DENVER (KDVR) — A busload of people moved off the streets of Denver and into transitional housing from a site targeted by the city’s House1000 initiative.
They were leaving a large encampment and Curtis and 21st streets in downtown Denver Thursday morning. The encampment had received a notice saying all items would be removed from sidewalks next Tuesday.
But on Thursday, two days after the notices were posted, FOX31 saw a number of people voluntarily boarding a bus headed for transitional housing. Among them was Tracy Gulley.
“I’m going to get me a place and I’m going to be taking me a shower and eating and sleeping right. And not worry about nothing else about myself,” Gulley said.
Denver focusing on ‘most vulnerable populations’
This is the second encampment the city of Denver has focused on in Mayor Mike Johnston’s House1000 initiative. The program’s goal is to remove 1,000 people off the streets by the end of the year.
“We are focusing on the most vulnerable populations across the city, especially with the cold winter weather approaching,” Department of Housing Stability Communications Director Derek Woodbury said.
Woodbury was on site along with several crews of people assisting people living in tents.
This cleanup is taking place across the street from a post office.
“There’s a need throughout the city. So we are looking at encampments throughout the city and we are looking for the most vulnerable populations,” Woodbury said.
‘I’m very happy!’
Before an encampment can be removed, the mayor has said, the city must provide places for them to go with services designed to help them find housing.
FOX31 saw city workers gathering large yellow plastic bags. Some of them were filled with trash. Other bags were used to pack a few things that people were allowed to carry with them on the bus to their new home.
Gulley told FOX31 it was something she’d been praying for.
“Then I came down here and I saw them, and they said, ‘Tracey, where have you been? We were looking for you.’ And I said, what! And I’m very happy!” Gulley said with a big smile and laugh.
Shortly after we talked to her, Gulley boarded a bus with others hoping to start a new life off the streets.
An estimated 50 people were at one time in this encampment. Those who did not leave on Thursday have until next Tuesday before all the items are cleared from the sidewalks.