DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is asking each city council member to submit one potential site in their districts to support a temporary COVID-based campsite. The Safe Outdoor Space concept was proposed last week.

Each site will provide nearly 50 homeless individuals with showers, laundry, hand washing stations and access to essential mental health and substance resources.

Agencies involved said the CDC has encouraged homeless sweeps to be put on hold during COVID-19. However the growing camps pose both health and safety threats to those living in them and around them.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding encampments with those experiencing homelessness, most recently the camp in front of Morey Middle School at 13th and Clarkson in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

(credit: CBS)

Hancock sent the members of the Denver City Council the letter on Wednesday. In it, he asks each city council member to “identify at least one potential site in your district to support a temporary COVID-based temporary campsite. Ideally, we are looking for properties in the 10,000-square-foot range – enough for 60 people, 50 socially distant tents, restroom and shower facilities, and a common area. The campsite would be operational as long as public health orders and the pandemic are in place.”

During the news conference last week, Hancock said the city will continue outreach and enforcement of the urban camping ban, while trying to encourage those seeking shelter to use motel rooms or the sanctioned camp sites once they are open.

LINK: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s Safe Outdoor Space Letter To Denver City Council

Comments (5)
  1. Please stop calling them Covid encampments. Like the 24 Million dollar hotel retreat disaster he tried to but all the unemployed newcomers here for the weed into. What about the Samaritan House or Step 13 if these people are unable to work?
    Call it what it is- if your in need go to a shelter, if your here for the weed- get a job!

  2. Larry Bell says:

    The camp grounds should be located in Civic Center Park on both sides of Broadway. There are very few adjoining businesses and no residential housing. They would be near the services that are provided to them. And the lawmakers could monitor the situation easily. No rent to be paid.

  3. The obvious first pick would be the parking lot behind the coliseum, another would be the land surrounding the National Western Complex. A lot of the light rail lots are underutilized now. A lot of developments aren’t getting built anytime soon. Maybe some income, in the form of rent, is better than none for these companies?

  4. Most of the homeless are downtown or in Rino. Unless CeDeBaca wants to ship her problems away she needs to list about 10 sites where she thinks would be a good fit in her district. They’re there because the infrastructure to help them is there for one thing. Also, they don’t have transportation so it’s probably not going to work in Washington Park. What say you, Councilperson CeDeBaca ?

  5. Paul Frawner says:

    There are several empty prison units that would hold a bunch of homeless in individual cubicles. The stainless fixtures are not easy to damage. Handwashing and showers are available. They could be rented at a cheap price, win-win.

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