Well, it was worth a shot …

In response to bad press surrounding Boulder’s aggressive treatment towards the local homeless population, one Boulder resident has submitted plans to the city council for an official homeless village.

Because nothing would prove that Boulder cares about the local homeless more than banishing them to a tent city on the outskirts of town …

Last month, news broke of the city issuing 1,767 tickets for illegal camping from 2010-2014, which was by far the highest number of anti-homeless camping tickets in the entire state. This amount of tickets is especially high when you consider the Boulder homeless population is estimated to be around 440; Denver by comparison has a homeless population of around 3,800 — but issued just 14 camping tickets in 2014.

This news rightfully outraged a lot of people, many of whom openly accused city officials of unfairly targeting the homeless. Which is so weird: When has a rich community ever tried to run poor people out of town? …

Following the news, Boulder architect, Morey Bean, submitted plans to develop a homeless village to the local government. The proposal for the village includes campsites for tents, tiny “homes”, a community center and toilet and shower facilities. The idea was to give the homeless a place they can call home without having to worry about police intervention. But realistically, this plan would likely create more problems than it would solve and the city immediately shot down the proposal, officials claiming the plans are impossible.  

Bean’s proposal would put the homeless village in Valmont City Park, which is owned by the Town of Boulder. The city council will not allow such a project on public grounds and Valmont City Park has already been slotted for development in the coming years.

City planner Charles Ferro responded to Mr. Bean’s request stating, “The subject property is not available for the establishment of any other uses at this time."

Mr. Bean, who volunteers with First Congregational Church’s homeless outreach program, responded to the city hoping they would temporarily allow the arrangement, but that too has been shut down. The city told Bean that he could establish his homeless village on his church’s property, but it seems the church has no interest in doing that either.

Overall it’s a huge bummer the city denied his proposal. Because with Boulder's rent prices the way they are, we'll all probably be homeless in the very near future.

photo: Rosie O'beirne