“Denver will be opening temporary, sanctioned and serviced camps where people experiencing homelessness can shelter amid the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing the city to clear other camps that have sprung up around town.
Mayor Michael Hancock said Wednesday it had not yet been decided how many sanctioned camps would be needed or where they would be located, saying the neighborhoods that will host them could be anywhere in the city and people in houses there would need to be informed before the unhoused move in. Nonprofits who had lobbied for sanctioned camps said the first would be opened in the coming weeks, but did not say where.
Hancock, who had resisted the idea of sanctioned camping, said during a news conference that “COVID has introduced a new reality.”
“By providing alternatives, we will be able to step up our enforcement” of Denver’s ban on urban camping, Hancock said.
Hancock said people now camping near Morey Middle School in Capitol Hill would be the first to be targeted for relocation, and that efforts would follow to clear camps near the Capitol and in the Ballpark area of Five Points. He said a combination of encouraging people to move to motels, shelters and sanctioned sites and enforcing the camping ban would be used to clear the camps.”
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Bryson, Donna. Denverite 1 July 2020.