To someone born in New York City, the place where I now live is a small college town. It’s hard to view a place where the population just breaks 150,000 when school is in session as anything else. As the crow flies, it’s about two hours north of Colorado Springs, where 57-year-old whack job Robert Lewis Dear decided to go on a shooting spree last week.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010, the median income for a family here was $89,332. Along with Pueblo, Colorado, ours was one of the fastest cities to “snap back,” as it were, from the 2008 economic implosion.
Yet, there are homeless people everywhere. Their visibility occurred gradually but markedly within the last year. Many are middle-age people, and many are veterans.
Over the same period, the average time for processing a new application for public assistance benefits (food stamps, Medicaid, etc.) jumped from under a week to 40 business days. They’ve also cut back access to case workers drastically, which probably stretches out the overall process even more.
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