Aspen should treat its homeless better | AspenTimes.com

Aspen should treat its homeless better

Earlier the other evening while temps were a bit warmer at around 20 degrees at 5:30 p.m., once again I spotted one of our longtime local homeless people.

This individual has always been approachable and friendly to me and my dogs, so I headed in his direction to check on him. Unfortunately this time he had a visible physical injury and it was apparent he had been drinking, although it did not appear to be in excess, in my opinion.

When I questioned him about his plans for the night, he assured me he was not sleeping out all night and stated the homeless shelter was going to bring him dinner in the wilderness. I am writing to understand from anyone out there why it is that a homeless person who obviously has issues that would cause them to live in the wilderness to begin with, is not to be allowed in the homeless shelter if they had alcoholic beverages?

Is St. Mary Catholic Church not large enough to accommodate these individuals, too? Is this city not capable or willing to assist and design a higher level of social effort for these individuals?

I assume there are others of you out there who cannot look the other way. The homeless shelter website states help is available for rehab and other health-related services, which is great, but it seems OK to let someone sleep out in the middle of winter. I find it interesting the website does not state that you will not be allowed to seek shelter if you have alcohol or pets.

Natalie Blanchard

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