since that time, new info: City plans to put all of their annual Community Development Block Grant $$ to rental assistance, split between EFAA and BHP. (About $800,000, per Firnhaber today)
Wendy Schwartz answering Friend q about getting more input from unhoused persons. I'm sorry but I spaced out.
Sorry; this is a long ass meeting.
Joseph asks a q about "supportive outdoor living" or something... someone's proposal? I missed it and I can't hear Ebner's answer bc of Joseph's background noise.
OH I vaguely remember this. It was Darren O'Connor who asked about providing bathrooms, etc. for ppl who are homeless and not in shelter currently.
Schwartz: We didn't think that would work bc his budget was "optimistic."
We don't support it for the same reason we don't support safe camping, Schwartz says.
Joseph asks for info on repurposing parking lots for safe parking. "Since we already have parking lots in Boulder, we have lots of them."
Staff has already said they don't support this.
Firnhaber: At 30th Street and North Boulder Shelter, individuals who have car can park their vehicles there and get service. Instead of sleeping in their cars, they can sleep at that location.
Ferro: I think we could use parking lots overnight, in properties that are zoned industrial, through use review, to allow overnight parking.
Joseph: So even parking lots owned by the city, it's not an option?
Ferro: Not without rezoning, unless it's in industrial or ag zone.
Joseph asks a budget q, but I'm fading. I'm sorry!
Firnhaber: As far as safe parking, communities that do safe parking, they do have costs associated with those (security, management, bathroom facilities, etc.)
Young: But there's nothing to prevent the private piece of the public-private idea to have a community-driven party to come forward and create safe parking in an industrial zone.
Joseph: Do we have those lands available for such purposes in Boulder?
Ferro: There's plenty of parking lots in the industrial zones. Not much non-developed land, though.
Joseph asks about the poverty line number, and if college students ever come to seek homeless services?
Schwartz: The raw census data on income includes college students, and you can see it when we compare to neighboring areas. "Certainly we can't say there aren't college students who are in impoverished conditions."
But we adjusted that data bc many college students don't have any income but are supported by parents, Schwartz says. Leaving them in the data makes it misleading.
Joseph has an issue with ticketing poor ppl for a camping ban and viewing that as a way to engage them with services. Her q: Is the ticket monetary? Is it a warning? What does it look like?
Cooke: They are written where they can pay a fine and close a case, but we understand that's not going to happen. Our court navigators intervene to refer them to services.
"That's our consequence, if you will. There is not a fine imposed. We don't even use community service much anymore." We're trying to do something that will help them, like getting an ID.
Weaver: The state has some COVID housing funding available. Are we going for that or is the county?
Ebner: We'll have more details on Aug. 4 but we're talking about it as a collaborative.
We are BLOWING PAST that 10 p.m. stop.
But first, a 5-min break.
3 min, sorry
Man that went by fast.
Swetlik is asking board representatives to explain their issues with staff's presentation.
Judy Nogg from HAB up first.
"I was alarmed when I got to the data that had been supplied to our group and council but wasn't in the presentation tonight at all," mostly ones comparing other cities in the U.S. and their programs.
She has a friend who runs these programs in Seattle and King Conty. So she sent it to her friend, who sent it around to providers and found "a lot of misinformation ... These aren't anecdotal stories. These are hard data."
Staff got the data from secondary sources and "a little while ago." I don't hold that against them, Nogg says, but it's alarming and disconcerting to be making decisions on this questionable data.
Wow. Quite a revelation.
Lindsey Loberg from Human Relations Commission: What we're providing is a number of years of public feedback that are informing our concerns, which is less around data.
Friend: Ultimately, what do you hope is the outcome of this study session?
Loberg: We didn't have a lot of time to really dig into a set of recommendations. What we would like from you is a green light for a subcommittee, that's already been formed, to explore more deeply.
Nogg: We want the conversation to continue. We think there's a whole lot of voices out there. Advocates, formerly unhoused. Safer Boulder has a really legitimate complaint about the creek not being clean and safe.

We want public hearings.
Nogg: I want staff to contact providers in Seattle and King County. They've offered to talk.

We are worried about the severe weather shelter.
Yates: First q for council is, do we want to explore these other interventions more? (Safe parking, camping, tiny homes)
Young: It seems to me that there is the potential for creating safe parking/campground with a privately funded and community-driven approach. There's nothing to prevent a group of advocates of doing that.
(You can see where this is going)
"It could kind of happen outside of the city's efforts," Young says.

One thing she is concerned about: A shortage of beds this winter with shelter consolidation.
Young: "I would actually spend the $$ on actually housing ppl than on creating pilot programs that don't actually move people into housing."
Wallach (who has already expressed his views in a very aggressive email): If HRC and HAB want to take a deeper dive into alternative interventions, I would encourage them to do so.
Staff's conclusions are "rebuttable presumptions," he says. HRC and HAB are free to rebut them.

"I'm content with our homeless programs to the extent of our resources. ... I believe housing first should remain our guiding philosophy."
Swetlik: "This is a really good foundation. Everything we've done to this point is commendable. In my opinion, we need to fill a lot of these holes."

Supports HAB and HRC further exploring alternatives.
The fact that both boards were unanimous says a lot, Swetlik says. (He was previously on HAB). "I think there a lot of good ideas here to explore."
Swetlik: I know we have a large meth addicted population. If we can't house those people, that shows that housing first is not the only solution. It's a glaring hole. "We need a way to provide safety to ppl in the short term even if they have mental health and addiction issues."
Friend: I think if we're going to green light HAB and HRC, who were unanimous over these, I don't know how much more I really need to say.
It was just a few weeks ago that staff and members of council (I forget which ones) argued that boards weren't qualified to do deep-dives into things without lots of staff time and support.

Other members of council of course pushed back against that.
I'll have to look that up and make a direct comparison, bc no one seems to be making those objections this time.
Brockett: "There are still ppl who are not served by that system, ppl who fall through the cracks for one reason or another." Ppl waiting for housing or shelter adverse. "Offering some kinds of Dif options for folks in Dif situations is worth exploring."
"We're going to do everything we can to prevent a wave of evictions, but the economic crisis is not going away anytime soon," Brockett says. "We need to make sure we have a broad toolkit to deal with that."
Brockett: I'm concerned about capacity issues with combining severe weather sheltering this winter. ... "We don't have a backup plan at this point if capacity is lacking."

"Develop some backup plans. Some kind of overflow options."
Weaver: "Some of us have perspective on what the system was like before the change" to the current system. "It's just night and day."
Weaver: The outcomes are phenomenal. As everybody who studies this says, the ultimate solution is housing. Maybe there's another rung or two on the ladder that we can put in, but we should "celebrate how far we've gotten."
Weaver: In Colorado, counties typically handle housing and human services. Boulder goes above and beyond what most cities do.
Weaver: I've worked in the past on trying to create a campground. It's much harder than ppl think.

I'm for looking more into these alternatives, keeping in mind how heavy of a lift this is for the city.
"We need to be careful not to add to the plate to the detriment of programs we already have," Weaver says.
"The homeless unsheltered program needs our support, they need the programs we're talking about," Weaver says. "But there are other groups in our community that need our support and there are not infinite resources."
Nagle: Agrees with Weaver.
"We have two different group of ppl that we serve," Joseph says: "Ppl that need housing and ppl that can't be housed or are unable to engage in the system."

We have to offer options for both groups, she says, to provide safe space.
Supports more research into safe parking, camping, etc.
Joseph: "We have to find ways to bridge the gap, and that gap is ppl who are unable to engage the system as-is."
I think there's a majority of council concerned with severe weather shelter capacity. (Friend addressing now)
Young clarifying that she does NOT support any staff time going to HRC and HAB research on alternatives.

"I do not want to extend any energy on something that takes away from housing resources."
Longmont and Denver safe parkings are not gov't supported. All gov't are supporting housing first which align with housing first, Young says.
Swetlik: I get where you're coming from, but I don't want to prevent them from doing work. When I was on HAB, we asked to look at occupancy limits, and we were told specifically by council not to look at occupancy limits.
Also concerned about severe weather shelter
Yates supports the BTHERE pilot (three-person team doing outreach to ppl experiencing homelessness). "I know the value of those services; our cops are great, but if a cop shows up ... it's a different dynamic."
Yates OK with further investigation of safe parking or camping, but not putting any city $$ toward it. It would have to be private $$
"I do worry that this is zero sum" and $$ would be taken away from housing, Yates says. "I'm not going to be enthusiastic about city money for any of those things."
"Who are we going to serve?" Yates asks. We're serving ppl who have no connection to Boulder whatsoever.

Sharing stats about the % of ppl screened who have been there 6 mos or less
83% between Jan and April 2020, up from 48% 2 yrs ago
Yates: "What responsibility do we have to provide housing to ppl from Denver? Or out of state? ... If we are going to serve every single person, we will never have enough beds."
I'mma wrap this one and do a new one for overnight parking. @threadreaderapp please unroll. Thank you.
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