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.