Reader: Every State Capitol Should Have a Homeless Encampment

Lincoln Park before the January sweep.
Lincoln Park before the January sweep.
Evan Semón
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After Civic Center Park was closed to the public in April, Lincoln Park — the block across Broadway that had been declared a public health hazard back in January, then mitigated and reopened in early March — again began filling up with tents, just down the hill from the Colorado State Capitol.

On July 29, two days after Mayor Michael Hancock said that the homeless encampments "cannot persist," Lincoln Park was swept. While Denver has said it supports setting up a safe camping site, none has been established thus far. Meanwhile, Lincoln Park is fenced off.

Readers were not similarly restrained in their Facebook comments about our story on the Lincoln Park cleanup. Says Harold:

Good, that was disgusting. That is not what represents Colorado.

Replies Alexandria:

Glad the eyesore is gone, but it doesn't address the root of the problem.

Adds Jerri:

All it is doing is forcing the homeless to move into a neighborhood. The problem isn’t being addressed.

Suggests Caity: 

Every homeless encampment should be at state capitols. It's the lawmakers who need to see them.

Responds Andrew: 

Or better yet, in front of the homes of millionaires. Maybe then they'd pressure politicians and fork out the money to make a difference.

Notes Trevor:

Cherry Creek Golf course has lots of space.

And here's a poetic response from longtime reader Jeremiah M. Attridge:

It really bugs the best in me,
while I’m paying taxes,
from my window I can see,
how that old bum relaxes.
You can bet he doesn’t pay,
though he probably clears a grand,
going through the trash each day,
collecting used beer cans.
Man, I’d really like to grab the slob,
wipe that silly smirk,
make the bastard get a job,
put his ass to work.
To hell with this, I’ve had enough.
It’s time he knows my view:
Hey dumb shit: Get out of here!!
Why grandpa! Is that you?

What do you think of the sweep by the Colorado State Capitol? What should Denver, and the state, be doing to help improve the problem of homelessness? Post a comment or email editorial@westword.com.

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