DENVER (CBS4) – News of a possible location considered for a temporary, sanctioned homeless campsite left some neighbors in the Five Points neighborhood concerned. Mayor Michael Hancock shared the announcement on social media over the weekend.
Hancock says they are looking at an area owned by the city between Sonny Lawson Park and the Blair-Caldwell Library.
Ryan Cobbins, who owns Coffee at the Point, not far from where the proposed campsite says for as long as he’s been in the neighborhood they have been working to find a solution for the growing homeless population in the area.
“I think during this period of COVID things have gotten worse,” he said.
He says the announcement came as a surprise to him as well as others in the Business Improvement District.
“How it feels doing business and living in this neighborhood is we are that last resort, and it’s probably not how it went about, but that’s how it feels, is we can’t find any place to do this, let’s stick it in five points.” Cobbins said.
There are plans for conversations with the community before making any decisions. Gerald Horner lives in the Curtis Park neighborhood and volunteers to cleanup after those already living at the site.
He says he supports the save outdoor space model but would like to see more input on the location.
“I can’t speak for the neighborhood, and I do know this area is being considered, but it does require the entire community to get behind this idea.”
Cobbins agrees and says he can put reservations aside as long as there’s a discussion ahead of any final decision.
“We want to be at the table, our neighborhood wants to be at the table and it feels like we are not “ he said.
The city and Colorado Village Collaborative have worked together for the last few months to provide nearly 50 homeless individuals with showers, laundry, hand washing stations and access to essential mental health and substance resources.
Hancock says they are working to identify two more temporary, sanctioned homeless campsites.
Three virtual community meetings will be held this week:
Sept. 16 at 5:00 p.m. Zoom ID: 949 4650 2036
Sept. 17 at 7:00 p.m. Zoom ID: 947 2590 1055
Sept. 19 at 11:00 a.m. Zoom ID: 926 1291 6822