Report Release Tuesday 2/16! Too High A Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado

Join us for the official report release of…

Too High A Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado


Did you know that in 76 cities in Colorado, there are 351 anti-homeless ordinances? Come to the report release and learn more…

Tuesday February 16th, 2016

11:30 am Refreshments – 12:00 pm Program & Report Presentation – 1:30 pm Discussion on Right to Rest Act 

Address: 1600 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203 St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

Press release from University of Denver Sturm College of Law below.


Denver Law Students Examine Costs of Criminalizing Homelessness in Colorado

 Report details effects of anti-homeless laws on Colorado

February 12, 2016 – DENVER – The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is proud to announce that its Homeless Advocacy Policy Project has published a groundbreaking policy report, Too High A Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado.

Too High A Price is the first report to provide a comprehensive look at municipal ordinances across Colorado that directly affect homeless individuals.  Colorado policymakers address“visible poverty” in their cities by enacting “quality of life” ordinances.  These ordinances typically prohibit life-sustaining behaviors that homeless individuals need to survive, such as sitting, sleeping, camping, and panhandling in public places.

By conducting a broad analysis of the enactment and enforcement of anti-homeless laws in Colorado, Too High A Price examines the cost—economic and social— that anti-homeless laws impose upon all Colorado citizens.  Given the prevalence of anti-homeless ordinances, trends of enforcement, and cost of implementation and adjudication, Too High A Price reveals that Colorado policymaker’s efforts to eradicate homelessness in this way are inefficient and discriminatory.

Key findings of Too High A Price include:

  • Colorado’s 76 largest cities have enacted 351 individual anti-homeless ordinances.
  • Under these anti-homeless ordinances, Colorado cities issue citations to homeless residents with significantly higher frequency than housed residents.
  • Six Colorado cities spent over $5 million dollars enforcing just 14 anti-homeless ordinances between 2010 and 2014.

Too High A Price was designed in a unified effort with the Western Regional Advocacy Project, and builds on similar reports studying the criminalization of homelessness in California and Washington by students at the UC Berkeley School of Law and Seattle University School of Law, respectively.  The Homeless Advocacy Policy Project also worked in partnership with a local community organization, Denver Homeless Out Loud, in authoring this report.

The findings of Too High A Price strongly support The Right to Rest Act, Colorado House Bill HB-16-1191, which was introduced to the Colorado Legislature by Representatives Salazar and Melton in February 2016.  The Right to Rest Act prohibits the enactment or enforcement of laws that criminalize resting in public spaces.

The Homeless Advocacy Policy Project is part of Denver Law’s Experiential Advantage Curriculum, exposing students to complex real-life situations to provide unparalleled opportunities to develop as a lawyer.  For more information on Too High A Price and the Homeless Advocacy Policy Project, see

The Denver Law student authors of Too High A Price will present the Report’s methodology and conclusions and answer questions at a press event on Tuesday, February 16th, from 11:301:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1600 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203.


Presentation by: The University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s Homeless Advocacy Policy

Hosted by: Denver Homeless Out Loud Contact: 720-940-5291

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