Homeless advocates, including the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and Denver Homeless Out Loud, who are bringing water and coronavirus tests to the camps, say it’s never been more obvious that Colorado needs better long-term solutions, mainly affordable housing. Sweeping the camps and booting people without homes out of downtown, advocates say, only pushes them to the underpasses, along the river paths and out to the suburbs.
People have always camped outside at night in Denver, but many of them spent their days at the public library or recreation centers or day shelters — places that have closed during the pandemic. Now, more people who are homeless set up camp and stay put all day.
Homeless camps in downtown Denver are “out of control” as the pandemic drags on. So what’s the solution?
One nonprofit counted 30 encampments and 664 tents. The tent cities are growing more persistent as Denver has backed off enforcing the camping ban.