Ending homelessness is a complex, systemic challenge that requires the best from every sector of a community. But at the center of these solutions we need smart, research informed, and compassionate policy. With this in mind, we challenge Denver to function as the progressive leader it strives to be.
The following list represents policies and practices we recommend as a starting point for alternatives to the Unauthorized Camping Ban:
Declare an Immediate Suspension of the Camping Ban and Encampment Cleanup policies until adequate housings alternatives are in place.
Fund one additional medical or mental health professional per shelter.
Provide accessible storage facilities for people to keep their belongings safe.
Shift money saved from policing and jail system to addiction support services.
Provide additional public restrooms and trash cans throughout the city, particularly downtown.
Clear zoning / ordinance barriers when needed to support congregations and private land owners embracing alternative housing models, including tiny homes.
Long Term Commitments:
End the criminalization of homeless and ensure that homeless people are afforded space to live in the public realm with dignity.
Develop and fund a Comprehensive Plan to scale up dignified transitional and permanent housing for those without current access to homes.
Provide transparency, community oversight, follow through, and communication as plans are implemented.
Fund and champion a 24/7 Resource Center.
Adopt an aggressive agenda to ensure Denver’s residents are fully and affordably housed.
With rising housing costs, soaring economic inequality, and limited resources available for mental healthcare, addiction recovery, or jobs training, homelessness has become increasingly troubling for cities across the nation. We are encouraged by many of the creative efforts of cities and organizations thinking outside the "criminalization box." The following links provide further ideas for city officials looking for solutions.