Denver will open camping locations for people experiencing homelessness during COVID-19 pandemic

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DENVER (KDVR) — Mayor Michael Hancock announced his support on Wednesday for proposals to serve people experiencing homelessness. The proposals are for establishing temporary, managed campsites and the creation of a new dedicated funding source.

According to the release, the Colorado Village Collaborative, which operates the Beloved Community tiny home village in Denver, has proposed a Safe Outdoor Space concept to provide emergency support to people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Hancock has directed city agencies to focus efforts on guiding people living in neighborhood encampments scattered throughout downtown to motel rooms, safe outdoor spaces and shelters, according to the release.

There will be intensified efforts for outreach, healthcare and mental-health workers to encampments, and the city will increase efforts to clean encampments with more frequent trash pickup and used-needle collection, according to Mayor Hancock’s release on Wednesday morning.

“Due to COVID-19, the humanitarian crisis of homelessness is even more dire today than it was just a few short months ago,” Mayor Hancock said. “These are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures. By supporting the Colorado Village Collaborative’s proposal to establish temporary, managed campsites, I’m hopeful we can provide a new pathway that leads to more stable housing options for people experiencing homelessness. At the same time, we can also address the public health and safety risks that the growing number of encampments in our city are posing to our neighborhoods.”

Mayor Hancock also announced his support for a possible November ballot measure that would raise an estimated $40 million a year to support services for people experiencing homelessness.

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