DENVER (KDVR) — Denver is the latest among U.S. cities with the nation’s worst homelessness issues to declare a state of emergency.
Newly sworn-in Mayor Mike Johnston declared an emergency over homelessness in Denver, and he said he has a plan to house 1,000 people by the end of the year. He made the announcement in a Tuesday morning news conference, just shy of 24 hours after his inauguration. On Monday, he will activate the city’s Emergency Operation Center and Joint Information Center as part of the response.
Denver is the most recent to make such a declaration. Mayors in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Seattle and Portland, among others, have declared emergencies over their cities’ homelessness problems, which stand above the rest of the nation’s cities.
Metropolitan Denver has the nation’s 10th-most homeless people, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2022, the Denver metro homeless population was 6,884. This is more than the Las Vegas area but not quite as many as San Francisco.
Denver is one of 15 cities in the U.S. that holds over three-quarters of the nation’s homeless people. These include the City and County of Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle/King County, San Jose/Santa Clara City and County, Oakland/Berkeley/Alameda County, the City and County of Sacramento, Phoenix and Mesa/Maricopa County, the City and County of San Diego, San Francisco, metro Denver, Las Vegas/Clark County, Portland and Gresham/Multnomah County, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, D.C.
The nation’s two largest cities account for nearly half of its homeless people. Los Angeles (65,111) and New York City (61,840) together hold about 44%. Seattle/King County holds about twice as many as Denver (13,368).