Have thoughts about Denver’s approach to homelessness? Come to this meeting.

By: - June 28, 2021 12:34 pm

A person seeks shelter in their tent as the rain falls in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on May 3, 2021. (Moe Clark/Colorado Newsline)

Denver city housing officials are hosting community meeting on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the outdoor Greek Theatre in Civic Center Park to discuss the city’s approach to tackling its growing homelessness crisis.

The goal of the meeting is to solicit feedback from residents about current city programs for people experiencing homelessness; hear issues and concerns about how officials are addressing the growing affordable housing and homelessness crisis; and discuss ideas for potential solutions. 

The meeting is legally required as part of a 2019 settlement against the city and is supposed to occur four times per year. This will be the fourth meeting the city has hosted since the settlement. 

During the last meeting, which occurred on April 1, many unhoused residents detailed the inhumane treatment they experienced at homeless shelters and during encampment clearings, commonly called homeless sweeps. Others talked about how, even with stable employment, they can’t afford rent or food or laundry services and that they’ve been on affordable housing waitlists for years.

City officials skirted many of the questions and concerns brought up during the April 1 meeting and instead highlighted what they see as recent successes, including increasing shelter capacity by 60% during the pandemic, providing nearly 1,000 hotel or motel rooms for people during the pandemic, assisting over 1,800 households through the city’s various housing programs, and building 254 more affordable housing units that will be complete by 2023.

Can’t attend the public meeting but have thoughts? Email [email protected].

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 3:37 p.m., June 28, 2021, to correct how long the meeting is expected to run. 

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Moe Clark
Moe Clark

Moe Clark is a freelance journalist and former Colorado Newsline reporter who covered criminal justice, housing, homelessness and other social issues.