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Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper gave a speech Friday in CU’s Wolf Law building and discussed the affect of homelessness in Colorado and what is being done about it.
Denver’s solution is the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.
Hickenlooper, commenting on this effort, said that the idea is to “keep people from needing more resources from society”.
The average chronically homeless person, which is homeless out of habit, in Denver costs taxpayers $40,000 a year. Denver collectively gives out $4.5 million in spare change to panhandlers to Denver in a year.
For $15,000, the mayor said that same person could be off the streets with the security of a job.
“Don’t let him quit – stay with him, and he will eventually be one of your best employees,” Hickenlooper said of the concept.
Lakischa Cook, a second year law student, is a member of Project Homeless Connect. The purpose of PHC is “to connect homeless people with different services,” Cook said.
CU Law students provide the legal side of this equation, connecting homeless people with defense attorneys so that “homeless people with outstanding warrants were able to get them taken care of with community service.”
Andra Zeppelin is a third-year law student and Assistant President of the CU-Boulder Student Bar Association, which sponsored the event.
Zeppelin said she’s hopeful that the Ten Year Plan can work.
“I think it’s too early to see results,” she said.