DENVER (KDVR) — Housing and homelessness were at the forefront of a forum for candidates running for Denver mayor.
Fourteen of the 17 total candidates showed up to answer questions from a crowd at Civic Center Park. Some of those asking questions were unhoused themselves.
A small survey was taken among unhoused people asking them what issues mattered most to them. Public restrooms, sweeps of encampments and public housing were some topics the candidates were asked about Monday night.
“You would not think I was homeless, I don’t carry myself that way,” Chey Kosack, who is unhoused, said. “I’ve become empowered and better connected in my community.”
‘No more important battle than housing’
The forum was organized by Housekeys Action Network Denver, or HAND. The full event was streamed on the group’s Facebook page.
Jess Wiederholt, explained why the mayoral candidates want votes from people experiencing homelessness.
“It’s about meeting the needs of community,” Wiederholt said, “and hearing all the voices that are affected by their plans for the future of the city.”
“There is no more important battle than housing right now,” Kosack said.
Candidates were presented with issues related to homelessness and stood for yes or sat for no.
Toward the end of last year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported 7,000 people were experiencing homelessness in Denver on a random night last January.
That number set a 14-year record.