"Fun Facts About Homelessness"

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The Coalition for Compassion and Action, which describes itself as "the activism arm for the movement to end homelessness in Colorado Springs" has released a video called "Fun Facts About Homelessness," that is, to be frank, not very funny. 

The video discusses the plight of the local homeless, who have been without emergency shelter through the last few snow storms, and criticizes the city for not responding quickly enough.

For instance, the video notes that the city did not spend federal dollars on homelessness that instead sat in an account for years. The city does get funding for certain homeless programs from the feds that is spent every year. But it's true that the city left years worth of money it receives from Community Development Block Grant Funds sitting in an account for years. You can read about it here. (It should be noted that CDBG funds didn't necessarily have to be spent on the homeless, and could have gone to other community needs had the homeless not been identified as a priority by the city.)

The video also criticizes the city for a lack of emergency shelter beds. It is true that winter shelters have closed, and that the city has fewer shelter beds than needed. But it should be noted that many normal shelters are still operating, even if they do fall short of the true need.

Finally, the video points out that without adequate shelter, the homeless are forced to camp on public lands, which is illegal. That's true. The city police, however, are supposed to provide campers with a shelter bed if they force them to pack up camp. The city is meeting soon to discuss how to handle homeless camps this summer, when there will be a severe shortage of shelter beds.  The upshot: People will be allowed to camp.

Enjoy the video. Or don't. Really it's pretty depressing.

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