Last week, during the first major snowstorm of the season, Denver Police Department officers began rousting people from their tents and lean-to shelters near the Samaritan House at Park Avenue and Lawrence Street around 6 a.m. The cops told everyone to get into shelters — shelters that had been too full to accommodate many of the homeless the night before — and then proceeded to dump most of their belongings in a Public Works truck. "They took everything. They told you, ‘You get one chance. Take two bags of what you want and then get away from everything because it’s all going in the dumpster,'" one homeless man told a videographer associated with the livestream channel Unicorn Riot.
And the comments have been coming in fast and furious — mostly furious — since we reported this yesterday. Says John:
Thank you for putting out this article. This is a very important conversation to have in our society today. The criminalization of homelessness is cruel, unconstitutional, and systemically driven. Busting the misconceptions of homelessness by relaying the truth in a way that overpowers the well-circulated stereotypes is especially important in our efforts to secure the human rights of houseless individuals, families, and couples.
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"I am so tired of hearing and bearing witness to the 5-0 messing with the homeless in Denver. They have nowhere to go, they have almost no possessions and here we are throwing away their things and pushing them around. I truly believe they deserve respect and some room just to exist, period."