As in Denver, homelessness has been impossible to ignore in Boulder this summer.
The Boulder Creek path and the civic area around Boulder Central Park “have transformed into a free-for-all camping zone, resulting in a health and safety hazard unwelcoming to others,” Councilman Andrew Shoemaker writes in the Boulder Daily Camera.
His solution: Provide an alternative and step up enforcements. He says that the city could put a campground or other facility on city-owned industrial land.
“A campground or facility with security and rules can be designed to provide a safe and humane alternative to illegal camping that does not become an inviting and make-shift hostel for travelers,” he writes.
He suggests a location accessible to public transportation. If the city provides this alternative, he argues, it will be justified in stepping up arrests and tickets in the areas it doesn’t want homeless people.
It’s worth noting that Boulder’s main homeless shelter does not offer overnight shelter during the summer. Denver provides year-round shelter – but not a dedicated outdoor camping area.
In the long term, Shoemaker wants the city to study permanent shelter options.