Do we really want tent camps that will thrive for years?

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Is the City Council of Colorado Springs in denial regarding the tent camps? We have a crises, it’s a real problem that is not going away. We simply cannot refuse to talk about it as a community any longer. Let’s not allow this problem to have an on-going affect on our community, tourism, business trade or economic development.

Homeless clusters will continue to grow in our city because of the legal void stance, the City of Colorado Springs has adapted for the tent camps. It seems like the city is turning their heads and isolating the tent camps folks from all that is acceptable socially. The City Council seems to be taking a “mind our own business” attitude, which will result in attracting even more homeless folks to the tent camps. Do we really want the tent camps will thrive on for a long time to come?

The City of Colorado Springs is portraying themselves as Political Enablers, by making it easier for the homeless in the tent camps to continue and progress with their self-destructive and unacceptable social behavior. We need to allow the hardcore homeless living in the tent camps to be responsible for the consequences of their actions, whether it be drugs, alcohol, etc., and cannot position ourselves as a city, to rescue the hardcore homeless. These are tough choices — but we need to be detached with love as a community and put programs together for these folks.

The City Council needs to champion a humanitarian solution to our tent camps problems by partnering with homeless advocates, the police department, the community, and most importantly the agencies in place for “people in need”. We need to move these folks into shelters and transitioning housing with more sanitary conditions. We as a community need to work side by side supporting and working effortless with the agencies that have the knowledge, education and experience to guide the homeless to get “back on track”.

Please don’t ignore this challenge.

Janis Heuberger

One Response to Do we really want tent camps that will thrive for years?

  1. Homeless service providers are and have been working on this problem. We are developing even more alternatives to offer to the homeless campers who proliferated after the City decided to cease enforcing the existing “No Camping” ordinance. We don’t have that many more homeless, but rather homeless who have moved closer to free food, etc., because they could. Handing out goodies: tents, blankets, sleeping bags, candles does not help the problem, but rather exacerbates it.
    I will present a plan of alternatives to City Council in a month or so, but an integral part of it will be resuming enforcement of the “No Camping” ordinance. We desperately need to get back to the “hand up, not a hand out” philosophy that seems to have been set aside recently.
    Bob Holmes
    Executive Director,
    Homeward Pikes Peak

    Bob Holmes
    December 31, 2009 at 12:13 pm