DENVER (KDVR) — Denver’s mayor announced Monday the city will break ground soon on the first of several micro-communities designed to house people experiencing homelessness.
The community will be part of Mayor Mike Johnston’s House1000 initiative, which aims to house 1,000 people by the end of 2023 and eventually close all encampments in Denver.
The site, located at 2301 S. Santa Fe Dr., is one of 11 prospective sites identified by the city.
What are micro-communities?
Nine of the 11 sites were designated as micro-communities, with one additional proposed site designated as part-hotel, part-micro-community.
These micro-communities can be made up of tiny homes or pallet shelters, and residents will have access to a private space with a bed and a desk. The communities will also have community areas with restrooms, showers, a kitchen and gathering spaces.
The micro-communities will also have a zero-tolerance policy for violence on-site, but there will not be sobriety requirements. Residents will not be able to trade or sell any substances, however, according to the city.
Additionally, all the micro-communities will be staffed 24/7.
According to the city, each micro-community will be able to house between 40 and 100 people, depending on the site size. Some may be able to house more, however.
For example, the site at South Santa Fe Drive will be able to house up to 125 people at a time. People will be able to live in the temporary units until they’re eligible for permanent housing.
Still, each micro-community has to be operational for at least two years to be financially viable, according to the city, and the way the communities are zoned allows for up to four years of use.
Denver already has something similar
The micro-communities proposed by the city are similar to tiny home villages created by the nonprofit Colorado Village Collaborative.
The University of Denver’s Center for Housing and Homelessness Research conducted a study into one of the villages, the Beloved Community Village, which was created in 2017.
According to findings from the study, crime did not increase in the area surrounding the village after it was established.