A report on government spending in Denver, Colorado, found that the city spends far more money on services provided to each homeless person than it would cost to simply house each one in an apartment.
The report was conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Denver in conjunction with the Common Sense Institute, a free enterprise advocacy group.
They found that Denver spends between $42,000 and $104,000 per homeless person on services by the local government and from local charities.
Those figures are far higher than the $20,000 per year it would take to simply rent a one-bedroom apartment for each person.
The researchers pointed out that the government was spending far less to teach students in Denver Public Schools, which comes to about $19,000 per pupil in 2019.
The Denver Post reported that a spokesman for Mayor Michael Hancock responded by saying they do not keep track of spending on a per-capita basis.
Since December 2020, Denver has taken the unusual step of
setting up city-sanctioned campsites with 24-hour security and daily meals. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has called for new taxes to raise millions more and pay for the support of the homeless.
Frustrated property and business owners are setting up their own barricades in order to keep homeless encampments from taking hold and bring crime and drugs to their neighborhoods. In a particularly frustrating development, the city began to fine businesses for not cleaning up feces, garbage and hypodermic needles left on their property.
Denver City Council member Chris Hinds told KCNC-TV that the homeless crisis is the number one issue concerning his constituents.
“We’re telling them they have to move along, and they go a block or two, and it’s like whack-a-mole,” said Hinds. “The current approach isn’t working.”
Here’s a local news report about the Denver homeless crisis:
As Homeless Encampments Proliferate, Property Owners Express Frustration