Month: November 2018

Community Converges on Thanksgiving Eve to Demand Human Rights, End Homeless Sweeps

Community Converges on Thanksgiving Eve to Demand Human Rights, End Homeless Sweeps

When: Wednesday November 21st 2018 6pm

Where: Location to be announced

What: Community Convergence Demanding End of Homeless Sweeps

 

After 4 weeks of non-stop police sweeps of homeless people trying to survive the winter, the people of Denver are saying enough is enough and convening in public outcry to demand this displacement end. 319 sleeping bags will be collected and distributed to people living on the streets to represent the 3195 people who have been contacted by police for violating the survival ban (known as camping ban) in the last 9 months and forced to move along to nowhere.

 

On October 29th 2018 Mayor Hancock sent in police and city cleaning crews en mass to sweep over 200 homeless people who had been staying in tents outside for months. Homeless people gathered together for safety and access to resources in this area. This police sweep scattered the over 200 homeless people around the city. But Mayor Hancock did not stop there. Over the next 3 ½ weeks he has sent police and city workers out to sweep any congregation of visible homeless people using protection from the winter weather. On November 6th and 7th large scale police sweeps displaced people trying to gather at an area off Brighton blvd surrounding a vacant plot of land. And than when people came back to the area – with no where else to go – police swept the group and painted lines calling the whole area “closed.”

 

We refuse to sit back while the City sends police to sweep homeless people from sight. Police are forcing homeless people to stand up, take their blankets off, take down their tents, and move along in the cold. Right NOW this is happening right HERE in OUR city.

 

We are converging together on Wednesday November 21st at 6pm to make our OUTCRY heard loud and clear by the City of Denver. We will take space in our city to try and exist in solidarity with those without housing — and in demand for the right to survive.

 

Stay tuned for details on where we will be convening…

 

If you can donate…

Bring a sleeping bag, tent, blanket, hand warmers, food, coffee…

(we are trying to collect 319 sleeping bags to represent the 3195 people moved along for the survival ban in the last 9 months)

 

One year ago this day Ink Coffee made a sign saying “Happily Gentrifying the Neighborhood since 2014” and the people of Denver responded in outcry demanding action to end this unabashed gentrification of our communities. Exactly one year later the City is sweeping every homeless person from the blocks two blocks away from that very coffee shop. This gentrification must STOP.

 

Enough is enough.

 

Watch these, and more, livestream videos of the City sweeping hundreds of homeless people from the sidewalks on October 29th.

https://www.facebook.com/RighttoSurviveBallotInitiative/videos/247047602659403/

https://www.facebook.com/RighttoSurviveBallotInitiative/videos/2196292683737202/

DENVER HOMELESS OUT LOUD ENCOURAGING CITY OF DENVER TO GIVE BACK SHELTER AFTER TAKING IT IN COLD WEATHER FRONT

PRESS RELEASE

 

Denver Homeless Out Loud

720-940-5291 –  Direct

415-517-5603 –  Mobile

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            Nov. 5, 2018

 

DENVER HOMELESS OUT LOUD ENCOURAGING CITY OF DENVER TO GIVE BACK SHELTER AFTER TAKING IT IN COLD WEATHER FRONT

 

Human rights, resources for housing remain UNavailable as temperatures drop

 

Cities cannot use quick-fix criminal justice measures to address their social service failures. Housing is the solution to homelessness.” Eric Tars of National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

DENVER – With winter weather moving in, the City and County of Denver is actively on the streets taking shelter – such as tarps, tents, sleeping bags – from people experiencing homelessness and moving them to less visible areas. As they do this the city claims to be “encouraging homeless people to seek shelter ahead of the cold front.”

 

Let’s just start with the math. Denver has at least 3,445 people experiencing homelessness (a known undercount) and not quite 2,000 spaces at shelters. At least 609 of these people are “unsheltered” (meaning staying outside). The city claims there is on average, 100 to 150 shelter spaces that go unused each night. Even given this massive undercount of people experiencing homelessness, and this liberal estimate of open shelters spaces, 609 people do not fit in 150 spaces. The math doesn’t add up.

 

Now let’s go beyond math to the human elements of this situation. People without housing are not bodies to be put in spaces in a shelter building, but rather human beings who have lives. The reality of life and dynamics in shelters are such that they are not a viable, healthy, safe, or possible options for many people. Accordingly, hundreds of people without housing WILL BE living outside creating their own shelter in Denver this winter.

 

We simply ask the City of Denver to give back the shelter people create for themselves to survive – both the physical tarps/tents/blankets/ect, and the right to use this shelter to survive.

 

Who is asking for this?

 

All those who love their husband or wife and feel safer together than separated as shelters do to couples…

All those who work late nights and can’t get into a shelter…

All those who work nights and have no option to sleep in a shelter in the day…

All those who work early morning day labor and can’t get out of the shelter in time to work…

All those women who are traumatized by men staff in the bunk areas waking women to kick them out…

All those with pets or service animals who are rejected…

All those who can’t conform to regimented rules…

All those who can’t handle being ordered around and degraded by staff…

All those with insomnia who can’t watch tv or read but must be in bed with no cell phones…

All those who have stayed in a shelter program for 90 days with a promise of housing to no avail and given up on service providers…

All those who have been kicked out at 3am for no fault of their own because staff failed to sign them in or enter their chores in the records…

All those who need food in the night and fear being kicked out for keeping food with them in bed against the rules…

All those who don’t want to sleep with bed bugs…

All those suffering a drug addiction that can’t pass a urine analysis  to stay in the shelters…

All those don’t make it in the lottery to get a bed…

All those who can’t get down on the floor to sleep on a mat…

All those with more than two bags of belongings who either go into the shelter and lose their property, or stay outside to keep their property…

All those trans-gender folks who have been abused in a shelter or forced to strip to prove their sex…

All those who want their time back from waiting in lines for early admission hours to get into a shelter…

All those who don’t want to be preached to by shelter providers…

All those with mental health struggles who can’t handle being around hundreds of people in a tight space…

All those released from the hospital at 1am onto the streets…

All those physically unable to move about when police ask them…

All those who feel safer staying outside with friends than in a building with strangers…

All those who feel safer or happier staying by themselves on the streets than with hundreds of people in a shelter…

All those who prefer the dignity of a tent to the warehousing and dehumanizing treatment of a shelter…

All those who want control of their own life and choices…