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.

(credit: CBS)

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?”

(credit: CBS)

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.

(credit: CBS)

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.

(credit: CBS)

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

Comments (4)
  1. t says:

    “Substance abuse is often a cause of homelessness. .. According to Didenko and Pankratz (2007), two-thirds of homeless people report that drugs and/or alcohol were a major reason for their becoming homeless.”
    “A 2008 survey by the United States Conference of Mayors asked 25 cities for their top three causes of homelessness. Substance abuse was the single largest cause of homelessness for single adults (reported by 68% of cities). Substance abuse was also mentioned by 12% of cities as one of the top three causes of homelessness for families.”

  2. More reprehensible pandering on the part of CBS4! The so-called “Urban Camping Ban” was not a bulwark against homeless people camping so much as it was the will of the Downtown Partnership, which misdirects municipal policy through Denver’s corrupt and incompetent Mayor — police harassed homeless people and forced them to move prior to its passage and they did so prior to the announcement of the resumption of its enforcement. The facts are these: Denver has been frittering away public monies represented as going to help the homeless with abandon with no coherent plan to address the problem — there is one effective means of doing so, but it requires a large, up-front investment in constructing suitable housing, but Denver has almost nothing to show for its spending up till now because it has been (and to a large extent remains) more committed to the principle of supporting non-profits than it is interested in solving the problem of homelessness. City Council just saw for itself just what it has been getting for our money, and it is unacceptable. All the housed, ugly Denverites who enlisted in the Downtown Partnership’s war against the homeless should wake up to the facts: we have been squandering much of the money supposed to be preventing people camping in public right of ways; the problem has burgeoned while Denver continues to spend that money pursuing ineffective policies, and courts have held that bans such as Denver’s are unconstitutional. The handwriting is on the wall for the City’s appeal of Judge Barrajas’ decision and it just represents more misspending. Many opponents of I-300 erected signs declaring “we can do better” — now is the time, because up till now we have been doing an unbelievably bad job. If you don’t want people camping in Civic Center (much less your own neighborhood, as fearful municipal voters were easily duped was in the offing should I-300 pass), it’s getting very late in the day to get a clue about how to prevent it; stop wasting public monies, save them, and build housing — only the exigent need is to build now. Reflect on the decades of misdirection of government policy, mismanagement, and misspending which failed to fund the Denver Housing Authority significantly or otherwise build or acquire public housing and put us in our present predicament.

  3. Harry Callahan SFPD says:

    Go into the library it is 75% homeless and dirty filthy people. I’ve never had a chance to use a bathroom stall…it is their changing station. The computers are all used by bums coughing and weezing. One room is a movie playing and 25 bums watching it. All out of towners laugh at the tent city in Civic Center Park. Yes I’ve seen rats. The gangster dime bag pot sellers are at the SE corner of Broadway and Colfax…lots more up Colfax to the east. The McDonalds 1 block away is gang central station. That’s a dangerous place. In the 80’s it was office people now it is Crips and Bloods counting their loot and using the bathroom.

    1. Your attitude is more of a problem than a hundred homeless people hanging out in public — do you want to deal with the problem effectively or just malign the homeless? We spend a lot of money now criminalizing them and making their lives miserable; it’s time to redirect it to provide places for them to be other than Civic Center and the Central Library!

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