DENVER (KDVR) — As the City of Denver strives to find a lasting solution to the homeless problem, new reports show what is still needed to provide services to those struggling on the streets.
About 51 out of 10,000 Denver residents experience homelessness on any given night. The city has a new agency and strategy but more research will reveal where the biggest need exists.
One Five Points resident said the community must come together to “do something to actually help them, find a real solution.”
While that is the common goal, a 2019 audit of homeless services found a lack of staffing was one factor hindering efforts to help the unhoused.
Mayor Michael Hancock replaced Denver’s Road Home Division, part of Denver Human Services, with the new Department of Housing Stability.
Denver’s police and fire departments are using outreach efforts to provide assistance while keeping others in the community safe.
Many are concerned about crime and hazardous conditions.
One RiNo resident said, “homeowners are concerned because it brings down the value of their homes.”
Calls made to encampments have revealed health and safety risks. The Denver Fire Department said more than 20,000 pounds of propane were removed during 2021 while assisting those in need.
The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is mobilizing outreach teams to address emergency concerns.
President and CEO John Parvensky said, “we are doubling our efforts to be able to connect to people, make sure they get access to shelter, we’ll put them in motels, we have about 600 motel units under mass release we’re using for people over 65 and those with underlying mental health conditions.”
The city says a staffing analysis will provide a better idea of which resources are needed.