NewsCovering Colorado


'They're trying to help us': Man describes first night in shelter after Denver homeless encampment sweep

Denver homeless sweep
Posted at 6:17 PM, Sep 26, 2023

DENVER — Around 70 people who were living on the streets in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood were moved into an undisclosed hotel following an encampment sweep Monday.

"This is a milestone for the city and county of Denver," said Derek Woodbury, City of Denver spokesperson.

Mayor Mike Johnston's homelessness initiative aims to get 1,000 unhoused people off the streets and into housing by the end of this year. Our Denver news partners spoke with one man, who was moved into housing Monday.

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"I have my own room. I have two beds, big screen TV, nice bathroom, small refrigerator," said the man, who did not want to be identified. "It's something new. It's the first time they ever did it. So I'm actually kind of excited to see what happens."

The man said its been four years since he and his dog had a roof over their heads.

"It was comfortable. It was different, you know," he said. "They're trying to make it, you know, as best as they can."

Woodbury said dozens of people have been moved into the temporary housing over the past few days, getting placed into the hotel or other shelter.

"They're connected with case management to provide wraparound services to get them toward housing stability," Woodbury said.

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Guests who are staying at the hotel must follow rules in order to stay, which include no outside visitors, no violence, no weapons and no drugs. Their rooms are also checked to ensure they're clean and damage free. The oversight is being conducted by the Salvation Army.

"Our hope and our aspiration is that with clean-ups in the future, we could follow a similar approach. But we might not necessarily be able to if we don't have the units immediately available," said Woodbury.