Photo: Tiny Homes advocate James Duncan presented Boulder City Council members with individual Graham cracker “tiny houses” January 4. Duncan was one of several residents calling on council to revise its policies regarding Boulder’s homeless community.
A number of Boulder residents spoke at a City Council meeting Thursday night asking for policy changes to prevent another death like that of a homeless man on Christmas Eve. The lifeless body of Benjamin Harvey was found on Christmas morning on University Hill after a night when temperatures dipped into the low teens. The Boulder Homeless Shelter was not an option for the 44-year old Harvey because he was still under a yearlong ban at the shelter after violating a policy nine-months earlier. Harvey, who had history alcoholism, also did not make it to the severe-weather shelter that night. An impromptu memorial service was held for him at the Band Shell in downtown Boulder on January 1. Many residents who spoke to council last night including Michaela Steine said they want to prevent another death among Boulder’s homeless community.
The City of Boulder has been working on a new system for providing services to the homeless. After hearing the testimony they requested a “re-set” on negotiations with the Boulder Homeless Shelter. Council members specifically want to know what constitutes long- and short-term bans that prevent the homeless from accessing services there; and how to improve the appeal process when a violation has been committed.