Letters to the Editor: Ending homelessness will take decades, not years
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct a name in a quote by City Councilman Mike Gallagher.
This issue is about homelessness in Fort Collins, not a program that has yet to be born. The only way to end homelessness is to end the cause, not just address the symptoms. We can’t wait for people to move out, we have to end the cycle of homelessness that our city and its neighbors are facing.
We need to make a change to eliminate homelessness in Fort Collins completely, not just address how to get out of the cycle of homelessness that we’re in right now. I would rather have Fort Collins with no homeless people on the streets than with homeless in the streets. I would rather have the homeless in the streets than the homeless living on the streets.
I am very concerned about the current situation in our West End. It is a problem that will require years of work and a long-term perspective to solve. We as a city and its citizens have to stop talking about what needs to be done immediately and start looking at solutions that will be appropriate for our city’s priorities and challenges.
We’re not in control of what will happen over the next several years, but what we can do right now is make a strong beginning towards solving our most immediate challenge. We can have the first homeless shelter in our city dedicated to only the homeless population as opposed to a shelter that will house anyone who is homeless.
First we need to create a plan to identify the homeless problem and figure out how to get them out of the situation they’re in. We need to begin with people who are homeless. The homeless must also be a priority in any housing program that is implemented.
In my opinion the only way to get rid of homelessness entirely is to identify all homeless people in Fort Collins and then create a plan to get them out of the crisis that they’re in.
We must first tackle the homeless problem then look at solutions to get them out. The homeless can be the solution or the problem.
The homeless problem can only be solved by the people of Fort Collins. To address our homeless problem we need to do a better job of getting people who are homeless off the streets and out of the homeless programs.