Mayor Hancock and City Council,
On November 21st, we, the undersigned organizations, sent you, Mayor Hancock, a letter demanding immediate action be taken to protect the rights, dignity, and survival of people without housing in Denver by stopping the sweeps, stopping taking people’s blankets and property, and providing land and legal variance for tent dwelling for people without homes. Weeks later we have received no reply from the Mayor’s office whatsoever. We sent this letter seeking immediate action from the Mayor on these steps, not to send a call into a void. People’s lives are at risk and the lack of response indicates the Mayor’s office is not taking this seriously.
In order to move forward the immediate steps called for, we are providing further clarity on the exact laws and processes tied to these action steps.
- Stop the sweeps – Cease enforcement of the Unauthorized Camping Ban ordinance 38.86.2 (i.e. Survival Ban)
- Stop taking people’s blankets and property – Comply with the US Constitution in resolution of the active Class Action Lawsuit Lyall vs City of Denver. “
- Provide land and legal variance for tent dwelling for people without homes – Adopt and modify one of the countless models for designated and non-designated tent and vehicle dwelling around the country. See Seattle’s Transitional Encampment zoning law (attached) which creates legal code for tent and vehicle dwelling. And see Indianapolis’ Encampment response policy (attached) which requires encampment residents be given an open and attainable housing option before individuals can be swept. (These codes and policies can be immediately implemented by the Mayor under a “state of emergency” as similarly done in other US cities).
The past 5 weeks of police sweeps across the city of Denver, directed by you Mayor Hancock, can be stopped just as easily as they were started.
Until there is actual attainable low-income housing enough to meet the need of the thousands of people, with numbers growing each day, who can’t afford Denver’s rents, people will be living on the streets of Denver. Shelters are not an option for hundreds of people. The city must hear the cry of people without housing, let people cover themselves from the winter weather, and be seen.
Denver Homeless Out Loud
Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
Colorado Cross Disability Coalition
Coloradans for Progressive Action
Colorado Village Collaborative
Shiva Mandir Humanitarian Outreach
After Hours Denver
ACLU of Colorado
Denver Relief and Denver Relief Consulting
Beloved Community Mennonite Church
Severe Weather Shelter Network
Food Not Bombs Denver