Month: April 2020

Demand Governor Polis Open Up HOUSING NOW!!

Mandamus Filed to Mandate Housing Be Opened for Houseless

Demand Governor Polis Open Up HOUSING NOW!!

Yesterday we filed a Writ of Mandamus in court aiming to get the State of Colorado and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to do their job: Protect the people of Colorado in this health crisis by mandating existing empty housing be opened for Coloradans living in shelters and on streets. Homeless individuals and homeless advocacy organizations across from the state of Colorado joined together as plaintiffs in this case, filed by attorney Jason Flores-Williams, because across Colorado cities are not opening housing needed to keep our communities safe. Opening new congregate shelters with more space, or putting those showing symptoms in hotels, does not stop the spread of this virus. Individualized housing is necessary. Everyone must have a home to be able to follow stay at home orders. 

The Governor of Colorado, now Gov Jared Polis, has the explicit authority in a state of emergency to “commandeer or utilize any private property if the governor finds this necessary to cope with the disaster emergency;” and to “Make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing C.R.S. 24-33.5-704(7)(i).”

There are about 19,452 unoccupied housing units in Denver as well as ones across the state. Plus, as the COVID crisis has largely stopped travel, the large majority of hotel rooms across the nation are sitting empty – between apartments and hotels there is plenty to house all those without housing in Colorado. 

Governor Polis must use this authority NOW to issue an order for vacant houses, apartments, or hotels to be opened up for people without housing at this time. 

See the the letter to Governor Polis in the sign on link. 

Be part of the call for HOUSING NOW! Sign on as an organization or an individual to support the letter to Governor Polis. Sign up to help make this happen. 

Housing is for all – not to be hoarded by the rich sitting empty.

Denver Homeless Out Loud, Boulder Rights Watch, Safe Access for Everyone, Fort Collins Homeless Coalition, Grand Junction Solidarity Not Charity

LEGAL ACTION FILED FOR HOUSING TO BE OPENED FOR HOUSELESS IN THIS COVID-19 CRISIS

LEGAL ACTION FILED FOR HOUSING TO BE OPENED FOR HOUSELESS IN THIS COVID-19 CRISIS

Writ of Mandamus Filed TODAY — Press Release Below

Denver, CO—Homeless advocacy groups have come together from around the State to address the nightmare confronting thousands of Colorado homeless during this pandemic crisis. A brutal Hobson’s choice, where homeless can either sleep in overcrowded shelters in beds inches from people exhibiting classic symptoms of the disease, or out on the streets where they are often the victims of abuse and violent crime.

The conditions in shelters and state mismanagement of homelessness in the time of pandemic, not only affects Coloradans suffering homelessness, but towns and cities across Colorado as the shelters serve as ideal hotspots for spread and retransmission of the virus. As of press time, at least ten homeless persons in shelters have tested positive for Covid-19. The number is almost certainly much higher as testing has been widely unavailable.

In a rare move, these groups courageously advocating for the invisible, voiceless and most vulnerable in our society are demanding, through this Extraordinary Petition, that the State fulfill its obligations with regard to public health and take steps to immediately mitigate the conditions in the shelters by providing housing to the homeless during this crisis. Cities and states around the country are stepping up to provide housing in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, e.g. Santa Fe, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Connecticut. Colorado must follow and go beyond by protecting every person in this state. 

The Extraordinary Petition was filed this morning.