Author: denverhomelessoutloud

Denver City Officials go on defense against DU Report on the Criminalization

Denver City Officials go on defense against DU Recent Report on the Criminalization of Homelessness in Colorado

The City of Denver took issue with many points made in the report the University of Denver Sturm College of Law just released. As usually they attempted to justify treating homeless people like criminals and like trash by taking credit for all the work other organizations are doing (like our tiny home village) and saying how many mats they can put in a warhorse that they are more than happy to bus homeless people off to. Westword has printed both side’s positions in whole:

http://www.westword.com/news/denver-and-the-university-of-denver-disagree-over-findings-in-explosive-homeless-report-10295421

In Summary…

“[T]he University of Denver’s main reaction to the city’s pushback against its report: “Lifting people up with services that, though commendable, fall short of the need, and at the same time pushing people down with laws that criminalize homelessness, does not warrant praise without critique. Too High a Price Two acknowledges Denver has made some good efforts to address homelessness, but points out, rightfully, that those efforts pale in comparison to the harm perpetrated against the city’s homeless residents through move on orders, tickets, and jail time.”

The City’s lies must be seen for what they are. Lies. 

Denver University Law Report Show Massive Increase in Criminalization of Homelessness in Colorado Cities

Denver University Law Report Show Massive Increase in Criminalization of Homelessness in Colorado Cities
Debbie Brady of DHOL announces DU Professor Nantiya Ruan at Release Event
At least 80 people came to the release of the new Too High a Price 2 report on the criminalization of homelessness in Colorado today, May 7th at the Denver Homeless Out Loud offices to hear the findings, eat pizza, and/or get gear like sleeping bags and tarps to illegally use to sleep at night outside.

The new research report by DU Sturm College of Law shows a massive increase in criminalizing homelessness over the past two years since their first report came out.

You can read the full report Too High a Price 2 here https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3174780.
Here are three of the key findings from the report:
  • The overall number of anti-homelessness ordinances has increased. Between Denver, Colorado Springs, and Boulder, there are at least thirty-seven ordinances that criminalize behaviors associated with people experiencing homelessness. Since Too High a Price was first released, Colorado Springs has added one new anti-homeless ordinance and Denver Law students found four additional ordinances in Denver.
  • Colorado Springs and Boulder have increased the number of citations issued under camping bans. In 2017, Boulder issued 376 citations under its camping ban ordinance. Of those 376 citations, an incredible 81.9% were issued to homeless individuals. Additionally, Colorado Springs increased its enforcement of its two camping bans by a staggering 545% over the span of three years.
  • Denver’s use of move-on orders has skyrocketed at an alarming rate.
    In 2016 alone, Denver law enforcement made contact with over 5,000 people in move-on encounters. Denver police increased its contact with homeless individuals through the use of street checks by 475% in the span of three years.

Too High a Price 2 Comes out on Monday May 7th 12noon at DHOL

And on top of that you can get these things while the supplies last…!

Copies of the New Report, Food, Sleeping bags, Tarps, Coats, Various Warm Gear, Hygiene Kits, and more…

Lunch will be served!

University of Denver law students publish follow-up report on the increased criminalization of homelessness in Colorado
Report highlights effects of criminalizing life-sustaining activities on Colorado’s homeless

 

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s Homeless Advocacy Policy Project (HAPP) has published new research on how Colorado policymakers continue to criminalize homelessness in a new report titled Too High a Price 2: Move On to Where?

 

In 2016, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law published the groundbreaking report Too High A Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado. Too High a Price 2 continues the work of that report, and provides a comprehensive look at how municipal ordinances across Colorado disproportionately affect the homeless population in Colorado Springs, Denver and Boulder.

 

“Despite the concerns expressed in Too High A Price, Colorado policymakers have continued to address ‘visible poverty’ in their cities by enacting and enforcing ‘quality of life’ ordinances,” says Nantiya Ruan, professor of the practice of law and faculty advisor for HAPP. “These ordinances typically prohibit life-sustaining behaviors that homeless individuals need to survive, such as sitting, sleeping, camping, and panhandling in public places.”

 

In the process of examining Colorado’s ever-increasing criminalization of homelessness, Denver Law students found that law enforcement frequently issues “move-on” orders in an effort to remove visible signs of poverty from its city streets. At first glance, these move-on orders may seem like a viable alternative to outright criminalization. However, with the extreme decline in affordable housing and the lack of emergency shelter space to accommodate Colorado’s growing homeless population, these move-on orders leave homeless people with nowhere to go.

 

The Denver Law student authors of Too High A Price 2 will present the report’s methodology and conclusions and answer questions at a press event on Monday, May 7, from noon-1:30 p.m. at 2260 California St., Denver, CO 80205.

 

 

Key findings of Too High A Price 2 include:

 

  • The overall number of anti-homelessness ordinances has increased. Between Denver, Colorado Springs and Boulder, there are at least 37 ordinances that criminalize behaviors associated with people experiencing homelessness. Since Too High a Price was first released, Colorado Springs has added one new anti-homeless ordinance and Denver Law students found four additional ordinances in Denver.

 

  • Colorado Springs and Boulder have increased the number of citations issued under camping bans. In 2017, Boulder issued 376 citations under its camping ban ordinance. Of those 376 citations, an incredible 81.9% were issued to homeless individuals. Additionally, Colorado Springs increased its enforcement of its two camping bans by a staggering 545% over the span of three years.

 

  • Denver’s use of move-on orders has skyrocketed at an alarming rate. In 2016 alone, Denver law enforcement made contact with over 5,000 people in move-on encounters. Denver police increased its contact with homeless individuals through the use of street checks by 475% in the span of three years.

 

HAPP also worked in partnership with local community organizations, Denver Homeless Out Loud and Boulder Rights Watch, in authoring this report.

 

 

About the University of Denver:

The University of Denver: Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is committed to engaging with students in advancing scholarly inquiry, cultivating critical and creative thought, and generating knowledge. The University strives to educate the 21st-century citizens and leaders needed in its organizations and communities. For additional information, visit the University’s newsroom or follow the University on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Response to Englewood Sweeps

Response to article titled “25 truck loads of transient trash cleared from South Platte River encampment” — This article should be re-named “25 truck loads of lies, and omissions of reality on the South Platte River”

See article here: https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/nearly-40000-spent-cleaning-up-homeless-camps-along-south-platte-river

This article is a perfect example of how cities are responding to mass homelessness by sweeping homelessness under the rug and ignoring the causes or effects of the situation. Responding to homelessness by pushing people “away” and never asking why they are where they are in the first place does not end homelessness or help those without housing. It just moves people along to somewhere else.

 

One tactic that is used to divert responsibility for homelessness in the city is to re-name the homeless folks there “transients.”  This term effectivity “otherizes” them making them “someone else’s problem.” All people who are homeless, however often they move, has the same daily needs to sleep, sit, eat, otherwise survive, in public. Furthermore, I happen to know that most of the people staying out in this area of Englewood were not travelers but were local Colorado folks who used to stay on the streets in Denver but have been pushed out to Englewood by the Denver sweeps. These folks are not “transients” they are  people experiencing homelessness.

 

Another tactic used to divert responsibility from the cities to the homeless people is not to speak at all about why they were there, and where they went after being swept from there. Englewood officials sound surprised that there is such a massive increase in people sleeping along the river in Englewood. If the reporter had interviewed the people who are homeless staying in this area they would know that a good majority of them were homeless in Denver and were swept by Denver police farther and farther out of town over the past couple of years.

 

Let’s talk about trash. The city admits there is no trash services in this area. If your residence didn’t have trash service, you would build up lots of trash, too. In our consumption society, people make trash. And that trash does not just disappear – it gets taken to a dump by public trash removal. If the city used regular trash pick up along the river, trash would not need to pile up for weeks on end to be take out all at once in 25 loads. 31 people making 4 pounds of waste a day (which is the average American waste) for a month makes 3,844 pounds of trash. No wonder there were 25 loads needed. If the problem is trash, the answer to that problems is proper trash collection and removal – not moving people along to “somewhere else.”

 

Another tactic used to divert responsibility for sweeping homeless people away to nowhere, is to refer the people to resources. The Englewood officials say their goal was to connect the homeless people to resources, but story is not finished to mention that the resources that person actually needs, like attainable housing, are not available. Most people do not want to be homeless. 332 out of 333 homeless people who were offered housing through the recent Denver SIB program took the housing. Cities cannot continue to claim they have done their part by sending an outreach worker to talk with a homeless person about non-existent housing after they are swept from their place of survival.

 

So what about all that money spent? Englewood officials try to blame homeless people living on the river for all the degradation of trees in the area. This is a long shot at best. Claiming all this need for new trees is due to about 30 people who have only been staying in this area of the river for the past few months is stretching this effect to a ridiculous level. The city quotes the total cost of this sweep at $39,122.30. This includes, trash services, police hours, public works hours, and the bulk of the cost is arbor mediation. If the city would provide trash services to the river side as opposed to using police to sweep homeless people along to some other city riverside or streets, this cost would be much different. It would have cost the city $1,118 if they had just done trash removal and not criminalized those people for surviving.

 

It is time that cities stop sweeping homeless people “away” to somewhere else and never take responsibility for their need to survive somewhere because we continue to have inadequate housing options.

-Terese Howard

Organizer with Denver Homeless Out Loud

Homeless Sweeps Class Action Lawsuit  Pre-Trial Conference!! 

Homeless Sweeps Class Action Lawsuit 
Pre-Trial Conference!! 
Wednesday May 2nd 3pm 
Federal Court House 901 19th st Denver CO (19th and Curtis) 
Come to this Pre-Trial Hearing. If you are homeless you are part of this class. If you are not homeless right now you could be. Be part of the movement for our rights and come to this hearing to hold the courts accountable to protect our constitutional rights.
This case concerns the violation of our 4th amendment rights as the City government continues to sweep homeless people “away” and illegally seizes property.

The Denver Right to Survive Initiative

Handout for Right to Survive Initiative

Right 2 Survive FAQ

The Denver Right to Survive Initiative

Shall the voters of the City and County of Denver adopt a measure that secures and enforces basic rights for all people within the jurisdiction of the City and County of Denver, including the right to rest and shelter oneself from the elements in a non-obstructive manner in outdoor public spaces; to eat, share accept or give free food in any public space where food is not prohibited; to occupy one’s own legally parked motor vehicle, or occupy a legally parked motor vehicle belonging to another, with the owner’s permission; and to have a right and expectation of privacy and safety of or in one’s person and property?

Be it enacted and ordained by people of the City and County of Denver:

Section 1. The Revised Municipal Code of Denver, Colorado, Title I, Chapter 28, is hereby amended to include
a new Article IX:

Chapter 28 – HUMAN RIGHTS [1]

ARTICLE IX. – RIGHT TO SURVIVE IN PUBLIC SPACES
Sec. 28-254. Protected Rights of People.
(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to secure and enforce basic rights for all people within the jurisdiction of the City and County of Denver, including the right to rest and shelter oneself from the elements in a non-obstructive manner in public spaces, to eat, share, accept or give food in any public space where food is not prohibited, to occupy one’s own legally parked motor vehicle or occupy a legally parked motor vehicle belonging to another, with the owner’s permission, and to have a right and expectation of privacy and safety of or in one’s person and property.
(b) Definitions.
(1) “Public space” means any outdoor property that is owned or leased, in whole or in part, by the City and County of Denver and is accessible to the public, or any city property upon which there is an easement for public use.
(2) “Rest” means the state of not moving, and holding certain postures including but not limited to sitting, standing, leaning, kneeling, squatting, sleeping or lying down.
(3) “Non-Obstructive Manner” means a manner that does not render passageways impassable or hazardous.
(4). “Motor Vehicle” includes vehicles defined in Colorado Revised Statutes Sections 42-1-102 (58), Camper coach 42-1-102 (13), trailer coach 42-1-102 (106) (a), or noncommercial or recreational vehicle 42-1-102 (61).
(5) “Ceiling preemption” means any limitation on local law-making that limits the amount of protection local law may extend to municipal residents that exceeds state or federal protections.
(6) “Municipal Subordination” means any exercise of “Dillon’s Rule,” preemption, or other mechanism used to usurp the right of the people of Denver to use their City and County government for the protection of residents’ rights.

(c) Rights.
(1) The right to rest in a non-obstructive manner in public spaces.
(2) The right to shelter oneself from the elements in a non-obstructive manner in outdoor public spaces.
(3) The right to eat, share, accept, or give free food in any public space where food is not prohibited.
(4) The right to occupy one’s own legally parked motor vehicle or occupy a legally parked motor vehicle belonging to another, with the owner’s permission.
(5) The right and expectation of safety and privacy of or in one’s person and belongings while occupying public spaces.
(6) The right to have the City and County government of Denver enforce and defend this law on the basis that a constitutional right of initiative, which is an expression of local community self-government, exists. This law is an assertion of that right as it seeks to expand and secure the rights of the people of Denver. The exercise of the legal doctrines of Dillon’s Rule, ceiling preemption or municipal subordination to state government would unconstitutionally and illegitimately violate the right of the residents of the City and County of Denver to local
community self-government.

(d) Prohibitions and Obligations.
(1) It shall be unlawful for the City and County of Denver to enforce any ordinance, resolution, regulation, rule or policy that limits, prohibits or penalizes the rights secured by this ordinance.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any public law enforcement officer, private security employee or agent, corporation, business or other entities to violate the rights recognized and secured by this law.
(3) It shall be unlawful for an employee or agent of any government agency, corporation, business, or other entity to harass, terrorize, threaten, or intimidate any natural person exercising the rights secured by this ordinance.

(e) Enforcement.
(1) Any law enforcement officer or other agent of the City and County of Denver who detains, causes to move, or violates the protected rights in Section (c) of this ordinance has committed a civil rights violation(s) under color of law. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, requesting identification by any person unless supported by reasonable suspicion of a crime.
(2) The City and County of Denver, or any resident of the City and County of Denver, may enforce the rights and prohibitions of this law through an action brought in any court possessing jurisdiction over activities occurring within the City and County. In such an action, the City and County of Denver or the resident shall be entitled to recover as a prevailing party all costs of litigation, including, without limitation, expert and attorney’s fees.

(3) All laws adopted by the legislature of Colorado shall be the law of the City and County of Denver only to the extent that they do not violate the rights or prohibitions of this law. Where state or federal law is more protective of human rights and civil rights than this local law, the state or federal law controls.

(f) Severability.
(1) The provisions of this law are severable. If any court decides that any section, clause, sentence, part, or provision of this law is illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect, impair, or invalidate any of the remaining sections, clauses, sentences parts, or provisions, of the law. This law would have been enacted without the invalid sections.

(g) Repealer.
(1) All inconsistent provisions of prior laws adopted by the City and County of Denver are hereby repealed, but only to the extent necessary to remedy the inconsistency.

(h) Effective Date.
(1) All provisions of this act shall take effect immediately.

ENACTED AND ORDAINED this _________________ day of _______, 2019, by the City and County
of Denver, Colorado.

 

Homeless Class Action Moves Toward Trial!! City’s Motions Denied.

Homeless Class Action Moves Toward Trial!! City’s Motions Denied.

​sweep of homeless survival spot
U.S. District Court of Colorado issued its ruling this morning with regard to Denver Homeless Class Action litigation that has sought to end the mass civil rights violations of the dispossessed in Denver. Denver filed two motions:  1)a motion to strike much of the evidence submitted by homeless persons; 2)A Motion for Summary Judgment to dismiss the case. Both motions were, in the main, denied by the Court so that the class action is now going to trial.
“There was one promise made at the outset,” says lead attorney Jason Flores-Williams. “That the thousands of poor who have been broken and violated by the homeless sweeps would have their day in court – and now they’re getting it.”
Stay tuned for pre-trail hearing date and trial to come…! Denver cannot sweep away homelessness…
Contact:

Right to Survive Initiative Filled in Denver Day After State Right to Rest Hearing!!!

Right to Survive Initiative Filled in Denver Day After State Right to Rest Hearing!!!

On March 15th, the day after the Right to Rest Act was heard and killed in the State Capitol, Denver Homeless Out Loud filled a ballot initiative in the City of Denver called The Denver Right to Survive Initiative. Just like the State level bill, the Right to Survive Initiative would protect people’s basic human right to sleep, sit, use cover, sleep in a vehicle, and share food in public space. This initiative would overturn Denver’s cruel and inhumane “Urban Camping Ban” [which we re-named survival ban] which was passed by Denver City Council in 2012 and has criminalized and terrorized people experiencing homelessness in Denver ever since.

We know the fight for our rights is long and hard. No struggle for the rights of the oppressed has come easy – not that of black people, immigrants, people with disabilities, LGBTQ folks, or any oppressed community. The Right to Survive Initiative is part of the fight for all oppressed communities who have been forced out of their homes and into the streets to survive.

This Initiative comes as housing prices are at an all time high in Denver and government assistance for low-income housing has massively decreased. We cannot afford homes yet are criminalized for being homeless.

The Right to Survive Initiative will be gathering signatures over the next few months to get the initiative on the May 2019 ballot for a vote of the people.

When the government’s concern is making profit on market rate housing developments and turning public spaces into private spaces directed by the wishes of the wealthy, we know we must turn to the people of Denver to defend our human right to survive and make public space for the public. We will continue to fight for our rights, our dignity, and our survival in the legislature, in the courts, on the streets, and now, on the ballot.

Contact:

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

720-940-5291

State Committee Again Votes Against Right to Rest – Community Voice Loud And Clear that Our Human Rights Will Be Heard No Matter What

State Committee Again Votes Against Right to Rest –

Community Voice Loud And Clear that Our Human Rights Will Be Heard No Matter What

On Wednesday March 14, 2018, the Local Government Committee of the Colorado State House voted 10 to 3 against the Right to Rest Act – a law that would protect the right to sleep, sit, cover oneself, share food, or sleep in one’s own vehicle.

After four years of bringing the Right to Rest Act to the Colorado State Legislature and having our rights – our humanity – voted down, our resolve, our movement, and our power just grows. We know this is a long-haul struggle. History has shown us that in order to succeed in overcoming discriminatory practices, communities must stand strong together, and the fight takes years.

This vote against humanity came at the end of a nine-hour hearing that included testimony from more than 60 people supporting the Right to Rest and only six people who testified in opposition. Person after person supporting the right to rest testified to being told their presence is illegal, being arrested, having their belongings stolen and constantly being forced by police to “move along.” Lawyers, academics, youth, business owners, service providers, and faith leaders each spoke to the unconstitutional, dehumanizing and moral impacts of criminalizing existence. Also notably Denver Councilman Lopez testified as well as Erik Solivan, former director of the Office of HOPE under the mayor who was sent last year to testify against the bill and this year testified in support. And person after person testified to how this bill does not create “special rights” for homeless people, but protects the rights of all people to stand, sit, lie down, or cover oneself – to exist – in public spaces.

The Right to Rest Act, introduced through the Western Regional Advocacy Project in Colorado, California, and Oregon, aims to end all laws and practices to push certain “unwanted” community members out of public space. Our country has a long history of racist, classist laws – Jim Crow, Anti-Okie laws, Sundown laws, and others – and today’s anti-homeless ordinances are just another example.

The bill was carried for the fourth year in a row by its sponsors Representatives Joe Salazar (D-31, Thornton) and Jovan Melton (D-41, Aurora). Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran (D-5, central Denver), again assigned it to the House Local Government Committee, despite our strong efforts to have it assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, which would be the appropriate committee since it is the one that deals with civil rights and where it would have a much greater chance of passing.

The representatives who voted no against the Right to Rest justified their vote by expressing concern that this bill might create a “free-for-all” with homeless people sleeping and sitting everywhere, that there will be endless lawsuits against cities, that local municipalities need local control to use “tools” to deal with their homeless population, and that they want to “solve homelessness” instead of protecting homeless people’s rights.  Most of these concerns had been dispelled or addressed by many witness testimonies. Those opposed had no shame in showing the racist, classist blood in their veins. Eerily reminiscent of arguments made during Jim Crow, when politicians would claim to be sympathetic but still vote for measures that criminalized people and chased them out of town, Representative Paul Rosenthal (D-9, southeast Denver) voted against the bill while claiming he cared deeply about the issue and even “had a homeless friend.”

Notably, one committee member, Representative Donald Valdez (D-62, south central CO), reversed his yes vote from last year to vote no on the bill this year, giving little clues as to why.  The other new no vote this year came from Dan Pabón (D-4, northwest Denver), who was appointed at the last minute to fill the vacancy left by the recent expulsion of former representative and committee chair Steve Lebsock.  Pabón voted against the bill even though Lebsock had been a strong supporter in the past, stating that while he saw the moral and religious imperative for the bill, he believed it didn’t work on legal grounds, even though he had just witnessed countless lawyers and other legal experts testify to the legal viability of the bill.Bill advocates had petitioned Duran to fill Lebsock’s seat with someone favorable to the bill, but this was not honored.

Three representatives voted yes for the Right to Rest this year. Their votes and words of support for a bill that simply asks we be allowed to be in public are a sign of hope and humanity! We thank Representatives Jonathan Singer (D-11, Boulder Co.), James Coleman (D-7, northeast Denver), and Tony Exum (D-17, Colorado Springs)! Representative and committee chairman Singer recognized that the people who have come to these hearings year after year deserved to finally have the full House body take up this issue and have their voices heard. It is our House of Representatives too!

Furthermore, this bill would not exist without the leadership and commitment of Representatives Salazar and Melton sponsoring the Right to Rest four years in a row, standing strong against internal party division, and standing up for what is right!

Our work does not end. As homelessness continues to rise,  with even more housing budget cuts coming our way, and while criminalization does absolutely nothing to actually end homelessness, we will remain right here, growing in numbers, demanding justice. We have no place left to go. We have no other choice but to fight for our rights to survive. Our solidarity with each other and strength against the fight against our humanity only grows. Our struggle continues right now and onward in the city councils, in the federal and local courts, back at the state Capitol next year, and on the streets every day!

Contact:

720-940-5291

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

coloradohomelessbillofrights.org

Right to Rest Act Has a Date!! March 14th. Call to Action!!

Right to Rest Act Has a Date!! March 14th. Call to Action!!

HB 18-1067, The Colorado Right to Rest Act has been introduced and has been scheduled for its first hearing in House Local Government Committee on Wednesday March 14th at 1:30pm in room 271, on the Second floor of the State Capitol. We need you all to speak up!!

Colorado state legislators Salazar and Melton are sponsoring HB 18-1067 The Colorado Right to Rest Act – for the fourth year. The Right to Rest Act is stronger, clearer, and more powerful! If HB 18-1067 passes this year – it will force the state of Colorado to abandon its practices of criminalizing homeless people for engaging in basic life-sustaining activities like sitting, lying, sleeping, resting and eating in public. The criminalization of rest must end if we are ever to turn the tide on our homelessness crisis.

You can read the full bill language here and you can read the main talkingpoints here

TAKE ACTION!!

Follow these two easy steps.

1) Email and call the members of the Local Government Committee, and urge them to support HB 18-1067, the Colorado Right2Rest Act, and VOTE YES!

James Coleman james.coleman.house@state.co.us 303-866-2909 Democrat
Tony Exum tony.exum.house@state.co.us 303-866-3069 Democrat
Matt Gray matt@matthewgray.us 303-866-4667 Democrat
Steve Lebsock steve.lebsock.house@state.co.us 303-866-2931 Democrat
Larry Liston larry.liston.house@state.co.us 303-866-2937 Republican
Hugh McKean hugh.mckean.house@state.co.us 303-866-2947 Republican
Judy Reyher judy.reyher.house@state.co.us 303-866-2905 Republican
Kim Ransom kim.ransom.house@state.co.us 303-866-2933 Republican
Paul Rosenthal paulrosenthal5280@gmail.com 303-866-2910 Democrat
Jonathan Singer jonathan.singer.house@state.co.us 303-866-2780 Democrat
Dan Thurlow danthurlow55@gmail.com 303-866-3068 Republican
Donald Valdez donald.valdez.house@state.co.us 303-866-2916 Democrat

James Wilson representativewilson@gmail.com 303-866-2747 Republican


Sample Script:

My name is ________ and I am calling to urge you to vote YES on the Right To Rest Act. You will be hearing HB 18-1067: Colorado Right To Rest Act in the Local Government Committee. This bill provides critical civil rights protections to ALL Coloradoans that every Coloradoan is able to meet the biological need of rest.

The practice of criminalizing poor and homeless people for engaging in basic life-sustaining activities like eating, sleeping, resting, and lying is unjust, cruel and entrenches people in homelessness. HB 18-1067 will enable homeless people to better access employment and apply for housing with time and energy that would otherwise be spent responding to police harassment, tickets, courts and jail time. This bill protects the health and safety of homeless people trying to survive without a home. Please vote YES on HB 18-1067: the Colorado Right To Rest Act!

2) SHOW UP at the hearing!!

Be part of the movement…BE THERE to continue the fight for our rights and survival.


Right to Rest Act HB 18-1067 Goes to Committee Hearing!

When: Wednesday March 14th 2018 1:30pm

Where: State Capitol Building (200 E Colfax Ave – Colfax and Lincoln)

Rally West Steps

Hearing Room 271

Denver, CO— On March 14th 2018, the Colorado State Legislative Local Government Committee is scheduled to hear the Right to Rest Act – HB 18-1067. This bill, sponsored by Representatives Salazar and Melton, would end the alarming trend of cities passing and enforcing laws that criminalize the basic civil rights of homeless individuals. The Right to Rest Act would, among other things, protect the rights of all people to move rest with cover from the weather, have privacy of one’s belonging, and eat in public space as well as protect their right to occupy a legally parked motor vehicle. This bill protects all people’s human right to survive in public space and not be pushed “away” to nowhere.

This bill comes as housing prices are at an all time high in Denver and across the nation and government assistance for low-income housing has massively decreased. We cannot afford homes yet are criminalized for living homeless.

The Right to Rest Act (HB 18-1067) protects the following rights:

  • Right to rest or sleep in a public space.
  • Right to rest in public spaces and protect oneself from the elements in a non-obstructive manner.
  • Right to reasonable expectation of privacy of your property in public space.
  • Right to occupy a legally parked vehicle.
  • Right to share food and eat in public.

Come to the rally March 14th 2018 at 12:30pm in front of the Capitol, hearing at 1:30pm in room 271. Homelessness cannot be swept “away.”

Onward,
The Colorado Homeless Bill of Rights Organizing Team

Contact: