Denver clears another homeless camp due to health concerns

DENVER — The city of Denver will clean up a homeless encampment near 50th and Dahlia next week due to health concerns. But unlike the 83 people who camped near the governor’s mansion last week, the unhoused people living there will not be provided hotel rooms.

>The story above examines previous sweeps that provided hotel accommodations for people.

On Tuesday, under DOTI authority, a seven-day notice to remove obstructions to public rights-of-way was posted at 50th and Dahlia. Derek Woodbury, communications director for the Department of Housing Stability, said the location poses a significant public health and safety risk.

Woodbury said unhoused people living in the area are being provided access to shelters.

But mass evacuation is not the option many people living in the 50th and Dahlia encampment wanted.

“I’m a grown man. I don’t need a curfew. I know what’s right and what’s wrong,” said Kelly Scoville, who has lived on the block near Denver Rescue Mission for three months. . “I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. I know what I’m doing.”

Thursday, she pulled out a makeshift table and grill to make lunch. She hasn’t had a kitchen in a year.

It’s not clear to her where her home will be next week because of a notice posted by the city at her camp.

“I just handed it over and moved on to the next question,” she explained. “It was like, get it or get out.”

When she moved to the street three months ago, only a few people were living in tents, she said. Now there are dozens of them. Everyone living in the camp must pack up by Tuesday, October 10th.

This is different from the cleanup that took place last week near the governor’s mansion in the 8th and Logan area. As part of Denver Mayor Mike Johnston’s housing plan, the city provided hotel rooms to 83 people at the encampment. Scoville and his neighbors don’t have that option.

Woodbury said resources are not available at this time. There just aren’t any hotel rooms for them to go to.

“It is important to note that, if possible, the City and County of Denver will implement relocation programs like the one we initiated last week at 8th and Logan,” Woodbury said. “However, unfortunately, even when housing resources are not available, as was the case at 8th and Logan, there are still times when cleaning is necessary due to public health or public safety risks or other reasons.”

Johnston has set a goal of housing 1,000 unsheltered people and permanently closing the encampment by the end of this year.

9NEWS asked why the encampment at 8th and Logan near the governor’s mansion is part of the House 1000 initiative and not the site near 50th and Dahlia, given the significant public health and safety risks in the area. I asked.

Woodbury said Sites 8 and Logan were also experiencing issues such as increased amounts of trash, human waste and discarded needles, which necessitated cleaning.

The city said it hopes to move more people into hotels and micro-communities in the coming weeks.

More information about the City of Denver’s sweep policy:

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