DENVER (CBS4) – Jazz LeRoux was born and raised in Globeville, a neighborhood north of downtown Denver, and still calls it home. He knows it has a history of being a place most Coloradans would like to ignore.
Ever since the late 1800s when the smelters from the gold rush polluted the soil.
With housing prices skyrocketing in Denver, more and more people are struggling with homelessness. One solution is a tiny home village for those transitioning from the street to permanent housing.
“Globeville, it’s a lower class neighborhood. Majority Latino. Historically it’s been one of Denver’s under-served communities, and it’s actually the most polluted zip code in the United States.”
LeRoux stays because of his roots in the area and because it’s one of the last affordable places to live in the city.
“It feels like it’s one of Denver’s last real almost safe places for the lower class.”
When he got word the City of Denver and the Colorado Tiny Village Collaborative decided to put a tiny homes village in the neighborhood, he was upset.
“We were never asked if we wanted to have these tiny homes in our neighborhood,” he said.
With most of the resources for the homeless being downtown, he says the city shouldn’t house people who need help in Globeville.
“It doesn’t make sense to put them somewhere where there are zero resources.”
He and many of his neighbors don’t want the tiny home village in their neighborhood. They say they would rather the city stop treating his neighborhood like a dumping ground and use the space where it’s supposed to be built for something the rest of the city gets, like a park.
“We have homeless people here and we take care of our homeless community here. The concern is more so that when will this end? When will we stop just getting what every other neighborhood doesn’t want?” he asked.