Denver Committee Sending Homeless Camping Ban to Council-Decision Today!
Tonight there will be a council meeting for initial vote and a two-hour public hearing on the bill for the homeless camping ban. If passed it will prohibit people from unauthorized camping on public and private property through out the city. The ban is similar to the one currently in Boulder.
The focus on the ban is not only to get homeless off the streets, they are trying to send more outreach to the homeless. There is a team that was put together in 2007 with the Denver Police department. It consists of four officers that are on a regular rotation around the city visiting the homeless camps and offering help every morning. With this ban not only will they be asking the campers to move they will be offering assistance in helping them find shelters, counseling, drug outreach, job outreach, food, psychological assistance, etc. They will be actively working with the homeless to help them get off the streets.
Because of this ban potentially coming if passed will be in effect May 19, Denver is scrambling to get more beds in the shelters. In the warmer months they lose 360 beds leaving the city with only 867 shelter beds. The city must get a zoning waiver to keep 100 emergency beds at the Denver Rescue Mission open past the June 1 deadline. Officials are also working through zoning issues to make sure 40 beds for women and two churches won’t close.
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