DENVER (KDVR) — In November, the third Safe Outdoor Space for those experiencing homelessness will open in Denver.
The sanctioned camp will be located on the corner of Elati Street and Eighth Avenue. The site is currently a Denver Health parking lot.
According to Colorado Village Collaborative, the group behind the camp, it will serve 50 people who will be housed in heated tents. The site will remain open from November through November 2022.
“They have a staff that’s there for them. They have meals that are provided to them, laundry, showers and bathrooms and trash and all the basic resources that we all need to survive,” Colorado Village Collaborative executive director Cole Chandler told FOX31.
“They didn’t know where they were gonna spend the night before, so when they move into our site, they just have that security and stability that they haven’t had before. They have a warm tent, they have a community of people they can trust,” Chandler said.
The Denver Health site will include additional access to healthcare services because of the partnership with the hospital, as well as specialized resources for Native American and Indigenous people.
Following the announcement of the newest location, neighbors are already beginning to protest the decision. Some hung a large banner on the parking lot fence to voice their displeasure.
“We heard from neighbors what we often hear, which is hey, this is a great idea. I wish it wasn’t here,” Chandler said.
He says the reality is that with more than a thousand people sleeping on Denver’s streets each night, there is a need for additional Safe Outdoor Spaces. The group does plan to expand to more locations in the future.
“Our hope is that the neighborhood will give it a chance and see how it goes,” he said.