Snooze found itself at the center of a protest over the camping ban after co-owner Brianna Borin spoke in favor of the ordinance at a Denver City Council hearing. During peak breakfast hours two weekends ago, members of Occupy Denver flocked to the original Snooze, at 23rd and Larimer streets, with signs accusing the restaurant of "criminalizing the homeless."
But according to founder/owner Jon Schlegel, who poured coffee for the protesters, four homeless individuals were working inside the restaurant at the very time the demonstrators gathered outside. And Snooze has worked closely with homeless services since the restaurant opened six years ago, in the very heart of the neighborhood where most of the providers are located and the homeless hang out all day and night.
And some people are fed up with the situation. Writes UncleDave8:
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Well, in a surprisingly gutsy move for our usually very politically correct City Council (Brown and Fautz not included) the Council passed the Urban Camping Ban by a pretty wide majority despite very vocal heckling from the assembled crowd. Will it make a difference? Based on the Police Department's "plan" on enforcement, I doubt it. The hardcore street campers are unlikely to change their ways based on an offer to see if shelter beds are available or an admonition to move along. Only serious enforcement, not handouts/hand slaps, are likely to really make a difference and I think the city and the police department lack the resolve to really eliminate the blight in the city center. This "ban" is really just window dressing in an attempt to be seen as doing something to protect residents and businesses from the current situation.
For more on the Snooze situation, see this Latest Word post -- which shows just how ugly the discussion can get.