As Denver moves forward with an attempt at testing universal basic income as a means to address an out-of-control homelessness problem in Colorado, “frustrating” reactions to the woke plan show it to be little more than virtue signaling that will likely compound the problem.
(Video: Fox News)
Radio host Ross Kaminsky joined “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday where he spoke with Fox News’s Bill Hemmer about the progressive city’s plan to use American Rescue Plan funds, originally allocated to manage the COVID pandemic, to offer a multi-tiered stipend program. A major caveat of the $2 million plan, which as previously reported is expected to cost up to $9 million, is that only women and those reporting to be transgender or gender non-conforming will be allowed to collect the handout.
“The Denver City Council…allocated a couple million bucks from COVID money. They’re gonna create three groups. It’s actually part of a larger program and Denver is kicking in another two million,” Kaminsky explained to Hemmer of the initial 140 set to be funded. “One group…gonna get $1,000 a month. Another group is gonna get, I think it’s $6,500 up front and then $500 a month. And then another group, their control group, is gonna get $50 a month.”
“The interesting part of this that I think maybe we can talk about more is that the Denver City Council is saying they only want their money to go to women and transgender and gender non-conforming homeless people. No men,” he stated before voicing his main complaint about the program.
Hemmer pointed out the awfully specific demographic breakdown of the homeless population in Denver, showing of the reported roughly 5,500 homeless in the city, 3,414 are male, 2,100 female and a mere seven and six claimed to be gender non-conforming or trans male respectively.
“I find it kind of frustrating, separate from the moral hazard part of this,” the radio host expressed, “that they’re gonna leave out 70 percent of the population, and I just mean that, not from an equity perspective, but just from data collection.”
“You wanna see if this kind of program is gonna work,” he offered earnestly, “and it’s entirely possible that men would respond to a program like this differently from women, and yet you’re gonna cut them out even though they’re 70 percent and you’re just not gonna learn very much.”
Colorado GOP Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown joined Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Tuesday to take a look at the woke policy from another angle as she noted the state experiencing the highest percentage of homelessness in the nation could not sustain a handout that didn’t even amount to the average cost of living.
(Video: Fox Business)
“It’s terrible for inflation in Denver and in Colorado at large. Actually, right now, we are the state experiencing the highest rate of homelessness under complete Democrat control of Denver and our state, 15.6 percent homelessness here in Colorado,” she explained. “And as I’m sure you know, Maria, studies tie higher rates of homelessness to high costs of living. And here in Colorado, much of our cost of living and our housing costs are at least two percent above the national average in most states.”
“So when you can’t even rent an apartment in Denver without spending nearly $2,000 a month, a ‘no strings attached’ of $1,000 a month, that’s unsustainable and not going to come back to these people,” Burton Brown railed. “It doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t get them in permanent housing and it doesn’t help their families.”
As Michael Shellenberger, author of the book “San Fransicko” pointed out with his look at the homeless problem in San Francisco, Ca., hundreds of homeless people explained that they chose to live in the city simply because of the benefits offered.
“I mean, if we’re going to be realistic,” a man named James said in an interview, “they pay you to be homeless here.”
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Since Shellenberger’s interviews, it was found that the city had spent at least $160 million in housing programs to place the homeless in hotels only to have a quarter of the tenants monitored after leaving the supportive program die in 2020.
Kaminsky went on to say, “Part of the problem is, at some point, you turn the safety net that’s supposed to catch people when they’re falling into a hammock that folks want to come lounge around in and I think San Francisco and Seattle have taught us that you can go too far in offering something that looks like help and I think that’s what Denver has been doing for quite a while.”
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