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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyJanuary 9, 20182min398

Denver has drawn fire for its ban on homeless camping, or urban camping, since the policy first went on the city books. The city’s policy includes law enforcement sweeps that force the homeless to pack up and move elsewhere.

However, those sweeps or police contacts waned slightly in 2017, Westword found.

As Westword’s Chris Walker notes:

There were 4,647 individual “contacts” in 2017 — interactions that include, at a minimum, law enforcement telling someone violating the ban to pack their belongings and move to another location. That’s down slightly from the 5,055 contacts in 2016, though still significantly higher than the 972 made in 2013, the first full year the ban was enforced.

There were also fewer written warnings issued in 2017: 46 versus 154 in 2016. Only one written warning was issued in both 2013 and 2014.

Denver officials argue the homeless are safer off the streets and in a city shelter while opponents like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) say the ban criminalizes homelessness. Colorado Springs, Boulder, Fort Collins and other larger cities also ban urban camping and/or panhandling.

Over the spring, the latest stab at a Colorado “Right to Rest” bill, to outlaw urban camping bans, died in a legislative committee. State lawmakers argued if the bill became law, it would open cities up to mass litigation and drain money that could be used for parks, schools and other public needs.



Joey BunchJoey BunchApril 20, 20179min503
A Democratic-led House committee killed the latest version of Colorado’s “Right to Rest” bill to outlaw urban camping bans that keep homeless people from sleeping in parks and other public spaces. House Bill 1314 died on a 8-5 vote in the House Local Government Committee, marking the third year in a row the effort by Democratic […]

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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyJanuary 27, 20177min202

Galvanized by shortcoming in their approach to homelessness, Denver officials agreed to purchase a new, permanent building to provide emergency housing for the city’s homeless and called for a more focused, comprehensive approach to the city’s needy. The City Council OK’ed the purchase of a $4.45 million, 48,000-square foot warehouse at 4330 East 48th Avenue in northwest Denver, to serve as the city’s future overflow emergency shelter. The city’s current shelter, the Peoria Emergency Overflow Shelter near Aurora, has served as a temporary facility. There’s no concrete timeline or cost estimate for renovations or opening of the new shelter.