HOMELESS-COLD-09092020-KS-027

Chloe (who only wanted to use a first name), left, visits Cowboy at his site along a row of tents on Welton St. downtown on September 9, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. The cold front that moved through the metro area Monday night, bringing freezing temperatures and snow, was particularly hard on those camping on the streets. Many said they huddled in tents to stay warm, and others living under just tarps hung on rope, said they and all of their belongings were soaked by the storm.

Only three days after the initial announcement, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has canceled the plan to establish a managed homeless campsite in the Five Points neighborhood, he announced Tuesday evening.

Hancock announced the plan Saturday to use a piece of city property in Five Points as one of three sites for the project. The property was between Sonny Lawson Park and the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library.

“After further investigation into suitability, we are taking this option off the table,” Hancock said in Tuesday’s announcement. “There are potentially better sites, with fewer legal and practical obstacles.”

Hancock distanced himself from the plan, saying he “reluctantly” agreed to a proposal from the Colorado Village Collaborative regarding the managed campsites.

The decision marks the second time a proposed site has been scuttled. A top consideration at the Denver Coliseum parking lot was pulled after backlash from the surrounding Globeville/Elyria/Swansea community.

New areas in Denver will now be considered for the three campsites.

“I encourage all of us to take some time to reflect on the difficulties of finding a suitable location for a use such as this,” Hancock said. “The need to serve our neighbors experiencing homelessness remains one of the most significant challenges we face today, and solutions will require broad understanding and collaboration.”

The three virtual town halls scheduled this week to discuss the encampment have been postponed. Dates for a citywide discussion are not yet available.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.