COLORADO SPRINGS- A week before the posted clean-up date for the “Quarry” camp southeast of downtown, the City of Colorado Springs, together with the Colorado Springs Police Department, coordinated an outreach event aimed at connecting members of the homeless community to various services to help them find shelter, counseling, health care and mental health assistance and help with substance abuse.
“Our community just added 370 more low barrier shelter beds that was to insure that we have adequate shelter capacity in our town. I think it’s important that nobody in our community is forced to sleep outside. I think we do have enough beds now that we can say that, that nobody in our community is forced to sleep outside,” said Andrew Phelps the homeless outreach and prevention coordinator for the City of Colorado Springs.
For the people and their pets who are camping near Wahsatch and Fountain Boulevard, this was their chance to find services and even a warm bed.
The homeless outreach team from the police department spent hours contacting people living in the camp
“We have shelter space available in Colorado Springs, we also have food available if they need it. We have placement for jobs. We have everything that anybody could think of and we brought it to their camp so there is no reason they can’t find it. It’s right here.”, said Lt. Mike Lux of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Bobby Lewis lives at the camp and says it takes courage to ask for help and many don’t.
“Usually in the homeless community you are trying to not be seen. You’re trying to blend in so you don’t get noticed and ran off from where you are at,” said Lewis.
The homeless outreach team says it often knows the people in these camps and they are hoping someday things will change.
City leaders say one of the biggest factors contributing to homelessness is the lack of affordable housing. This is something they vow to continue working on.