By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – It is not the image one would expect to see on a picture postcard of Denver.
Tent after tent after tent of homeless people lined up between the Capitol and City-County building.

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One young man, who peered out of a tent, told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger, “It is an eyesore, but what else are you going to do? Where else are you going to go?”

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The tents along Broadway are right near the school bus parking for tours of the Capitol.
After inspections, the encampment is being labeled an imminent health hazard by the City of Denver.

“We have seen rat infestation. We have seen filth, we have seen needles, we have seen fires from propane tanks,” said City Attorney Kristin Bronson.

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You don’t have to rely on the word of the city attorney. Ask people who have lived in such conditions, like Paul, who declined to give his last name.

“I don’t blame them. You got to walk through human feces to get down the streets. I was homeless. Once we went in a bag and threw it out.”

The problem grew after an urban camping ban ticket was thrown out by one judge. The police stopped enforcing the ban during a review, but Denver attorneys are now convinced it’s legal and are prepared to clean this up.

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That’s okay with the once-homeless man named Paul.

“All that does is make America look bad. We’re not that deprived,” he said.

Attorney Andy McNulty who represents the homeless says by enforcing the Urban Camping Ban the city of Denver is, “Blatantly disregarding a finding that the law is unconstitutional.”

Rick Sallinger