Times Getting Tougher For Homeless On 16th St. Mall

DENVER (CBS4) – Aggravating the homeless has been on the rise with no end in sight. A homeless man was stomped on amidst the parade of zombies on the 16th Street Mall last Saturday.

“It wasn’t a permanent injury, but for somebody that’s living on the edge, their anxiety level is such that that in itself is a traumatic experience,” said Dan who only provided his first name and witnessed the event.

Dan was displaced by the Joplin tornado back in May.

Traumatic experiences occur daily. The homeless claim someone from a high-rise building directly above where they camp on the mall wakes them with an air horn, takes their pictures and has aimed a rifle at them from the window.

“When you’re looking up here, and there’s a loaded gun barrel pointing out of a secluded spot, this whole situation could turn into something bad,” said Dan.

Despite the constant harassment, the 16th Street Mall is considered a relatively safe place by the homeless to spend the night. With no space available in shelters, the homeless have found themselves wedged along the buffalo silhouettes, storefronts like the Wild West store and practically any vacant bench.

“There’s no room,” said a homeless woman who did not want to identify herself and asked why she wasn’t in a shelter. “I’ve been calling for the last week, and they’re full.”

Now, there’s a new push to stop the homeless from camping out on the mall. The bid comes from businesses and city council members.

“Last week, I was told we lost a $20 million convention because of problems of homelessness on the mall,” said city councilman Charlie Brown. He hopes to propose an ordinance to ban camping on the mall.

Some people seem to want them out now.

“We were spit on. We were told to leave and go home,” said the homeless woman. “We wouldn’t be here if we had a home.”

LINK: Denver’s Road Home

– Written by Young Kim for CBSDenver.com

  • rianna

    Denver has some of the best jerks. Maybe one of them will become homeless in this economy.

    • doug

      uh, Tom Martino?

  • robin

    sure let’s create more laws that help no one,,sorry about your convention, but these people have been needing our help for a long time, Mr. Council man, and what the hell are you doing about it, creating more laws, to harm more people, instead of opening city properties that would make great living situations, day hangouts with libraries and teaching, perhaps drug counciling..

  • Harry Patkowski

    The way the homeless are treated in this country is a disgrace and many Americans should be ashamed of themselves. The above report clearly states that revenue is more important that human life and comfort. So money has become more important that people’s lives. It’s always the well heeled, insulated folks who take offense at seeing human need in the form of homeless people in their neighborhood. The chasm between the rich and poor in America widens everyday. I know in some cities the sprinklers in public parks are turned on at 2 or 3 AM every morning to force homeless folks out of the bushes. No one asks where are they supposed to go and everyone looks to someone else to help them – or get rid of them. Maybe we all need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “What will I do today to help a homeless person?”

  • K

    Yes that is the ticket, open the convention center for the homeless, since there isn’t a convention. Put in a public shower area, food court and let them live comfortable for as long as they want. Let the taxpayers foot the bill, take from the ones who have and give it to the ones who don’t have. Watch the entire society as we know fail.

  • I Agree with K

    I agree with K –

    98% of the homeless people out there are there because they want to be. It’s a choice they make.

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