Month: December 2016

Community Dialogue on Housing, Homelessness and the Right to Rest – With National Leaders

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A Community Dialouge on Housing, Homelessness and the Right To Rest

“Federal neglect vs Local response”

Friday – December 16, 2016 5:30-7:30pm at the PlatteForum 2400 Curtis St Denver CO 80205

Learn about the correlation between federal affordable housing cuts and the advent of

contemporary homelessness starting in 1983!

Hear about the growing national trend to criminalize the presence of homeless people and the

historical discriminatory laws todays laws are based on!

Discuss what WE can all do together to once and for all overturn discriminatory laws and

ensure all people have a safe, decent place they and their families can afford!

 

Presenters:

Paul Boden, WRAP – Without House/HBRC Powerpoint presentation

DHOL members – Real life impact of Denver Camping Ban and Colorado Right To Rest Act 2017

Ibrahim Mubarak – Right 2 Survive Oregon Right To Rest Act 2017, Right To Dream Too

Maria F – National Homes Not Handcuffs Campaign

PLACE / TIME

 

*”It is logically incorrect and severely misleading to rely on individual, biographical factors to

explain why societal rates of homelessness suddenly skyrocketed in the 1980s to a level not

seen since the Great Depression, and have continued to grow into the present. The fact that

millions of families, single adults, and youths with different biographical backgrounds came to

simultaneously experience homelessness requires a reexamination of historical and social

structural forces.” Without Housing….

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MAYOR HANCOCK ORDERS POLICE TO STOP TAKING PEOPLE’S SURVIVAL GEAR WHEN ENFORCING THE CAMPING BAN!!

Mayor Hancock Orders Police to Stop Taking People’s Survival Gear when Enforcing the Camping Ban!!!

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Homeless people of Denver just won big!! Police will no longer be ordered to take people’s blankets, sleeping bags, tents, or other such survival gear as evidence of the crime of camping during the winter months. This comes after well-renowned lawyer David Lane contacted the City Attorney’s office on Friday informing them he would be filing a Temporary Restraining Order against the city of Denver to stop these seizures of survival gear. Just after a meeting with Attorney Lane and would-be-witnesses who have had winter survival gear taken in sweeps and suffered severe, even life threatening effects, we received this notice from the Mayor’s office. This decision from the Mayor also comes after countless actions including an open letter from ACLU to the Mayor demanding an end to this, viral videos of police taking people’s blankets as evidence of the crime of camping, a loud out cry from the public, and endless action by people surviving on the streets to stand up to this injustice.

This directive means that homeless people should not have their survival gear taken from them while police are enforcing the camping ban. This means that people surviving on the streets this winter will have just that much more hope to live through this winter.

This however is just one small step toward protecting people’s right to survive. This does not overturn the camping ban or even suspend it for the winter. This does not stop police from forcing people to “move along,” take down tents, or give tickets for the camping ban. This does not stop police and public works from conducting sweeps where they come through and take people’s property while claiming it to be an “encumbrance” or “abandoned.” This does not decriminalize homelessness in all the many growing ways it is being criminalized. And of course this does not end our housing crisis to enable people to actually afford homes.

As much as the city wants to claim that every homeless person in Denver can go into the shelters, this continues to be a lie. The presence of open beds does not equal the ability of people to stay in those beds. Much less the desire – the city itself has recognized they cannot force people into shelter like jail. Furthermore, the Mayor’s claim that they only took people’s gear as evidence while “protesting” (surviving) at City Hall is also false as can be seen in this video. And even more important the Mayor’s claim that the city has only taken blankets or tents from only three people is most blatantly a lie as can been seen in countless sweeps where the city takes people’s belongings.

All this said, this is one vital step to respecting our lives by not taking our blankets as evidence of our necessary crime of surviving. And we should all know Mayor Hancock did not just decide this out of his own good will. This directive was made due to the legal and public pressure showing this is just plan wrong. This was made possible because of everyone who stood up for their own rights or the rights of their fellow human kind!!

We cannot end the fight here. This shows we can make change. We must continue to stand together and fight on. From the class action law suit against the city of Denver to end the whole practice of the sweeps, to the local work to over turn the Camping (Survival) Ban, to the Right to Rest for the whole state of Colorado, to the effort to get land for Tiny Home villages, to the fight to end all this inhumanity and re-create a country where housing is a human right…we have much much work to do…

For this moment though we will celebrate our win – Blankets can no longer be taken as evidence of our crime of surviving.

Contact

Denver Homeless Out Loud

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

720-940-5291

See Press Statement from Mayor’s Office Below

 

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

 

 

Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016

 

City and County of Denver

Mayor Michael B. Hancock

Amber Miller, Communications Director

Amber.Miller@DenverGov.org

C: 720-220-8165

Jenna Espinoza, Deputy Communications Director

Jenna.Espinoza@DenverGov.org

 

Mayor Hancock Statement Regarding Unauthorized Camping Ordinance

 

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced a cold-weather adjustment to enforcement of the city’s unauthorized camping ordinance.

 

“As a city, we have a responsibility and moral obligation to protect the lives of our residents. Urban camping– especially during cold, wet weather — is dangerous and we don’t want to see any lives lost on the streets when there are safe, warm places available for people to sleep at night. Every night, we have beds open for people to sleep and every day we have safe places and resources to help people experiencing homelessness,” Mayor Hancock said.

 

“Every step we take is intended to connect people with safe and warm places and critical supportive services. We never intended to take the belongings that people need to keep warm. Therefore, I have directed Denver police to cease taking camping equipment, like tents and blankets, when enforcing the unauthorized camping ordinance through the end of April.”

 

Background information:

The city and its homeless shelter partners are continuously tracking shelter availability and adding space whenever needed to ensure we have warm, safe places for people to sleep at night. We absolutely have space open.

 

Denver will cease taking camping equipment, like tents and blankets, when enforcing the unauthorized camping ordinance through the end of April.

 

To date, the city has taken camping equipment as evidence from three individuals who were camping outside the City and County Building during a protest demonstration on Nov. 28. On that day, the city began notification of our camping ordinance at about 9:40 p.m. and worked to gain voluntary compliance over the following six hours with the demonstrators. These are the only individuals who have had blankets or tents taken.

 

When enforcing the unauthorized camping ordinance, Denver police provide several verbal and written warnings before they issue a citation. Per the ordinance, officers request wellness checks by human services professionals for individuals found camping outdoors in the city.

 

Over the past two weeks, after multiple notifications, police issued nine citations to seven individuals.

 

Over the last 24 months, the city and our metro partners have placed 995 homeless people into housing.

 

# # #

Speak Up for Our Lives!! Tell City Council to End the Survival Ban Monday 12.5

Speak Up for Our Lives!! Tell City Council to End the Survival Ban

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Survival camp of 20 people at 27th and Arapohoe – This camp has been kept extra clean and quite but was displaced nonetheless
 
We are desperate. The Mayor called for an extreme escalation of force starting Monday November 28th sweeping hundreds of homeless people “away” from places of rest all over the city. Since Monday police have been enforcing the camping ban with tickets and threats of arrest. When police give the ticket they seize people’s sleeping bans, blankets, tents, or other survival gear as evidence of the “crime” leaving these people with no protection from the elements with which to survive the winter night. Not only did the city sweep everyone, roughly 150 people, out of the Lawrence/Bway area, but further the city swept people out of the spot on 27th and Arapohoe where roughly 20 people have been surviving in a camp so clean the dirt is racked in straight lines. And even beyond this the city have been sweeping people out of places all over the whole city – any corner people find to try to hunker up with blankets to stay warm on these freezing winter nights. Even a single person and a sleeping bag is subject to enforcement of the camping ban and being moved along to no where.
Watch this video of police ticketing people for “urban camping” (surviving) and taking their gear as evidence of the crime.
On Monday night after being swept from all over the city about 20 homeless people and about a dozen supporters “moved along” to city hall to sleep in front of the Mayor’s office. Since we have been swept from all over the city we had no where to go but to the Mayor himself to demand this craziness end and tell him, “Mayor Hancock, you cannot sweep away homelessness.” Police were called in to enforce the camping ban – ticketing homeless people in sleeping bags and telling them they had two choices “either leave right now and we will take your stuff as evidence, or come to jail and we will also take your stuff as evidence.”
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Two Police Cars Guarding the Sidewalk by Samaritan House on November 30th – Police have been stationed to guard the sidewalk and move anyone who tries to sit down since November 28
The Mayor is forcing death on people forced to survive outside in Denver winter. With this level of camping ban enforcement we are likely to have many more homeless people die this winter. We CANNOT stand back which this happens. We MUST stand together until our city decision makers changes this law and allow people to use a blankets to survive the winter.
Join us Monday December 5th at 4pm in front of the City and County Building to bring our signs and voices demanding the survival ban end. At 5pm we will be going in to the City Council general public comment period where homeless people will be sharing with the Council what is really going on and what needs to be done.
Contact your council person and tell them you support an end to the camping ban! https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-city-council/contact.html
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