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…

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