Author: denverhomelessoutloud

Denver Ranger Takes Homeless Man’s Tent, Sleeping Bag, and Blankets on Freezing Day Leaving Trash Everywhere

Denver Ranger Takes Homeless Man’s Tent, Sleeping Bag, and Blankets on Freezing Day Leaving Trash Everywhere
Jackson’s belongings formerly in his tent throw about by ranger after taking of tent and sleeping bag. Next to friends tent who were present in their tent when ranger came and took Jackson’s tent. Taken 11/7/2017
Today, November 7 2017, Denver Park Ranger took a homeless man named Jackson’s tent, sleeping bag, and blankets and left his other possessions and trash from inside the tent strewn about. This was done on a day when it is 25 degrees and snowing. Jackson has been surviving on the river in this spot for months. Two friends were present with his stuff when the park ranger came and took Jackson’s property. These friends informed the park ranger they were there watching his stuff and the park ranger took it regardless.
At the same time as this happened Denver Police were actively forcing homeless people by the Mission and all over the city to “move along.”
This is all taking place as the class action lawsuit against the city of Denver for the homeless sweeps is in progress before the federal district court. The constitutional rights founding this law suit – 4th amendment to property and 14th amendment rights to due process of law – continue to be violated by the city of Denver every day.
Read Jackson’s open letter to Ranger Eric demanding his property be returned below.
Watch video of the aftermath of this sweep here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyXVF3NmYxc&feature=youtu.be
Winter is here and the city is taking homeless people’s survival gear on freezing snowing days putting people’s lives at sever risk. This MUST END.
Contact:
Denver Homeless Out Loud

Open Letter from Jackson to Ranger Eric
 
Ranger Eric,
I want all my property returned.  I am contacting the Denver Police regarding harassment and theft based on your selective behavior, and abuse of authority against the people left to protect my property and kittens.
What possible reason could you have to take only my personal property mostly limited to blankets, sleeping bag and tent and tarps, that was also protecting the four 2 week old kittens that you know I was attending to.  I left people to watch over my property.  Alex and Mike tell me that they all attempted to prevent you from taking the things and to return them all yet you refused.  You took only the things that I need to survive the sub freezing temperatures of last night and the next few nights at sub freezing and wet.  Though I may be younger than you Eric, I am 51, and my 2 sons would be very distressed if I freeze to death or end up with frostbite.  And I am going to be very upset if the 4 newborn kittens are harmed because of this, I had intentions of adopting them out to quality households when they are able to leave their mother, who adopted me not vise versa.
This is in my opinion against the law, sneaky, and very disheartening, that I had left property guards while attending to business in town this morning.  Your behavior seems targeted considering all the other tents and property on the S Platte.
I would like my property returned so I can continue to pack and store it as was done all day yesterday and the day before.  Leaving 60% of the items that were inside the tent sprawled all over the Riverfront Denver Ranger takes homeless man’s tent, sleeping bag and blankets leaving trash everywhere! while only taking the survival gear is ludicrous!  Yes it will make for good video and chapters in the new book but that is not a factor in the 25 degree temps.
-Jackson

Vice Documentary on Homeless Sweeps

Vice Documentary on Homeless Sweeps 

Watch the Vice documentary on housing, homelessness, weed, and the sweeps in Denver.

https://www.viceland.com/en_us/video/weediquette-dank-new-world/59ee4498177dd439624ad172 (Note: however you have to have special technology to watch this…so you may need to download things to make it play)

As sweeps continue and winter comes…let us prepare for this trial to protect life…

Rally and Hearing for Smoking Ban – Stop the City from Targeting Homeless and Poor People for just for Smoking a Cigarette!!

Smoking Ban is Going Forward – Stop the City from Targeting Homeless and Poor People just for Smoking a Cigarette!!

Rally 4:30pm
Hearing 5:30pm
@ City and County Building – 1437 Bannock St
Bring a sign to the rally. Wear a button at the hearing (we will pass out). 
The Denver City Council will be holding their final vote on the smoking ban on 16th street mall – sponsored by Councilman Albus Brooks – on October 30th at 5:30pm at the City and County Building 1437 Bannock St. The bill passed committee and first reading with concerns but no objections to moving forward. The bill was not called for public comment so there will be no chance in the hearing to speak. Since the public will be silenced in this space from speaking their concerns we will be holding a rally outside in front on the city and county building at 4:30pm to show the council that we do not want these discriminatory laws. Bring a sign, if you can, that calls out the injustice of this smoking ban.
The proposed “Breathe Easy” ordinance or, better called, Smoking Ban on the 16th Street Mall would make it a civil offense and institute fines of up to $100 for people who smoke or vape on the pedestrian mall. These laws are used to target homeless and poor people in attempt to move them out of the area. These laws have been proven in cities across the country to discriminate against homeless people and to lead to the incarceration of homeless and poor people. In both Boulder and Fort Collins over 83% of those ticketed were homeless. There is no way but to see this as unjust, harmful, and unconstitutional discrimination. We must stand against this continuation of laws like Jim Crow, Sundown town, and other laws of the past meant to push unwanted people out of public spaces. 
 
Denver Homeless Out Loud, Harm Reduction Action Center, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, Warm Cookies of the Revolution, and American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado are all standing up to oppose this injustice. Please join us! 
Read our one pager about the bill here Oppose the Smoking Ban
 
Contact:
Denver Homeless Out Loud

 

Mayor Hancock’s Second Visit to Tiny Home Village

Mayor Hancock’s Second Visit to Tiny Home Village

Colorado Village Collaborative

Building Villages. Building Community.

October 9, 2017 — Upon the request of his office, and agreement by the Village Council, Mayor Hancock made his second visit to the Beloved Community Tiny Home Village on Friday, October 6. While he was there, he toured the village, checked out the gardens, saw the Bayuad Enterprises Laundry truck in action, and engaged in dialogue with the villagers in their new community space.

While most villagers were out working, some were able to share some stories with the Mayor about the difficulties that they have had accessing the shelter system, and the trauma that they have experienced being “swept” by police on the streets due to the Unauthorized Camping Ban (a.k.a. “Survival Ban”). The villagers explained that due to criminalization, and barriers to accessing shelters they had no place to go until they worked together to build this village.

The problem, of course, is that much like our friends still sleeping on the streets who face “moving dates” each minute, this village faces an upcoming moving date in January. The villagers explained that the Colorado Village Collaborative has successfully developed a form of housing that is 1) Quick to build, 2) “Attainably” priced, 3) Community based, and 4) Environmentally friendly, but right now the biggest barriers to building upon its success and continuing to scale this movement are 1) Land and 2) Zoning Policies.

Colorado Village Collaborative told the Mayor that the City of Denver needs to preserve and prioritize land for the poor in the midst of the urban core, and needs to change the zoning code so that citizens can continue to work together as a community to build villages where our friends and neighbors on the streets can have a safe, dignified space to build life-sustaining community and thrive.

Before the Mayor left, a group photo was taken, and with a smile on his face, the Mayor said,  “This is working very well.” We only hope that good sentiment will lead to the changes needed in order to make land and housing available for our friends still deeply engaged in the struggle of life on the streets.

Eleven tiny homes are only the beginning. Now is the time to build quick and attainable housing. #movealongtowhere?

Lockers Installed on Business Wall for People Experiencing Homelessness


Lockers Installed on Business Wall for People Experiencing Homelessness

Local Business, Sexy Pizza, Filling Gap Left by City Government’s Inaction By Partnering with Denver Homeless Out Loud

DENVER—October 3, 2017 —  Sexy Pizza – with three locations in Denver – will be the first business in the city to set aside their exterior business wall for storage lockers reserved for people experiencing homelessness at their pizzeria on 11th and Ogden.  All of the Sexy Pizza owners are supportive of supplying the space for the lockers. This includes Kayvan Khalatbari, a 2019 candidate for Mayor of Denver and an advocate for homeless policy reform, who was key in partnering with Denver Homeless Out Loud to bring these lockers to Sexy Pizza.

“The lack of accommodations serving basic needs for people experiencing homelessness in Denver is alarming.” says Mr. Khalatbari. “As a city we are not making the investments necessary to ensure this vulnerable population has an opportunity to realistically get back on their feet, so much that we felt it incumbent on us to get our business involved in supporting creative solutions.”

The locker project is created and run by Denver Homeless Out Loud, a community organization working on behalf of individuals experiencing homelessness. The wall space available will accommodate four lockers. Through an application process that considers specific needs, DHOL has identified four individuals to be the first recipients of these lockers.

These lockers will partially alleviate a lack of storage facilities for personal belongings, one of the larger burdens of being unhoused.  Without access to secure storage, people experiencing homelessness must carry their only possessions with them throughout their day, often inciting debilitating back pain.  Additionally, this underserved need results in a loss of survival gear such as blankets and tarps through police sweeps and theft, a loss of personal identification, and discrimination when trying to obtain employment or patronize businesses. These lockers will help individuals overcome many of those burdens, thus significantly improving their quality of life and their ability to get back on their feet.

“As a homeless human having a safe and secure locker to store my belongings will give me a solid peace of mind when I go into the workforce,” says locker recipient Ben. Another locker recipient Mik says, “I feel I can be a more productive person by being able to store my things instead of carrying them everyday.” And yet another locker recipient Cassie says, “With a safe locker to put our belongings in, we will not be discriminated against.”

Gifted with the lockers, Denver Homeless Out Loud installed and will maintain the four lockers, which carry a total cost of $80 in paint, parts, locks, and bolts. Similar locker sets can be purchased for about $50, making the total potential cost of future locker installation of this size around $130. This is a stark difference compared to the cost of lockers recently installed by the City and County of Denver near the Samaritan House, which totaled $3,000 per locker. Though larger in size, the cost of the City’s lockers highlights the City’s current inefficient approach to helping those experiencing homelessness in an effective and cost-sensitive manner.  DHOL could install 92 lockers like those at Sexy Pizza for the price of one city locker. DHOL is proud of what community members and businesses can accomplish together, and the incredibly positive impact they can have on people’s daily lives when working collaboratively.

“With more than 7,000 people experiencing homelessness in Denver and the number growing every day, we’re in crisis mode.” says Denver Homeless Out Loud’s Terese Howard. “We know we can’t rely on those in government to support effective solutions, and that we need to seek out other stakeholders to fill the widening gap in necessary services.”

Denver Homeless Out Loud and Mr. Khalatbari are now seeking out other central Denver businesses to support the expansion of this program as winter approaches.

Denver Government Trying to Throw People in Jail for Survival Ban via Probation 

Denver Government Trying to Throw People in Jail for Survival Ban via Probation

When: August 24th 2017 at 8:30am

Where: Lindsey Flanagan Court House (520 W Colfax Ave, Denver CO 80204)

On August 24th 2017 at 8:30am Terese Howard will go to court to face a sentencing of 30 days in jail for the urban survival ban (otherwise known as “camping ban”). On April 5th 2017 Jerry Burton, Randy Russell, and Terese Howard were found guilty of surviving in public after a high profile 3 day trial with a jury that said things like “Why are we prosecuting people for being homeless?” and “I’ll bear a sense of guilt in prosecuting them,” and where the city prosecution said “you know it is illegal to survive in Denver.” For Terese, however, this was not the end of sentencing for this “crime” of lying in a sleeping bag as she was already on probation under a trespassing charge for sitting in a tiny home. In October 2015 members of Denver Homeless Out Loud and the broader homeless community took direct action to address the housing crisis and built five tiny homes in a day on this vacant Denver Housing Authority land which used to be low income housing and was just about to be sold to a private developer for market rate housing. But instead of responding with greattude that homeless people were taking care of their own housing needs the response was to arrest these people, including Terese, and destroy their homes. On November 28th 2016 when she got a ticket for the survival ban this was considered a violation of the probation condition of the trespassing charge of “no new law violations for a year.”

 

So now the city government is trying to throw her in jail for 30 days. At the same time the city says they do not put people in jail for the camping ban but rather use it to help “connect people to services.” So if they don’t throw people in jail for the survival ban than why are the city prosecutors trying to put Terese in jail for 30 days because of a ticket for the survival ban???

 

This case will be represented by the renown constitutional lawyer, David Lane, who has recently joined on as co-counsel in the class action lawsuit against the city for the homeless sweeps. If the city gets what they want Terese, a prominent organizer with DHOL fighting the cities injustices, will be in jail for 30 days after this hearing.

Contact: Denver Homeless Out Loud

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

720-940-5291

EVIDENCE AGAINST DENVER SO STRONG THAT A MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS FILED IN HOMELESS CLASS ACTION Press Conference and March for our Rights!!

EVIDENCE AGAINST DENVER SO STRONG THAT A MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS FILED IN HOMELESS CLASS ACTION

Press Conference and March for our Rights!!


 

When: Monday August 14th 11am

Where: City and County Building 1437 Bannock St Denver CO

What: Press Conference, Rally, March and Food

Why: Because the evidence is so clear: the City has violated our constitutional rights in the sweeps

How: Gather at the City and County Building at 11am. Hear from our lawyers and plaintiffs speaking to the press at 11:15am. March down to the Downtown Denver Business Partnership offices at 16th and Tremont to call out their role in pushing for the sweeps. March back to City Hall to call out the Mayor and his administration’s direction of the sweeps in violation of constitutional rights. Eat food.

To Bring: If you have the resources and can bring some food it is a pot luck so bring food to share!   

 

Denver, CO—Collected through months of discovery, the evidence against Denver exposes a systematic disregard and violations of the rights and dignity of U.S residents in one of the largest homeless class actions in U.S. history.

“They look at you with disdain… instead of a human being with feelings and emotions, you know, wants, needs.” 

Exhibit 1Roy Vincent Browne Deposition.

The purpose of the camping ban and the homeless sweeps was not to help the poor, as officials so often claimed, but to get rid of the unwanted in a growing American city.   

“I think the unauthorized camping ordinance has had a positive effect on the community. I think, without it, we would be looking like LA right now.”

Deposition of Bennie Milliner, Executive Director of the Road Home Program—main program designed to serve homeless persons— stating that the purpose of the homeless sweeps was to keep Denver from looking like Los Angeles.

Newly discovered evidence shows that the city used inmates to conduct the homeless sweeps, used flamethrowers to intimidate homeless persons, and after seizing personal property and throwing it in the garbage, held a city-funded barbecue directly in front of the homeless persons who had just been displaced.

Copies of emails and newly unearthed evidence will be provided at the 8/14 press conference.

Contact:

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

720-940-5291

Beloved Community Village is getting Built! Yet Sweeps Continue…

Beloved Community Village is getting Built! Yet Sweeps Continue…
Saturday May 20th, 2017 was the first big day of building Beloved Community Village, the first ever Tiny Home Village in Denver. 100 volunteers including future village residents, neighborhood residents, members of Mennonite Desiaster Services, Whiting-Turner, Ridian Ink, and members of all the organizations making up the newly formed Colorado Village Collaborative, came to help build the village! Monday we continued to build with over 40 volunteers. We will continue to build over the next week (or so) and are projecting to completely finish construction by the end of June.
If you would like to volunteer to help build contact terese@denverhomelessoutloud.org. If you want to drop by with some snacks or coffee we always love that too! You can also donate at https://www.gofundme.com/denvers-first-tiny-home-village 
At the same time as the village was being built Monday morning 5/22, Denver police and city officials were sweeping about 20 people who had been staying on the side walk on 21st and Champa “away” and taking their belongings. Some folks staying out here moved to this area after being swept from the Lawrence and Park Ave area this winter and as more sweeps continued in areas along the river and elsewhere. Those swept from this area scattered to other areas outside breaking the same survival ban law everywhere they go to rest.
This village is the response of homeless people to this criminalization of survival and to the utter lack of housing poor people can actually attain. As we have seen through this building, with community we can build these homes with little money and little time. The struggle is for land and legalization of these attainable communities and homes — whether it be a tiny home, a tent, a tarp, or just a piece of cardboard.
Stay tuned for coming developments and come by and say hi as this village is build and as it becomes home for many! And talk with your council person and tell them you don’t want people to be swept and treated like trash…
Video of First Wall being Lifted!

Video by Unicorn Riot on Beloved Community Village Build https://vimeo.com/218386349

Denverite Coverage
Contact:
Denver Homeless Out Loud

Beloved Community Tiny Home Village Building Starts Saturday May 20, 2017!!

Beloved Community Tiny Home Village Building Starts Saturday May 20, 2017!!

Beloved Community Village, Denver’s First Tiny Home Village, construction will begin on Saturday May 20, 2017! This tiny home village will be at 3733 Walnut St and will have 11 tiny homes, a community space, a shower building, and bathrooms. The village will be home to 14 people who are currently homeless. The village will be run by the village residents themselves with partnership with an advisory council.

 

This tiny home village has been made legally possible for the first time ever in Denver after working with City planning and zoning departments to allow for this type of village. This support is a big step forward to enable common sense housing communities. However, current zoning requires the village to move locations every 6 months, continuing to force communities to move and will prevent planting roots. Ultimately, we seek to create zoning for permanent tiny home villages to support multiple ways of finding home and community.

 

This village is the creation of a new organization called Colorado Village Collaborative, a partnership between Denver Homeless Out Loud, The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, Bayaud Enterprises, Beloved Community Mennonite Church, and village residents. Architectural plans and designs were provided by Radian Inc., Whiting-Turner will oversee construction, and Mennonite Disaster Services will oversee volunteers. The Village is made possible by more than 300 individuals, organizations, and businesses who provided funding, and who have signed up to help build.

 

Beloved Community Village is a remarkable feat of collaborative and persistent effort across many sectors of society. Given the absence of attainable housing for low or no income people in Denver and across the Nation, and given the use of laws to criminalize people for trying to survive in public spaces and push them “away” into farther away more hidden places in effort to hide homelessness, tiny home villages are one significant, unique means of creating fast, inexpensive, community based, environmentally friendly homes.

 

All are invited to visit the village being built over the next couple weeks. We currently have enough volunteers to build the village, but welcome support of coffee, snacks, or food for the workers. To donate please go to https://www.gofundme.com/denvers-first-tiny-home-village.

Thanks to all who made this possible! Homes for all!