Harvey was born in Loveland in January of 1978, and has lived in the area “pretty much all my life.” He went to high school in Eaton and worked at a slaughterhouse for the Monfort Meat Packing Company in Greeley “all through high school.” When asked about other jobs he’s had, Harvey says, “Basically, that was it. Then I went to jail. Been in and out of jail, twice to prison.” He refers to the Larimer County Detention Center as “the daycare center.”
He moved in with his mother in Ault, but says “There’s nothing to do in Ault.” Boredom happens, so he comes to Loveland, usually at his mother’s request. “I piss her off, so she drops me off here. Then I give her a couple days and she comes and gets me. Then we start all over.” That’s the way it’s been for the last three years.
Even in that relatively short period of time, Harvey has noticed a difference in the way homeless people are treated in Loveland. “Back in the day the cops would leave us alone, but now they’re up our ass all the time.” When asked what the reason for that is, he says, “It’s trespassing. The whole, entire city is private property.” With Loveland having an emergency winter shelter that is only open for overnight stay when the temperature drops below twenty degrees, Harvey and the rest of Loveland’s homeless population has to find places to sleep where they can, which is most often downtown because that’s where the food services are located. But the police have to do their job, like anybody else, so they routinely roust people seen sleeping outdoors at night. Harvey established his position on the subject early on. “I slept wherever I wanted to, and if they (police officers) had anything to say about it we boxed it out. I ain’t afraid of no cops. That’s why they leave me alone. They just wave at me now. I don’t take their shit, or anyone else’s.” Next question…
When asked what he thinks would be most helpful for Loveland’s homeless population, Harvey says, “Other homeless people need to stop thieving and stealing crap from other people.” He thinks some more on it. “Cops should back the hell off!” And finally, “And the upper-class people need to stop freaking out every time they see somebody with a bag walking down the street. It’s pretty funny when you walk across an intersection and you hear the doors lock. It’s funny as hell.”
In regard to the increasing number of homeless people coming to Loveland, Harvey says, “A lot of those folks screwed it up for everybody, cuz they poop in Safeway bags and leave it all over the place, or they poop all over themselves and sit on benches everywhere. They stink up the place!”
City crews recently removed most of the pocket park benches downtown, which were often used by homeless people for sleeping. Harvey doesn’t seem surprised. “That’s because all the drunks are harassing the waitresses when they come out of the restaurants (at closing), or peeing behind dumpsters, or begging for money.” Harvey is not one of those. “I don’t ask anybody for a damn thing. If they want to give it to me, cool. If they don’t, I just keep walking.”
Harvey doesn’t have any plans to live anywhere else, though. “Greeley sucks. Denver sucks. Most of my family is here.”