Camping Ban Update, Denver VOICE

By Sarah Ford in the Denver VOICE. Please purchase the Denver VOICE from vendors when you meet them on the street. Each issue is packed with excellent content.

It’s been three months since the City banned camping, sleeping and resting in public and private places in the city and county of Denver. In this time, the effects of the camping ban, which took effect on May 29, have begun to come to light. According to Melissa McKewen, spokesperson for the Salvation Army, many shelters find themselves working at full capacity on a nightly basis, and these conditions have led the City to seek options to open more shelters before winter.

“There is too much demand and not enough supply, and it is pushing people to the streets,” said Stephanie Hoing, a homeless woman who testified against the ban during a City Council hearing. Continue reading

The Uneasy Impact of Denver’s Urban Camping Ban, St. Francis Center

From the St. Francis Center.

A ban on unauthorized camping, approved by Denver city council in May and going into effect on June 4, has definitely impacted the lives of many St. Francis Center guests, and not for the better.

The law prohibits individuals from sleeping or sitting in any type of makeshift “shelter” with the intention of “dwelling” there.

“If it’s a blanket or cardboard or newspapers, that’s ‘shelter.’ Clothing is not,” said Layla de Steffany, a member of the Denver Police Department’s Homeless Outreach program. “And there has to be some evidence that they’re living there. Maybe all their stuff is there, or they’re there every day. Every situation is different.” Continue reading