Not everybody is going to have a Merry Christmas. Boulders lost underbelly alcholics and drug addicts are living in tents, under tarps, in section 8 housing and trailers.

Kathy has been living in section 8 housing for 5 years. She is 50ish has a bad leg and drinks everyday. She lives in one of Boulders section 8 apartment buildings. Social security and Medicaid keep her propped up so she can drink all day and get sicker and sicker. Kathy is an alcoholic. She admits it. Most chronic alcoholics do. Her alcoholic gout is so bad she can barely walk. A visiting nurse drops in to see her twice a week. Social worker interns from the Boulder Homeless shelter see her monthly. They are all very nice and hopeful for Kathy, but her basic problem is she is an alcoholic. If she stopped drinking 90% of her health problems would go away. But you and I pay for her lost lifestyle. We enable her. Now the county mental health officials, nor the DA will agree with me on this. They think I am uncaring and mean-spirited. But I know what is going on out there. I mentor a lot of these folks. They are honest with me. They don’t have mental illness. They have alcoholism. Last month Kathy fell and drove a spike into her head. She was found by her friend Austin who took her to the hospital where she spent a week. Now she has a little brain damage, a hole in her head and she can’t drink enough.. so she takes pills…… Disappearing into pitiful demoralization.

Austin has been in and out of prison, jails, the ARC and hospitals over the past 35 years. He’s always been an alcoholic. He went to prison 30 years ago for molesting his daughter while he was drinking. That is actually a plight of a lot of alcoholic men. They just don’t get reported or caught. But Austin was an alcoholic speed freak.  Today he has served all of  his time and has put stretches of sobriety together. We talked earlier today at his campsite. He lives under a tarp like hundreds of drunks in Boulder. He is a registered sex offender for a crime he committed over 30 years ago and he can’t catch a break. He never re-ofended, but he has an SO jacket. 20 years ago he was sober and had a job in the kitchen of one of the dorms at the University. H’d worked there for 5 years, was an exemplary employee and CU wanted to make him a supervisor. Austin had learned kitchen management in the penitentiary. He could fix any piece of industrial equipment, cook any meal, run a kitchen and serve 2000 people 3 times a day. He was excellent at it. When the university ran a background check they discovered his past and fired him on the spot and had him escorted off campus.  From that point Austin gave up and went down hill.  He told me today from his campsite that he is persecuted for his past. He can’t get a place to live, can’t get a job…. so he collects  SSI and Medicaid and drinks… He is waiting for death.

 Sometimes Kathy lets him sleep on her floor. But she is being thrown out of her apartment because the landlord hates section 8 rentals.  They all do.  Austin can’t qualify for section 8. The homeless shelter can’t help him.  So Austin crashes where he can. Sometime I let him sleep in my heated garage in my big beautiful house….. but he is always drunk and he knows better than to come around me when he is drinking.

Scottie lives in a trailer. His kidneys gave out from drinking. He is nearing 50 and is friends with Austin and Kathy. He got fired from his gas station job last month for drinking. Austin says he’s not long for this world.
Scottie rents a room to Harmony who is 20 something. She tells everyone she has cancer and shaves her head everyday. But Harmony is a chronic alcoholic and drug addict. She doesn’t work but she always has money. Scottie and Austin theorize that she is a prostitute because she disappears with various older men routinely. Some of Harmonies friends who were strippers and hookers from the Bustop got killed over the past few years. One flipped her pickup truck in the Canyon last year. She was drunk and high. The other got killed by a John. The police are still looking for him. The case never even made the papers. Why ? Because these are people no one cares about.. no one knows… they live in the dark shadows of Boulders trailer court.  Richard lives 3 trailers down from Scottie. He is a bad alcoholic too. He used to be a finish carpenter and cabinet maker. Richard says he could just never stop drinking. He gets his SSI check each month and drinks.

20 street alcoholics died this year.  The public officials call them homeless and want you to believe they died from exposure and mental illness. Nothing could be further from the truth.  You know what they died from right ?? They died from what is killing my friends above.

Citizens of Boulder are killing these people with kindness. so what are we supposed to do?  Here is the rub. Make all public assistance contingent upon being sober. sounds reasonable right ?? Nope .. not to all the drunks and drug addicts who run our city. They feel threatened too. After all we live in Dope Boulder. we live in beer Boulder.  so we will just lie about it all and make up some  nice story.

Jann Scott
from Boulder Colorado
Jann Scott’s Journal is Boulders official voice of reason and conscience.