DENVER (CBS4) – A lawsuit attempting to prevent a sanctioned and monitored camping site for unhoused people in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood has been dismissed in Denver district court. The proposed temporary safe outdoor space is set to move forward at Park Hill United Methodist Church, opening in early June.
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“We’re thrilled to have that distraction behind us,” said Colorado Village Collaborative Executive Director, Cole Chandler. “This lawsuit actually galvanized a lot of support. We’ve had many Park Hill neighbors offer to help us with site setup, offer to make food, and offer to volunteer on an ongoing basis.”
Site operator Colorado Village Collaborative was one of the defendants in the case, including the Park Hill United Methodist Church, Lead Pastor Nathan Adams, and the City and County of Denver.
“Homelessness is not just a downtown issue, it’s a Denver issue, it’s a regional issue, a state and national issue, and it requires all of us coming to the table together to work together,” Chandler said.
Neighborhood groups in Capitol Hill, Uptown, and RiNo released a statement supporting safe outdoor spaces. Travis Leiker, President of Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods says the existing safe outdoor spaces in Capitol Hill at Denver Community Church and First Baptist Church of Denver experienced similar pushback seen in Park Hill.READ MORE: Marijuana Social Equity Fair Seeks To Level The Playing Field For Communities Of Color
“It was intended to be a call for civility and being solutions oriented at the neighborhood level,” Leiker said. “I would just call on our friends and neighbors to the east to consider the fact that we did have some extraordinary measures of success.”
As plans continue for Park Hill, organizers hope residents will come around.
“Once they see it up and running, those fears can be alleviated,” Chandler said.MORE NEWS: Hikers Discouraged From Climbing Kit Carson Peak As Madeline Baharlou-Quivey's Body Recovered
Chandler says an appeal has been filed against the permit for the safe outdoor space in Park Hill. By the time it makes it to the board of adjustment, CVC says people will already be living at the site.