Unless you live in Colorado Springs, that is, in which case we're sorry–as the Gazette's Jakob Rogers reports:
Helen Collins has a unique approach to helping homeless people in Colorado Springs: Give them a bus ticket out of town and "make them work."
The Colorado Springs councilwoman spoke up Tuesday against the city's 2014 Action Plan for housing and homeless programs – sparking a brief exchange with councilwoman Jill Gaebler and prompting two audience members to also voice their opinions…
"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," Collins said. "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 continued, referencing her district on the southeast side of Colorado Springs. "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."
She added that the best way to help homeless individuals is to "make them work," because she feels federally funded affordable-housing programs enable homeless people to live off taxpayer dollars.
As the Gazette reports, there are charities in Colorado Springs who have funds set aside for helping homeless people with bus tickets in circumstances where that might help them. But as at least some other council members, homeless advocates, and even some actual homeless people in the audience tried to explain, probably while marveling at the callous ignorance on display from this elected official, bus tickets don't really cure homelessness as well as housing does. Job training and help finding a job really help as well. Also, what good is a bus ticket for a homeless person with no family to go to? But it seems this is a question that goes beyond council member Helen Collins' scope.
Which is to care as little as possible about homeless people.