Author: denverhomelessoutloud

Homeless People Go on Trial for Surviving April 4th, 2017

Homeless People Go on Trial for Surviving April 4th, 2017

When: April 4th (and likely 5th and 6th), 8am-5pm(ish) 2017

Where: Lindsay Flanigan Courthouse (520 w Colfax Ave Denver CO 80204)

On April 4th, 2017 at 8am the Lindsay Flanigan Courthouse Jerry Burton, Terese Howard and Randy Russell will be the first people in Denver to ever take an unauthorized camping ban ticket (more accurately named “survival ban”) to trial. These three co-defendants, victims to this cruel, arbitrary, and unconstitutional law, are just three of the hundreds of homeless people who are victim to this law every day as police drive around telling homeless people covered with blankets to “move along.” Between the three co-defendants, they have five “survival ban” tickets, all from November 28th. These tickets were given to them for using blankets or tents to survive as they all had done hundreds of times before and continued to do afterward as anyone must to survive outside without a home. The law makes it illegal for a person to “use any form of protection from the elements other than one’s clothing” anywhere in the city of Denver.

 

The Denver government is spending massive resources to prosecute Burton, Howard, and Russell, including calling 33 Police Officers as witnesses in the trial. According to the law, the co-defendants are facing up to $999 and a year in jail for the crime of using blankets to try to stay warm on a cold winter night. Buron and Russell both had their blankets, sleeping bags and tents taken “as evidence” of the crime of camping – leaving them with no gear to survive the freezing winter night and driving Burton to the hospital. Shortly after this, Mayor Hancock publicly directed the Police Department to cease confiscating survival gear for the safety of homeless people sleeping on winter nights. Yet the government is still prosecuting these individuals.

 

Attorney for the case, Jason Flores-Williams, describes this prosecution saying, “When you think that not one senior executive from Wall Street was prosecuted for the financial crisis, but here we are prosecuting three poor people for just trying to survive – tells you all you need to know about justice in America.”

 

The government has tried to make these co-defendants’ cases out to be rare and a response to a protest. These are lies. While the government has avoided giving “survival ban” tickets (likely to avoid trials like this which put the unconstitutionality of the law at question and take massive taxpayer resources), 24 people have been ticketed for the ban and thousands have been forced to move along and had belongings taken. Burton and Russell were first ticketed on November 28th 2016 at 27th and Arapahoe where they had been surviving for months. After hundreds of homeless people, including Burton and Russell, had been forced to move from the areas they had found to gather for safety and protection, they, along with about 20 other homeless people who had been displaced that day, moved to city hall where they hoped to be allowed to sleep. This was not a protest – this was survival.

 

Burton, Howard, and Russell have pleaded not guilty and will be bringing their cases together as a joint trial, represented by attorney Jason Flores-Williams. As the government, under the direction of Mayor Hancock, uses our tax dollars to prosecute these cases of public survival while homeless, we will continue to stand up in the courts, city council, state capitol, and on the streets to bring this injustice to an end.

 

Come witness this monumental trial starting April 4th at 8am – 5pm and likely continuing on April 5th and 6th.

Contact: Denver Homeless Out Loud

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

720-940-5291

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Court Prosecutes Homeless People for Surviving In line with the City’s Efforts

Court Prosecutes Homeless People for Surviving In line with the City’s Efforts

Report from Camping Ban Motions Hearing: 2/16/17

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The new trial date is scheduled for April 5th, 2017. Mark your calendar.

Yesterday there was a dispositive motions hearing in the Camping Ban criminal cases where homeless and poor people are being charged with crimes for sleeping on the streets with blankets and shelter in Winter. The hearing was noteworthy for the bias and prejudice shown toward Defendants by the Court.

1)At the start of the hearing, prior to any argument, the Judge looked at Defense counsel and said: “The one thing I don’t want is any drama from you, Mr. Flores-Williams.” Defense counsel had never practiced in this court.

2)Without allowing any substantive legal argument, the Court ruled that it was permissible for theProsecution to file a 34-person witness list eight days after the court’s deadline and only two weeks prior to trial.

3)The Court then Excluded all of Defense’s expert witnesses without hearing or testimony, saying that “Homelessness has nothing to do with this case.”

4)The Court then ordered Defense counsel to limit all arguments so that no argument or line of questioning could be construed at trial as an attempt to persuade the jury that the Camping Ban ordinance is itself unjust.

5)At this juncture, defense counsel cited to Fed R. 37(c)and its CO equivalent concerning the prejudice resulting from late disclosure of witnesses. No court response. Defense counsel then quoted from sections from Chambers v. Mississippi, a landmark 1973 civil rights case concerned with due process in which the overall prejudice to defendants becomes so cumulative and egregious that defendants fair trial rights are eviscerated. No response.

6)The Court then took up a Motion from the prosecution that does not exist. A “Res Gestae/404(b) Motion” that wrongfully conflates two different types of evidentiary concepts and underlying analyses. Res Gestae is concerned with the natural narrative of a case. Example: someone robs a liquor store, the fact that they stopped at two bars and to pick up their weapon on the way to the robbery. 404(b)has to do with a very specific set of factors that a defendant leaves at various crime scenes as identifiers. Not to be rude, but the classic example is when serial killer leaves identifiers at numerous crime  scenes showing his m.o. The court conflated these two very different legal concepts and construed the “Res Gestae/404b” motion as allowing the prosecution to offer proof of Defendants’ mental states, but not the fact that defendants were homeless. (If this seems like 2+2=5, Wintston, they are….)(The court also disregarded that the motion was filed late and that it was amended without leave of court.)

7)Defense counsel then objected to the fact that the court had asked the prosecution for their jury instructions without asking defense for their jury instructions, and now was reverse engineering the court’s ruling from the prosecutions jury instructions. Objection overruled.

 

8)Defense counsel made oral motion for the judge to recuse, i.e. that he Judge take herself off the case for bias against defendants. Denied.

9)Defense counsel cited to several cases concerning due process rights, wrongful exclusion of defense witnesses, and the right to fairly address criminal accusations. No response.

10)Defense requested findings of law and fact – none given.

11)Defense counsel asked for a stay of the proceeding to file an interlocutory appeal regarding the court’s rulings.

12)Court stated that interlocutory orders cannot be appealed from municipal court so that none of the court’s decisions are reviewable.

13)Court ruled that the prosecution’s disclosure of 95 police body cameras three days prior to the hearing was permissible, then scolded defense for not reviewing the 95 videos prior to hearing. Defense counsel, concerned that the court would issue sanctions if he responded, had no comment.

 

We are now seeking an interlocutory appeal of the Court’s rulings.

 

The trial is scheduled for April 5th, 2017. Mark your calendar.

Denver Homeless Out Loud

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

720-940-5291

Motions Hearing in Continued Prosecution of Homeless People for “Camping Ban” this Thursday

Motions Hearing in Continued Prosecution of Homeless People for “Camping Ban”

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When: February 16th, 2017 2:30pm

Where: Lindsay Flanagan Court House

On February 16th, 2017 2:30pm at the Lindsay Flanagan Court House Jerry Burton, Terese Howard and Randy Russell will have a motions hearing for their case under the changes of “unauthorized camping” which is defined as “using any form of protection from the elements other than one’s clothing.” These three individuals are facing, according to the law, up to $999 or a year in jail for the crime of using blankets to try to stay warm on a cold winter night. The city has dedicated massive resources to continue to prosecute these individuals for using protection from the cold weather. The city feels so entitled in its treatment of the poor and homeless that it submitted a 34 person witness list 7 days after the court deadline and only two weeks prior to trial. This motions hearing will determine if the city’s witness list, 33 of which are police, will be accepted or denied.

 

After these viral videos surfaced of police taking Burton and Russell’s blankets and tents “as evidence” of their crime of camping first at 27th and Arapahoe where they had been surviving for months and second at city hall where they moved in front of the Mayor’s office with no where else to go; and after lawyers informed the city they would be filing a temporary restraining order against the city of Denver for putting people’s lives at risk by seizing homeless people’s blankets in freezing weather, Mayor Hancock gave a public directive to the Police Department to stop taking homeless people’s blankets and survival gear when enforcing the camping ban (but only until April when apparently the Mayor thinks that people won’t need any blankets or protection to sleep outdoors).

 

In spite of the Mayor’s unintentional admission that the camping ban is putting people’s lives at risk by taking their survival gear, the city is still actively enforcing the camping ban – forcing people to move and hide around the city in what could be aptly termed a game of “homeless whack-a-mole.”

The problem is this is not a game – this is people’s lives.

 

Burton, Howard, and Russell have pleaded not guilty and will be bringing their cases to trial together as a joint trial, represented by attorney Jason Flores-Williams. As the City, under the direction of the Mayor, uses our tax dollars to prosecute these cases of public survival while homeless, we will continue to stand up in the courts, city council, state capitol, and on the streets to bring this injustice to an end.

 

Come to the motions hearing on Thursday February 16th.

Contact:

Denver Homeless Out Loud

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

720-940-5291

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Homeless Community Being Swept in Spite of Mayor’s Directive not to Take Blankets Under the Camping Ban

Homeless Community Being Swept in Spite of Mayor’s Directive not to Take Blankets Under the Camping Ban

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Denver, CO — Police said they would be sweeping a community known to its residents as “tent city,” tomorrow, Thursday January 26, 2017. Located along Denargo between Delgany and Arkins, the group of about 50 people will likely be swept from their home tents between 9am and 11am through none of this is known for sure.

People have been camping in this area on and off for years, but after the big sweep by Lawrence and Broadway on November 28th 2016, people moved up there again.

This wack-a-mole sweeping of communities from the Lawerance and Broadway area to the Arkins area and back to Lawerance… has happened twice over the past year. The last major sweep of the Arkins camp occured July 13, 2016. This time, it is uncertain where there is to move along to.

About two weeks ago the city went to this camp and posted a sign stating the right-of-way on which the campers live was “closed.” This is a go around move by the city to avoid using the camping ban ordinance to kick people out or take their belongings. Since Mayor Hancock directed police not to take survival gear from homeless people under the camping ban (at least until April) the city is attempting to go around that directive by going to the extreme of “closing” areas they want to kick homeless people out of. Regardless of what ordinance they are using, people are facing being moved from one of the few spaces left for groups to gather and stay safe. They risk losing their community, their home space, having all their gear to protect them from the winter weather taken by the city, and quite possibly, some could lose their lives.

This sweep is taking place even while the city is facing a law suit against them for the unconstitutionality of these very sweeps.

This community has no where to go. This is just one of the many sweeps which have displaced people across Denver over the past month. Communities are being swept farther and farther down the river, farther from the things they need to survive such as access to services, medical care, food and water sources, and their workplaces. At the same time as people are being swept on the river, police are telling people whom they are sweeping from downtown to go to the river. 

These actions by the city do very little to solve homelessness. Rather, the criminalization and enforcement only entrench the issue and further traumatize those surviving on the streets. Despite being swept again and again, the homeless community of Denver will continue to exist.

Mayor Hancock, once more, you can’t sweep away homelessness.

ps Don’t forget the Right 2 Rest Fest is Fridayhttps://denverhomelessoutloud.org/2017/01/24/right-to-rest-fest-kicks-off-state-bill-to-protect-peoples-human-rights-jan-27-2-5pm/

Contact: Denver Homeless Out Loud

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

940-720-5291

Right to Rest Fest Kicks off State Bill to Protect People’s Human Rights Jan 27 2-5pm

Right to Rest Fest 2017

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When: Friday January 27th, 2-5pm, 2017

Where: State Capitol Building (Colfax and Lincoln)

Who: Denver Homeless Out Loud, Fort Collins Homeless Coalition, Boulder Rights Watch, and all who show up to support the Right to Rest!

The last two years hundreds of people have gathered on the Capitol steps for the “Right to Rest Fest” to stand together before the legislative hearings of the Right to Rest Act that year. The Right to Rest Act is back stronger than ever! in 2017, Representatives Salazar and Melton are again sponsoring the bill.

On Friday January 27th from 2pm-5pm we will be back at the State Capitol for the Right to Rest Fest! Join us to speak out, eat food, listen to music, and call for the end of the criminalization of people living without homes!

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the week commemorating his contributions to the Civil Rights movement, members of the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) are holding days of action in California, Oregon, and Colorado in support of the civil and human rights of homeless people.  

WRAP’s days of action will highlight and push for the passage of our Right to Rest Act, which would help end the criminalization and incarceration of homeless individuals and families. The proposed state legislation is a response to the growing trend of cities creating laws that make it illegal to sit, sleep, stand, and share food in public space.  

Right now in Colorado, Fort Collins city council is again considering passing a law to make it illegal to sit on anything other than “designated seating areas.” This year Colorado Springs passed a similar law banning sitting. Longmont city council is considering a camping ban, much like those in other Colorado cities, which makes covering yourself with anything other than clothing illegal. In Denver 2016 has seen a 500% increase in enforcement of the camping ban with communities being swept around the city with nowhere to go.

Even in the midst of all this intense daily struggle to exist with constant police harassment under the command of city governments, homeless people have been standing up for their rights and demanding to this injustice end. The city of Denver faces a lawsuit in Federal court against it for seizing people’s property in violation of the 4th and 14th amendment of the US constitution.  

“We raise our voices this week to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and continue his work in fighting for the civil rights of the most marginalized in our society,” said Ibrahim Mubarak of Portland’s Right 2 Survive, one of the 180 organizations working actively on the Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign. “With shelters filled to capacity and thousands of people on waiting lists for housing around the country, homeless people have no choice but to live in public space. Cities cannot continue to act as if arresting people for that is going to solve the problem.”

Over the past couple of years we have documented 1,527 homeless people’s interactions with local police, private security guards, and the criminal justice system in 17 cities in 8 states. All respondents participated in the surveys for the opportunity to speak “unfiltered” to the broader community about what is really happening on our nation’s streets to poor, disabled, and homeless community members.

More than three-quarters of survey respondents (81%) reported being harassed, cited or arrested by police officers for sleeping outside,  76% reported the same for sitting or lying down and 74% for loitering or simply “hanging out.” These were far and away the top crimes for which homeless people were charged. A sad corresponding fact is that only one quarter of respondents (25%) believed that they knew of safe, legal places to sleep.

WRAP continues its fight to protect these civil rights for all. Representatives in both the Colorado and Oregon state legislature are introducing Right to Rest legislation in 2017.

WRAP’s Right to Rest Days of Action are taking place in San Francisco, Denver, Portland, Los Angeles, Sacramento and several other cities. WRAP’s actions stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all other groups fighting unjust, violent law enforcement.

“Policymakers and elected officials can no longer use the police, discriminatory laws, and unjust enforcement as solutions to the problems that pervade our communities,” said Paul Boden of the Western Regional Advocacy Project. “They cannot ignore the calls for justice emanating from communities across the country.”  

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Community Dialogue on Housing, Homelessness and the Right to Rest – With National Leaders

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A Community Dialouge on Housing, Homelessness and the Right To Rest

“Federal neglect vs Local response”

Friday – December 16, 2016 5:30-7:30pm at the PlatteForum 2400 Curtis St Denver CO 80205

Learn about the correlation between federal affordable housing cuts and the advent of

contemporary homelessness starting in 1983!

Hear about the growing national trend to criminalize the presence of homeless people and the

historical discriminatory laws todays laws are based on!

Discuss what WE can all do together to once and for all overturn discriminatory laws and

ensure all people have a safe, decent place they and their families can afford!

 

Presenters:

Paul Boden, WRAP – Without House/HBRC Powerpoint presentation

DHOL members – Real life impact of Denver Camping Ban and Colorado Right To Rest Act 2017

Ibrahim Mubarak – Right 2 Survive Oregon Right To Rest Act 2017, Right To Dream Too

Maria F – National Homes Not Handcuffs Campaign

PLACE / TIME

 

*”It is logically incorrect and severely misleading to rely on individual, biographical factors to

explain why societal rates of homelessness suddenly skyrocketed in the 1980s to a level not

seen since the Great Depression, and have continued to grow into the present. The fact that

millions of families, single adults, and youths with different biographical backgrounds came to

simultaneously experience homelessness requires a reexamination of historical and social

structural forces.” Without Housing….

MAYOR HANCOCK ORDERS POLICE TO STOP TAKING PEOPLE’S SURVIVAL GEAR WHEN ENFORCING THE CAMPING BAN!!

Mayor Hancock Orders Police to Stop Taking People’s Survival Gear when Enforcing the Camping Ban!!!

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Homeless people of Denver just won big!! Police will no longer be ordered to take people’s blankets, sleeping bags, tents, or other such survival gear as evidence of the crime of camping during the winter months. This comes after well-renowned lawyer David Lane contacted the City Attorney’s office on Friday informing them he would be filing a Temporary Restraining Order against the city of Denver to stop these seizures of survival gear. Just after a meeting with Attorney Lane and would-be-witnesses who have had winter survival gear taken in sweeps and suffered severe, even life threatening effects, we received this notice from the Mayor’s office. This decision from the Mayor also comes after countless actions including an open letter from ACLU to the Mayor demanding an end to this, viral videos of police taking people’s blankets as evidence of the crime of camping, a loud out cry from the public, and endless action by people surviving on the streets to stand up to this injustice.

This directive means that homeless people should not have their survival gear taken from them while police are enforcing the camping ban. This means that people surviving on the streets this winter will have just that much more hope to live through this winter.

This however is just one small step toward protecting people’s right to survive. This does not overturn the camping ban or even suspend it for the winter. This does not stop police from forcing people to “move along,” take down tents, or give tickets for the camping ban. This does not stop police and public works from conducting sweeps where they come through and take people’s property while claiming it to be an “encumbrance” or “abandoned.” This does not decriminalize homelessness in all the many growing ways it is being criminalized. And of course this does not end our housing crisis to enable people to actually afford homes.

As much as the city wants to claim that every homeless person in Denver can go into the shelters, this continues to be a lie. The presence of open beds does not equal the ability of people to stay in those beds. Much less the desire – the city itself has recognized they cannot force people into shelter like jail. Furthermore, the Mayor’s claim that they only took people’s gear as evidence while “protesting” (surviving) at City Hall is also false as can be seen in this video. And even more important the Mayor’s claim that the city has only taken blankets or tents from only three people is most blatantly a lie as can been seen in countless sweeps where the city takes people’s belongings.

All this said, this is one vital step to respecting our lives by not taking our blankets as evidence of our necessary crime of surviving. And we should all know Mayor Hancock did not just decide this out of his own good will. This directive was made due to the legal and public pressure showing this is just plan wrong. This was made possible because of everyone who stood up for their own rights or the rights of their fellow human kind!!

We cannot end the fight here. This shows we can make change. We must continue to stand together and fight on. From the class action law suit against the city of Denver to end the whole practice of the sweeps, to the local work to over turn the Camping (Survival) Ban, to the Right to Rest for the whole state of Colorado, to the effort to get land for Tiny Home villages, to the fight to end all this inhumanity and re-create a country where housing is a human right…we have much much work to do…

For this moment though we will celebrate our win – Blankets can no longer be taken as evidence of our crime of surviving.

Contact

Denver Homeless Out Loud

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

720-940-5291

See Press Statement from Mayor’s Office Below

 

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

 

 

Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016

 

City and County of Denver

Mayor Michael B. Hancock

Amber Miller, Communications Director

Amber.Miller@DenverGov.org

C: 720-220-8165

Jenna Espinoza, Deputy Communications Director

Jenna.Espinoza@DenverGov.org

 

Mayor Hancock Statement Regarding Unauthorized Camping Ordinance

 

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced a cold-weather adjustment to enforcement of the city’s unauthorized camping ordinance.

 

“As a city, we have a responsibility and moral obligation to protect the lives of our residents. Urban camping– especially during cold, wet weather — is dangerous and we don’t want to see any lives lost on the streets when there are safe, warm places available for people to sleep at night. Every night, we have beds open for people to sleep and every day we have safe places and resources to help people experiencing homelessness,” Mayor Hancock said.

 

“Every step we take is intended to connect people with safe and warm places and critical supportive services. We never intended to take the belongings that people need to keep warm. Therefore, I have directed Denver police to cease taking camping equipment, like tents and blankets, when enforcing the unauthorized camping ordinance through the end of April.”

 

Background information:

The city and its homeless shelter partners are continuously tracking shelter availability and adding space whenever needed to ensure we have warm, safe places for people to sleep at night. We absolutely have space open.

 

Denver will cease taking camping equipment, like tents and blankets, when enforcing the unauthorized camping ordinance through the end of April.

 

To date, the city has taken camping equipment as evidence from three individuals who were camping outside the City and County Building during a protest demonstration on Nov. 28. On that day, the city began notification of our camping ordinance at about 9:40 p.m. and worked to gain voluntary compliance over the following six hours with the demonstrators. These are the only individuals who have had blankets or tents taken.

 

When enforcing the unauthorized camping ordinance, Denver police provide several verbal and written warnings before they issue a citation. Per the ordinance, officers request wellness checks by human services professionals for individuals found camping outdoors in the city.

 

Over the past two weeks, after multiple notifications, police issued nine citations to seven individuals.

 

Over the last 24 months, the city and our metro partners have placed 995 homeless people into housing.

 

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Speak Up for Our Lives!! Tell City Council to End the Survival Ban Monday 12.5

Speak Up for Our Lives!! Tell City Council to End the Survival Ban

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Survival camp of 20 people at 27th and Arapohoe – This camp has been kept extra clean and quite but was displaced nonetheless
 
We are desperate. The Mayor called for an extreme escalation of force starting Monday November 28th sweeping hundreds of homeless people “away” from places of rest all over the city. Since Monday police have been enforcing the camping ban with tickets and threats of arrest. When police give the ticket they seize people’s sleeping bans, blankets, tents, or other survival gear as evidence of the “crime” leaving these people with no protection from the elements with which to survive the winter night. Not only did the city sweep everyone, roughly 150 people, out of the Lawrence/Bway area, but further the city swept people out of the spot on 27th and Arapohoe where roughly 20 people have been surviving in a camp so clean the dirt is racked in straight lines. And even beyond this the city have been sweeping people out of places all over the whole city – any corner people find to try to hunker up with blankets to stay warm on these freezing winter nights. Even a single person and a sleeping bag is subject to enforcement of the camping ban and being moved along to no where.
Watch this video of police ticketing people for “urban camping” (surviving) and taking their gear as evidence of the crime.
On Monday night after being swept from all over the city about 20 homeless people and about a dozen supporters “moved along” to city hall to sleep in front of the Mayor’s office. Since we have been swept from all over the city we had no where to go but to the Mayor himself to demand this craziness end and tell him, “Mayor Hancock, you cannot sweep away homelessness.” Police were called in to enforce the camping ban – ticketing homeless people in sleeping bags and telling them they had two choices “either leave right now and we will take your stuff as evidence, or come to jail and we will also take your stuff as evidence.”
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Two Police Cars Guarding the Sidewalk by Samaritan House on November 30th – Police have been stationed to guard the sidewalk and move anyone who tries to sit down since November 28
The Mayor is forcing death on people forced to survive outside in Denver winter. With this level of camping ban enforcement we are likely to have many more homeless people die this winter. We CANNOT stand back which this happens. We MUST stand together until our city decision makers changes this law and allow people to use a blankets to survive the winter.
Join us Monday December 5th at 4pm in front of the City and County Building to bring our signs and voices demanding the survival ban end. At 5pm we will be going in to the City Council general public comment period where homeless people will be sharing with the Council what is really going on and what needs to be done.
Contact your council person and tell them you support an end to the camping ban! https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-city-council/contact.html
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Daily Sweeps of Homeless Surviving Outside Samaritan House Continue: Winter Support Needed

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Daily Sweeps of Homeless Surviving Outside Samaritan House Continue

Since Tuesday 11/15 the city has continued to sweep people every morning staying outside the central homeless service hub on Lawrence and Broadway. And since Tuesday people surviving together on these blocks continue to come right back the minute the “clean up” is done. Police continue to wake people up, force them to move around, and enforce ever changing policies regarding how  many inches one can be from the side walk and so on – regardless of the freezing weather. And due to this freezing weather homeless people continue to use whatever protection from the elements they can to survive – regardless of the Mayor’s wishes.

This morning police came to wake everyone up and tell them they needed to move at 5am in the middle of the freezing rain. Police continued to drive around harassing people yelling threats and mean words until public works showed up at 9am to do their “clean up” (in spite of the fact homeless people had already swept the blocks with what brooms they have). At first police and public works said they were not going to make everyone do the whole move along dance they usually make folks due – moving all their stuff from one block to another and taking anything remaining. But than, after some people already had been told they were good to leave and go to work or due whatever eronds they need, public works changed their mind and starting taking anyone’s stuff that was not their to claim it – and not letting friends claim their friends stuff. Many people’s belongings were taken to “storage” – we will see if they can get it back… All of this in the snow and rain.

In the midst of all this Officer Lombardy warned us there will be a heavy police presence harassing people there at all hours of the day and night regardless of the weather. He went on to explained to us why these sweeps were happening saying, “This place is giving Denver a black eye. It is making the city look like it does not care about their citizens.” He has this right. The Mayor and his administration are demanding these sweeps hit homeless people hard and make them suffer so they will go “away” out of sight out of mind and not make the city look like it does not care for its people.

There are currently about 150 homeless people living in this area who could really use some support. If you can come out MondayFriday mornings to help people please do! Some helpful things include…

-Helping move stuff who wish to do so,

-Video police to hold them accountable and document what is going on,

-Bring warm gear (i.e. tents, sleeping bags, tarps…),

-When it is snowing/raining come by and take loads of blankets/sleeping bags to be dried,

-Bring coffee or any other such warm treat:)

-Help out in many many other ways…

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