Kevin Beaty / Denverite

Kevin Beaty / Denverite

Denver City Council President Albus Brooks made it clear from the get-go that he was the odd man out at a panel discussion on the impacts of criminalizing homelessness in Thursday night.

“I know that I am the elephant in the room because I’m a part of the camping ordinance,” Brooks said to a crowd of a couple hundred regarding his support of the city’s urban camping ban that prevents homeless people from sleeping outside with shelter.

But, Brooks later added, “repealing the camping ordinance doesn’t help us put homeless individuals in a better situation.” Boos and grumblings from the audience quickly followed.

The forum — which brought together faith leaders, business owners and advocates — came just weeks after homeless activists called for the city to suspend enforcement of the camping ban following another homeless sweep and instead provide a designated area where people could legally sleep outside.

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