DENVER (CBS4)– People experiencing homelessness in parts of Denver are part of a cleanup happening on Tuesday. Crews with Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure are conducting a large-scale “encumbrance removal” in two areas.
The areas targeted on Tuesday are in the 2200 block of Stout and the 600 block of 24th Street.
DOTI said the reason for the removal is due to “deteriorating public health and safety concerns” in the locations. According to DOTI, both cleanups are being conducted in compliance with the terms of the settlement the City of Denver entered into after the homeless class action lawsuit.
“There is ordinance on the books that talks about public right of ways must remain free of encumbrances and obstructions, so in that case it is an ordinance that public works can enforce,” said Nancy Kuhn with DOTI.
“It’s the same effect regardless of what law you’re using, it’s the same effect so why not treat a situation humanely and address the problem of needing to pick up trash and not displace people,” said homeless advocate Terese Howard.
Those living in the camps will have access to resources and services. The City of Denver also offers free storage of items for up to 60 days as long as the personal property doesn’t pose a public health or safety risk.