'I've Picked Up Heroin Needles'By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – Residents in a downtown Denver neighborhood are taking matters into their own hands, after the city neglected to share details about the cleanup of a nearby homeless encampment. The tents that occupied Lincoln Park for several months were swept by the city Wednesday, but neighbors who live near the encampment by Morey Middle School are still waiting to learn when action will be taken there.

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Denver’s Department of Safety said Wednesday officials are discussing the encampment near the school. Murphy Robinson, Executive Director of the Department of Safety, said there are plans of dispersing the area soon, but Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said Friday he can’t share more details with the public.

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“We have people who want to put our public health workers, our officials and our law enforcement officers in danger. They’re tipping off folks who want to come in and escalate the situation,” said Hancock during a virtual news conference Friday.

The mayor says there’s a city council member sending out information in order to get homeless advocates to attend protests. Some neighbors who live near Morey Middle School are tired of being left in the dark.

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Capitol Hill resident, James Reynolds, says he’s in favor of the city designating homeless camping areas. He is for a swift removal of the encampment near Morey, but he’s empathetic toward their situation.

“I like the idea of providing bathrooms, showers, some level of assistance to those experiencing this. The conditions that they’re living in is not humane,” said Reynolds.

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However, Reynolds and many of his neighbors are tired of waiting for solutions.

“I’ve picked up heroin needles. I’ve watched drugs deals. The shooting solidified that there was a need to act for all of us,” said Reynolds.

He says he’s looking into a professional cleanup. He created a GoFundMe page, seeking donations from neighbors for legal representation on behalf of the residents of near the Morey encampment.

“A portion of the funds would be used to help determine what the appropriate legal remedy would be. At this point, we haven’t made a determination about the best course of action,” said Reynolds. He says all donations will be accounted for through the Morey Residents Coalition.

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Morey Residents Coalition Corporation is a nonprofit organization. According to their website, the main goal is to improve neighborhood safety and provide a platform for organizing community improvement projects.

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The next steps for the neighborhood effort to disperse the Morey encampment are unclear, but Reynolds says it’s more than what the city’s done to address the encampment.

Tori Mason