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Reader: I Thought the Whole City Was Safe Homeless Camping Now
Denver Arts & Venues

Reader: I Thought the Whole City Was Safe Homeless Camping Now

After finally agreeing to the Safe Outdoor Spaces concept, which will create some temporary, and official, camping locations around the city, Mayor Michael Hancock gave a deadline of July 17 for Denver City Council members to suggest spots in their own districts.

But the first safe camping site has already been chosen: the parking lot at the Denver Coliseum, which already houses a temporary 24/7 shelter for women established during the coronavirus pandemic (across Interstate 70, the National Western Center has a similar shelter for men). Some of the services offered in those indoor shelters will be offered at the outside site, too.  If council approves the location, it could be operational by mid-August.

In the meantime, other sites are being scouted, and readers have plenty of suggestions. Says Robert:

I thought the whole city was safe homeless camping now. Sheesh.

Responds Chris:

Definitely need to find somewhere and get them out of downtown.

Comments John:

Good spot. Not in the middle of residential area. Won't hurt home values. Guessing some homeless will feel it's too far away from things, and will elect to camp in Civic Center Park.

Replies Hernandez:

They will place then all there until the Stock Show arrives, then they will pretend that they care about the neighborhood. Freaking pathetic.

Says Debra:

Is there anyway to get modular/tiny homes in there as well? Winter is coming and this is not going to get better.

Suggests Eric:

I always thought the Cherry Creek Mall parking garage. Provides even more protection from the elements.

Responds Ad:

It does, but they have to pay by the hour.

Wonders Luke:

Kroenke is going to move Elitch and develop that land, but why put all that money into that when homeless are gonna end up on the Platte right there and on the streets?

Responds Jon:

Just let people camp on the river. What is the big deal about it?

Offers Randy:

Let them camp at 400 East Eighth Avenue. Our governor has a nice lawn for them. Close to a park, close proximity to South Platte and downtown. A win win.

And Aaron concludes:  

Why is there ZERO talk about tackling the root causes of homelessness? Substance abuse, mental illness, and veteran PTSD? These are potentially valuable workers of our economy. But NO, let's just find some out-of-the-way parking lot in our city and let to let them live in their filth, misery, paranoia and drug-fueled violence.

What do you think of the safe camping site concept? What locations would you suggest? Post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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