Denver cleared a series of encampments in Five Points on Wednesday, indicating that the blocks will remain closed until they are deemed safe.
Denverite reported that the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment found there to be “unsafe conditions associated with recent and ongoing observations by public health investigators, including piles of uncontained trash, used needles, insects, human waste, and other biohazards.”
The sweep occurred along California Street north of Broadway and 21st Street between Welton and Stout streets. The city noted that clearing encampment communities during a pandemic could also result in the spread of COVID-19 as people with possible infections disperse. However, the health department told Denverite in a statement that the encampments’ conditions “are egregious and require immediate intervention.”
The city eliminated five tons of trash in the same vicinity at the beginning of the month. Denver Homeless Out Loud, an advocacy group for persons experiencing homelessness, requested that supporters come to the site to show solidarity with homeless residents, and to bring food, water and protest signs.
"Residents of this camp demanded loud and clear that the City start to treat them fairly," the group wrote on its Facebook page. "They demanded that the City quit pretending there is a public health crisis on the streets and instead invest in basic needed resources to support ongoing sanitation needs."