MORE

Photos: Urban camping is no picnic for Denver's homeless who sleep outside

"Urban camping" is an odd phrase that encompasses homeless people sleeping on city streets -- and the subject of this week's feature, "Unhappy Campers." A proposed urban camping ban that's working its way through Denver's city council would ban homeless people from sleeping on 16th Street Mall or any other public area not already off limits. A vote on the measure comes next month. Meanwhile, check out Britt Chester photos that capture the downtown scene on a recent Monday night.

Photos by Britt Chester for Westword.

This man has a drink, but mentioned that his home could not be on the mall tonight.
This man has a drink, but mentioned that his home could not be on the mall tonight.

Benches, doorways, mats and cardboard: These are the beds of so many of Denver's homeless populace.
Benches, doorways, mats and cardboard: These are the beds of so many of Denver's homeless populace.

Comfort is often not the top priority, but sleep still happens.
Comfort is often not the top priority, but sleep still happens.

It gets cold on the mall if you don't have a blanket.
It gets cold on the mall if you don't have a blanket.

Page down to see more photos of Denver urban campers.

The mall is the safest place to sleep, says Kent Mollohan.
The mall is the safest place to sleep, says Kent Mollohan.

Two people pass the night in the doorway of a Subway, even though they know they could be roused by early morning deliveries.
Two people pass the night in the doorway of a Subway, even though they know they could be roused by early morning deliveries.

Three to four people packed into one doorway -- all of whom will be awakened at 6 a.m.
Three to four people packed into one doorway -- all of whom will be awakened at 6 a.m.

When a bench can't be found, a doorway offers some heat from inside the building.
When a bench can't be found, a doorway offers some heat from inside the building.

Page down to see more photos of Denver urban campers.

Photos: Urban camping is no picnic for Denver's homeless who sleep outside

A sign sits along the sidewalk, its message begs passing drivers to follow its simple instruction.
A sign sits along the sidewalk, its message begs passing drivers to follow its simple instruction.

Wrapping up in clothes, blankets and anything handy can be the only way to stay warm.
Wrapping up in clothes, blankets and anything handy can be the only way to stay warm.

A young couple shares the morning light before migrating to Civic Center Park.
A young couple shares the morning light before migrating to Civic Center Park.

Page down to see more photos of Denver urban campers.

Photos: Urban camping is no picnic for Denver's homeless who sleep outside

Mike sits outside on the street with other members of the Occupy movement who line Broadway between Colfax and 14th Street.
Mike sits outside on the street with other members of the Occupy movement who line Broadway between Colfax and 14th Street.

Referred to by many as "the colonel," this man sleeps soundly as traffic passes by through the night.
Referred to by many as "the colonel," this man sleeps soundly as traffic passes by through the night.

Photos: Urban camping is no picnic for Denver's homeless who sleep outside

Page down to see more photos of Denver urban campers.

Sometimes, a warm blanket is all you need.
Sometimes, a warm blanket is all you need.

Lil' Bear is a vocal member of the Occupy Denver movement, willing to share, and more important, willing to listen.
Lil' Bear is a vocal member of the Occupy Denver movement, willing to share, and more important, willing to listen.

This man sleeps sitting up on 16th Street Mall as the clock ticks toward another day.
This man sleeps sitting up on 16th Street Mall as the clock ticks toward another day.

A vagrant practices what looks like meditation. He later walked up and down the 16th Street Mall until the morning hours.
A vagrant practices what looks like meditation. He later walked up and down the 16th Street Mall until the morning hours.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Urban camping: A timeline of how the ban began -- and where it's headed."