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Colorado Springs councilwoman: ‘Get rid of homeless’ with a ‘bus ticket’ instead of homes

By David Edwards
Thursday, June 26, 2014 10:28 EDT
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Colorado Springs Councilwoman Helen Collins
 
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Colorado Springs Councilwoman Helen Collins this week proposed that the best program to “get rid” of homeless people was to “give them a bus ticket” out of town.

At a Tuesday council meeting, council members discussed an Action Plan for the use of federal block grant funds to deal with homelessness in the city. The plan would set aside about $4 million for affordable housing, and another $200,000 to assist the homeless with shelters and rapid rehousing programs.

Collins, however, felt that far too much taxpayer money was being spent on solving the homeless problem, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

“A lot of the homeless, the best way to get rid of the homeless is to give them a bus ticket back to their families,” she asserted. “This isn’t even taken into consideration. It’s like the taxpayer has to fund the homeless for housing.”

“They go into a low-income housing area,” Collins opined. “They drag it down and then they move on to the next new low-income housing facility.”

“I just don’t think that’s right for the taxpayer,” the GOP county executive committee member concluded.

Councilwoman Jill Gaebler explained that the “Housing First” plan started by providing homes, but the next step was to “figure out what’s going on in their lives, addressing their mental illness, and assessing what they can do to begin their healthy lives.”

Collins responded by complaining that she “should get some affordable housing” because she was a veteran.

Several members of the audience also reacted to Collins before the council voted on the Action Plan.

“A lot these people have jobs, make money, but still cannot afford a place to live,” homeless Colorado Springs resident Lindsay Deen pointed out.

At a council meeting in February, Collins had complained that the mayor was spending too much money policing suburban neighborhoods, while her district was a “war zone.”

“Police should patrol the high-crime areas, not tranquil suburbia,” she said. “We don’t need more pay raises, we need more paying attention.”

“Fighting crime is the number one job of the city, not raising revenue in back-room deals, not catering to political insiders, not increasing handouts to the homeless, not banning smoking in parks, but fighting violent crime,” Collins opined.

Watch the video below from February’s Colorado Spring’s Town Council meeting.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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