DENVER (CBS4) – Eighteen-year-old Denverite Isaiah is living on the street and trying to get his life back on track.
“I messed it up to where I am here right now, but I can fix it,” he told CBS4.
He’s one of dozens of teens that turn to Urban Peak for help on a daily basis. The nonprofit organization offers services to homeless youth.
“You think of 50 kids in here, they just spent a night on the streets, they are hungry they want a shower, they want fresh clothing. That’s what we do,” said Clayton Gonzales, the program’s director.
Gonzales said Urban Peak provide housing for troubled youth and supports them however they can.
“The whole hope is that we get kids in here so that we can connect them to the other services and that’s where there is a long line (of help).”
LINK: Urban Peak
Mental health, substance abuse and affordable housing groups have said for years that resources in Denver are limited. A group called Caring for Denver wants that to change. They are proposing raising the sales tax to pay for such services. The tax increase would amount to approximately 25 cents on a $100 purchase and could mean $45 million every year for those programs.
For Isaiah, it could mean getting off the street. Or at the very least making life a little easier.
“Especially when they’re closed and all the other spots are closed. Those days are kind of hard,” he said.
State Rep. Leslie Herod, a Democrat who represents Denver, is among those pushing for the initiative. She says Caring For Denver polled Denver voters about the idea and the results showed 80 percent would support something the new tax.
If a petition drive by Caring for Denver is successful, the question will appear on the ballot in November.