DENVER (CBS4) – Police have arrested 10 people in a demonstration aimed at fighting homelessness.
On Saturday the homeless advocacy group Denver Homeless Out Loud started building a village of micro-homes at Sustainability Park in Denver’s Curtis Park neighborhood on 26th and Arapahoe streets. The property is owned by the Denver Housing Authority.
On Sunday park gates were locked with chains and “No Trespassing” signs were posted. Police removed the tiny homes that activists had put up inside.
“It upsets me,” said Kevin Beasley, a homeless man staying at a shelter nearby.
Beasley says his dreams for the world are simple.
“Where a man can wake up, get his breakfast, go to work, make his money, and come home.”
In a city where rising rent has priced them out, people like “Easy” spend their days outside of homeless shelters. When they fill up, he says it’s hard to find a spot to sleep outside.
“I’ve even had the cops tell me, ‘Hey, if you go around this area there are nooks and crannies.’ And then another cop comes right back and says, ‘Hey, get out of here,’” Easy said.
In an effort to provide affordable housing, Denver Homeless Out Loud and other activists spent Saturday putting up micro-houses in a vacant space of Denver Housing Authority’s community garden, building them hand-in-hand with the homeless people who planned to use them. The called it Resurrection Village, but they didn’t have permission to build on the private property.
Police kicked them out and arrested those who refused to leave for trespassing.
Easy understands why, but is disappointed.
“People need to have hope that they can do something,” he said. “So to quash something like that in an instant is to rob them of a dream.”
CBS4 made efforts to contact Denver Housing Authority for comment on Sunday, but didn’t immediately hear back.
Sustainability Park is slated for a housing development with 10 percent of its units reserved for people with low income. Homeless advocates say that’s not enough to combat the growing problem of homelessness.