Denver Camping Ban Survey

Survey Results

A Report from the StreetThe Report:
The Denver Camping Ban: A Report from the Street  | PDF Format:

Media Coverage:


Denver Commission on Homelessness and Report Release Events

The Pocket Report:

The Denver Camping Ban: (condensed version) | PDF Format:

Survey Instrument

Survey Locations

Statement of Intent

The “Urban Camping” Ban Survey will gather field data on how Denver’s recent “Urban Camping” Ban is affecting the lives of homeless individuals. The survey will be drafted and conducted by a coalition of homeless individuals, experienced researchers, and advocates who are deeply interested in the conditions of life for the homeless. The survey will be administered by trained volunteers, including people on the streets who identify as homeless or houseless.

Over 158 street checks for unauthorized camping impacting 386 members of the homeless community occurred in the first four months since Denver’s “Urban Camping” Ban went into effect on May 28, 2012. The Denver Police Department provided these statistics in an update to the Denver City Council on October 9. Though we know the official data regarding numbers of contacts between policy and homeless individuals, Denver stakeholders do not have data from members of the homeless community regarding how the ban is affecting their lives. This survey project will allow members of the homeless community to share the impact of the “camping ban” ordinance on their lives.

Trained interviewers will survey members of Denver’s homeless community regarding such things as:

  • Frequency and nature of police contacts with homeless individuals
  • Result of those police contacts
  • Patterns of shelter use or non-use
  • Nature of services being offered to homeless individual
  • Whether homeless survey respondents have changed their behavior following the ban, such as by changing sleeping arrangements, daily routines, service-access, or areas of town frequented
  • Whether homeless people feel more or less safe since the ban, and why
  • Personal stories regarding experiences on the street that might shed light on the implementation of this new law.

The completed surveys will be analyzed in a report produced by a University of Colorado Denver Political Science professor, who will work collaboratively with other members of the study team. This report will provide field-level data regarding how the urban camping ban is being implemented, how it is being experienced in the homeless community, how well the ban is achieving its aims, and possible problems or challenges associated with the implementation of the law. The results of this survey will provide valuable information as all parties go forward in understanding the effects of the law, and in informing future service-delivery plans or even possible legislative changes.