Police Department, Community Programs
Homeless in Longmont
♥ Have a heart for the homeless
Although a large percent of the US population are homeless every year (about 1 percent of the general population), the pocket of people who become homeless are almost all in the lower or working classes. Thus the majority of the people in the US - those who are middle or upper class - have almost no contact with the homeless.
One of the main ways in which the homeless remain dehumanized is by misunderstanding the homeless and making assumptions as to the causes and implications of homelessness.
MYTH: The homeless are a significant percent of the population of the United States.
FACT: One percent of the US population are homeless. This statistic holds true in Longmont where approximately 880 people were homeless in 2012.
MYTH: Most homeless are vagrants.
FACT: Seventy-five percent of those who become homeless remain in the city in which they became homeless.
MYTH: Most homeless remain so for years.
FACT: More than 70 percent of the homeless remain so for less than two years. For most people, homelessness is a very brief phase in their lives. Only a minority actually remain chronically homeless.
MYTH: The homeless are law breakers.
FACT: Statistics have shown that any one homeless person is not any more likely to be a criminal than a housed person.
MYTH: Most homeless people are addicts.
FACT: It is estimated that 25-40 percent of all homeless are addicted to a substance. If we are only including the chronic homeless, that statistic is higher.
MYTH: Most homeless people are mentally ill.
FACT: It is estimated that from 15-25% of all homeless are mentally ill, far below the "most".
MYTH: Most homeless people are campers.
FACT: The majority of people who are homeless live in cars or trucks. Others sleep temporarily in people's living rooms or garages. Less than 25 percent of those who are homeless camp.
MYTH: Most homeless people choose homelessness
FACT: Homelessness is almost no one's choice. In one estimate, approximately 6% of the homeless chose that as a lifestyle.
The Longmont Police as well as many other organizations work hard to connect the homeless with resources that would connect them with permanent homes. We ask that the community not give money to the homeless but assist us in connecting homeless with the local organizations that serve them.
In the Longmont community the homeless are served by HOPE. HOPE is a Longmont non-profit who is an after-hours street outreach program providing life-sustaining support to the homeless community, while offering programs which encourage movement toward self-sufficiency. If you, or your organization, wish to donate to help local homeless, please call (720) 494-4673 to make arrangements.
Top 10 list needs for homeless:
- White athletic socks (new, medium - large)
- Underwear (new, mens and womens)
- Deodorant (mens and womens)
- Disposable shaving razors (new, no straight blades)
- Blankets (new or gently used, dark colors preferred)
- Toothpaste/toothbrushes (new items, boxed and unopened)
- Jeans (30x30 to 36x36 mens, gently used or new)
- Gift cards for HOPE to fill the gap for items they do not have
To ask additional questions about the needs for the homeless, or for you or your organization to donate to this program, please call HOPE at 720 - 494 - 4673.