Listen
About KGNU

Capitol Coverage: Homeless Housing

Posted: September 26, 2017 at 3:01 pm by , in Capitol Coverage, Featured

State leaders toured a permanent housing project for the homeless on Tuesday that will soon open in Denver. As Bente [BEN tuh] Birkeland reports, it’s part of a slate of housing projects that are receiving state money from marijuana taxes…

 

Lawmakers set aside 15 million dollars from marijuana taxes in this year’s budget to help the chronically homeless. It was a top priority for Governor John Hickenlooper – who says more housing and other mental health support will save the state money.

When homeless and indigents are living under bridges the cost to society is dramatically more than if you can get them into even the most modest housing and supportive housing, And have someone help them get their meds if they’ve got mental health issues, they’re getting counseling if they have addictions, but most importantly they’re getting job training.

But paying for it with pot taxes was controversial during the legislative session. It’s largely spent in areas explicitly approved by voters – such as schools, social programs, law enforcement and public health outreach. Some lawmakers thought there was not a close enough link between homelessness and marijuana use to justify the spending