Boulder Beat Update: What’s Ahead for 2021

Shay Castle has been a working journalist in Boulder for more than eight years.  Her work has appeared in the Colorado Sun, the New York Times, and many other publications.  KGNU’s Roz Brown checks in with Castle a couple times a month to find out what’s coming up for the Boulder City Council.

The city of Boulder recently released a press release about how many people experiencing homelessness they were able to house through its Housing First program.

Castle says that while the city says it has placed 1,000 people in permanent housing in the past 3 years through the program, critics of the Housing First model say that we don’t know how many of those people have stayed in housing.

One of the people who died on the streets in 2020 had been in permanent housing but had ended up back on the streets. John Aldridge was one of the 50 names read out during the recent homeless memorial ceremony that took place at the Boulder Bandshell.

“That was a very high number of people who have died this year. Last year was the highest and that was 48 and this year was even higher,” says Castle.

Castle says that while not all of the people who were remembered during the memorial were homeless at the time of their death, having been homeless at some point is considered a factor in a death. Some experts say being homeless can take up to 30 years off your life expectancy.

To read more of Castle’s work, including her coverage of homelessness in Boulder, go to boulderbeat.news. Boulder City Council meets online at 6 p.m. Tuesday night, virtually, at bouldercolorado.gov.