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Reader: People Without Homes Deserve Dignity and Safety

Denver currently has two existing safe camping sites for people experiencing homelessness.
Denver currently has two existing safe camping sites for people experiencing homelessness.
Conor McCormick-Cavanagh
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Denver's first safe-camping sites opened last December; although the city still plans to set up facilities under the Safe Outdoor Spaces program, both of these are on private land and run by nonprofits. There's now a proposal for a third site, one that will replace the first two; this one would be located in the parking lot of Park Hill United Methodist Church (shared with Temple Micah) in South Park Hill.

That's a very different neighborhood, and this week there was a public meeting to discuss the proposal. Readers have also been sharing their thoughts in comments on the Westword Facebook page. Says Joe:

The Park Hill proposal is a good idea. We cannot avoid the reality of the challenges of our city, but sometimes we need a visible reminder.

Counters Sarah:

If homeless people camping in front of the Capitol where politicians work every single day won’t change anything, I don’t see how this will.

Responds Patty:

Some people will never understand as they regurgitate Republican/Conservative anti-poor stereotypical talking points about houseless people. Bunch of bootlicking rich people pawns. Still, it should be done because it's the right thing to do and people without homes still deserve dignity and safety. It's sad that this needs to be said.

Suggests Gregory:

Homelessness won't get solved until people can find a way to make money from the solution; until then, they stay.

Adds Jonah:

Funny how you spend so much money on something and nothing changes, but that's the point, if you haven't figured out yet but people that say they want to help the homeless will never actually fix the problem because it's a scam, they make money off it and don't want the problem to stop otherwise they would be out of job!

Comments Sean:

Continue to enable this shit and Denver will look like San Francisco. Morons.

Asks Ramona:

What would Jesus do?

Concludes Jay:

Next stop...Washington Park.

"We feel called to do this. We feel like if we’re following Jesus and his life and example and the things that he taught — one of those things is to engage with, and administer to, and provide relief to people who are on the margins of society. In a sense, that’s really a lot of what Christianity is about, at least for me," says Steve Holz-Russell, a member of the Park Hill United Methodist Church who chairs the congregation's Missions and Social Justice Team.

What do you think of the Park Hill proposal? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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