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Homeless camps pop up again in Denver months after sweeps

DENVER -- Just months after the Denver Police Department removed homeless camps across the city, more of them are starting to pop up on city streets.

Camps are known to set up at locations, including along the South Platte River. Police cleared the area and others downtown earlier this year.

On Park Avenue between Larimer and Lawrence streets on Thursday morning, people and their belongings are again lining the sidewalk, leading some to say the so-called sweeps aren't working.

The sweeps prompted a pending federal lawsuit. The homeless say the sweeps violated their constitutional rights.

The camps represent a big challenge for the city. Officials said resources and compassion are offered, but some won't accept it.

Shelters have space, but some choose to stay outside, complaining of illnesses and bedbug issues.

Homeless camps became a common scene across the city, with them popping up on sidewalks and in parks.

Local businesses and residents complained, upset over littering, fights and drug use. That prompted the sweeps by the city.

But during the sweeps, many of the homeless complained about losing their tents and other belongings. The American Civil Liberties Union said the city went too far.

City officials said the sweeps are well within the law, using the park curfew ordinance that was put in place in 2012 to clear out the camps.