Favorite

The people no one asks about homelessness 

Long Story Short

The idea for this week's cover story, which you'll find here, came out of a bored moment in the office.

It was late 2012, and I was considering Colorado Springs' proposed ban on panhandling in the downtown area — the one that would ultimately die slowly in the courts — when I began to wonder why people chose to panhandle. There are so many other services. Why do so many people choose not to use them? What would they change about those services given a chance?

Though I've covered homelessness for many years, and though I've talked to many homeless people, I realized I didn't know exactly how to answer those questions. Now, if I were writing about a musician, I'd likely ask him his thoughts on the music industry. If I were writing about a city politician, I'd ask him about how best to run the city. But I hadn't asked any homeless people how they'd overhaul the services that are supposed to help them.

Major oversight. I decided to correct it.

I have to say, the homeless and formerly homeless people with whom I spoke proved incredibly insightful and thoughtful on this topic. Their ideas were logical, and many of them would be fairly easy to put into practice.

That said, I balked at their most offbeat idea: letting homeless people run their own shelter. I guess after seeing the top-down approach for so long, it just seemed crazy.

But then, who knows? Maybe it was crazy enough to work.

  • How would they overhaul the services that are supposed to help them?

Readers also liked…

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Long Story Short

Popular Events

  • SCWCC Business Lunch @ Garden of the Gods Club

    • Tue., Feb. 21, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $38-$46
    • Buy Tickets
  • "We CAN" Virtual Town Hall @ Library 21c

    • Wed., Feb. 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free
  • Solarize the Springs Coffee Event @ Wild Goose Meeting House

    • Wed., Feb. 22, 5-6 p.m.
  • Community Blood Drive @ Fort Carson Post Exchange

  • Social Action Hour: Women's March Postcards (Get Involved)

    • Donations accepted

Recent Comments

  • Re: Casting Spells

    • I want the world to know a great man that is well known as Dr…

    • on February 19, 2017
  • Re: Casting Spells

    • I want the world to know a great man that is well known as Dr…

    • on February 19, 2017
  • Re: Venetucci family member issues plea for farm

    • The Venetucci Farm has great historical value to the Colorado Springs area. Perhaps best known…

    • on February 18, 2017
  • More »

All content © Copyright 2017, The Colorado Springs Independent   |   Website powered by Foundation