Loveland’s Increasing Homelessness Problem
I’ve seen postings and comments on Facebook about it. I’ve seen it myself. The homeless population in Loveland is growing. So are the problems with the homeless. What can we do?
If you head to Downtown Loveland these days, you’ll probably see at least a few homeless folks hanging around; especially around the museum and the Pocket Park, that’s there.
While having a beer with a friend on the patio of Verboten with a friend on Memorial Day, we saw two homeless guys were getting into an argument on the corner of 5th and Cleveland. Chef Clay, of Downtown fame, said on Facebook that the homeless population is bad for business because they are aggressive and disorderly. One woman commented to Clay's post, that her husband won’t let her drive to pick up their teenaged son (who works at a restaurant downtown) after he gets off work late, because of the things the husband has seen going on in the alleys.
The Denver Post reported in February of 2017, that the number of homeless people in Loveland had increased 35 percent over February of 2016.
There’s not a whole lot the city or police can do when it comes to being homeless. Homelessness is not illegal. Yes, drugs in public, public intoxication, drunk and/or disorderly all are. If the police take them in, they’ll be back out soon, still homeless. Shelters, churches and the Salvation Army can help these folks with shelter at night, but that’s mostly during the winter, and doesn’t help during the daytime.
The cost of a place to live in Loveland is a lot. Believe me, I’ve been looking. You have to spend a ton of your hard-earned paycheck to get a decent place. To get a ‘less than decent’ place, you still fork over way too much for what you get. So, even when the homeless have full-time jobs, they’re not bringing in enough to get off the streets.
I’ve seen Reporter-Herald’s ‘call line’ talk about how maybe Project Self-Sufficiency could be expanded to help? Perhaps Loveland could get more ‘subsidized’ housing? You can already hear the groans about that, right? I’m not saying I know of a solution, I’m just saying it has become more noticeable. And I know I sound like a jerk when I say I was on the patio of Verboten when I spotted two homeless people.
Maybe if we (the citizens of Loveland) show up at city council meetings to discuss the issue, the city will look hard at options.
City council meets at 6:00 on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Just saying.