Solve the Homeless Problem in Colorado Springs

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Colorado Springs has a serious homeless population problem. 

There is a solution to our homeless population problem. It will not be a “free ride” for anyone.

A proven solution that has worked in numerous cities across the country to reduce crime,panhandling, trash, public health problems and reduce the number of homeless by 40%.

From the trash to the panhandling to the large number of them wandering all over downtown with drug/alcohol addictions or untreated mental health issues to the pollution caused in our creeks, because the homeless are camping along them due to our city only having 966 shelter beds and over 2000* homeless people.(*number quoted by Sheriff Elder in Apr.2018)

The current handling of the homeless is costing the taxpayers MILLIONS of dollars a year in clean up and our police force chasing them & their camps from place to place to place all over town.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! It is time to start SOLVING the problem not ignore it in hopes that it will magically go away.

 So what is the solution that will help solve the homeless problem here in Colorado Springs that is working in cities across our great nation?

Tiny Home Villages!

It will not be a “free ride” for anyone. Everyone who stays in the village will be required to either:

-Work a job outside the village
-Work inside the village to maintain it( trash pick up, kitchen duty,maintenance, etc)
-Attend regular counseling, rehab or therapy sessions(if unable to work due to mental/addiction/health issues)
**please check out the links at the bottom to see for yourself how the legal encampments are working in other cities**

What is a Tiny Home Village?
There are varying levels, methods & involvement that different cities have successfully used to set up their particular tiny home villages. Some cities have one large village, others have several smaller ones. You can find links to information on several of the city’s villages & camps, including their success, at the bottom of this page.

The plan proposed to the mayor for a tiny home village in Colorado Springs takes the best of each of the other cities’ plans and combines it with other proven strategies from across the globe to create what will be the most successful tiny home village to date.

 The tiny home village here will have:
- Buildings with bathrooms, showers & laundry machines, all connected to city sewer, building with meeting & office space, community garden, chicken coop/small farm,pet care, storage and  community kitchen & dining area.

Having these things will make the homeless residents able to pick up after themselves, maintain good hygiene, have access to proper restrooms that don’t pollute our creeks, grow food so they don’t need to panhandle or dumpster dive & so they can be healthy enough to work & support themselves. They will have regular access to drug/alcohol counseling & psychiatric counseling so they can become stable enough to join the workforce. They will no longer be able to use the excuse of fear of stuff being stolen to prevent them from getting a job, teach them good work & social skills that they lack & need to reenter society & the workplace.

No one will be allowed to sit around the village doing nothing all day.  This village is a well organized and planned site designed to help elevate the homeless out of their current situation, not give them a hand out to perpetuate their homelessness.

Once the initial camp is set up the homeless will begin to build their own tiny home/structures to live in so that tents can be eliminated from the camp asap.

The village will provide everyone living in it everything the need to live & survive, as well as what they need to stabilize and get their lives back on track and become permanently housed.Residents will be required to contribute to the village in a meaningful way each week. Also, because they will have everything they need, panhandling by the residents will not be tolerated and will result in consequences.


Cost-

Legal encampments and tiny home villages in other cities have already proven to save those city’s MILLIONS of dollars in clean up and other spending related to dealing with the homeless population. The city estimates is costs $225,000 per illegal camp to clean it up to pre-illegal camp conditions  Legal camps are far cheaper to run than shelters and have a higher success rate for helping solving homelessness and tiny home villages are even better. Additionally, having no homeless on the streets will increase tourism and mean more money in the pockets of local businesses. It also means the police can focus on fighting gangs, illegal drugs and other crimes instead of dealing with the homeless.

 The estimated initial cost for the proposed tiny home village site here is approximately $250,000.  Several local companies have offered to donate their services to hook up water, sewer, electric, building materials, and more. So the cost to build the village is kept at less then the cost to build a single family home here. After that the camp is designed to be self sufficient and create enough revenue to support itself.  The estimate cost of running the village is $36,000 to $60,000  per year.

There is a plan that will have the homeless within the village create revenue to support themselves, rather then the taxpayers supporting them or the village. For time & space constraints the details of that plan are not included in this petition. A tiny home village is a WIN-WIN for Colorado Springs, it gets the homeless off the streets and saves the city millions of dollars.

So if you are ::

- tired of seeing tents all along our creeks- Sign this petition!

- tired of panhandlers harassing you at traffic lights. Sign this petition!

-tired of our police force wasting time on chasing homeless instead of chasing criminals.Sign this petition!

-tired of trash being left all over town by the homeless. Sign this petition!

-tired of seeing people talk to walls and scream crazy nonsense at the clouds. Sign this petition!

-want the homeless people to stop being gathered all over the streets downtown. Sign this petition!

-want the homeless to find housing and jobs. Sign this petition!

-want the homeless to support themselves. Sign this petition!

This is the solution we all want and need.  The solution that helps solve the issues of homelessness and gets them off the streets while it’s working.


LINKS:::


http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/HumanServices/AboutUs/Final%202017%20Permitted%20Encampment%20Evaluation.pdf

City of Seattle has successfully implemented a very similar plan with continuous and positive results. Also being tried in San Diego, as well as Austin which is about to greatly expand its program to accommodate the newly developed need for affordable housing to transition into.


http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2017-03/how-northwest-cities-have-made-space-for-homeless-encampments

Seattle Police Department is “100 percent on board” with the legal encampments.  He says ““Anytime we have an authorized encampment there are fewer safety concerns, incidents of crime compared with unauthorized encampments.”

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/homelessness/sd-me-tents-seattle-20171013-story.html

Reduction of homeless by 39-40%


http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/HumanServices/AboutUs/Final%202017%20Permitted%20Encampment%20Evaluation.pdf

Seattle’s analytics of their encampments

https://www.mystatesman.com/news/opinion/homeless-village-travis-county-starting-bear-fruit/Mi6xEhE3ebnI55Ihsod0iM/

Cities with legal encampments have saved up to $4 million dollars in the first 6 months of the encampment running.

http://spu.edu/engaging-homelessness/FAQs

No increase in crime due to camps, actually reduces crime rate. Camps do not perpetuate homelessness.

https://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1033&context=californialawreview

An average legal encampment “might cost approximately $30 to $60 per person per month to operate, for example, while the average monthly cost of housing an individual in a homeless shelter, transitional housing, or permanent supportive housing is $1,634 to $2,308.”

 



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