A proposal by two Boulder City Council members to increase the number of nights that severe weather shelters are open to Boulder’s homelessness community will not be moving forward after last night’s city council meeting. KGNU’s Roz Brown reports that council members deadlocked on whether the proposal was showing greater compassion, or undermining efforts to get more of those experiencing homelessness into permanent housing.
Mayor Suzanne Jones and council member Aaron Brockett. first suggested opening the severe weather shelter to the homeless community every night during winter after attending the 2018 memorial service remembering the homeless who died on the streets. Currently the severe weather shelter is only open when the temperature dips to a certain level, 32 degrees or 38 degrees with precipitation.
City staff had urged council not to expand the number of nights the severe weather shelter was open saying there were enough beds at the homeless shelter for those who need one, saying the Housing First strategy was working.
Council members Weaver, Carlisle, Jones and Brockett voted in favor of opening the severe weather shelter every night in winter, while council members Young, Yates, Nagle and Morzel voted against the measure.
Council agreed to take up the issue again before next winter.