DENVER (KDVR) — Some residents who took advantage of pandemic shelter in protective action rooms at the Quality Inn hotel on Zuni Street were calling on the city for more time before they have to move out on Sept. 16. Now, some of these residents learned they need to be gone by the end of the long weekend.
Things got a little heated Friday morning at a meeting when some residents met with housing leadership. Now, the city says they are working on better communication.
“This is sickening, it’s not fair. It’s not right, and it’s not humane,” a hotel resident told leaders in the Denver housing community Friday morning.
Residents of the temporary shelter at the Quality Inn on Zuni are letting the city’s Department of Housing Stability know they are not happy with the city and its sheltering partners’ request for them to vacate the hotel.
“Why is it that people are getting told Sept. 6 they have to leave? You originally gave us notices that said the 16th of September,” Ana Miller, a resident of Quality Inn said.
The city said Colorado Coalition for the Homeless issued new notices Thursday. It asks residents to be ready by 8:30 the morning of Sept. 6 if they want to be guaranteed a bed at a new place of shelter.
“Every guest is welcome to stay and leave on 9/16,” Jacob Wessley with CCH said. “Those guests who choose to stay up to that point and not leave at a prior date when their case management has worked to set up transportation or a connection to another site, they can do that but then there may not be transportation or connection to another site on that date.”
The city isn’t sure how many of the estimated 153 people living at the Quality Inn received a new notice.
But Housekeys Action Network Denver believes 93 people from the hotel do not have adequate housing lined up.
“I’m not familiar with whether every guest who was planning to go to shelter got one of those two dates or one of those two notices or if that was just the first round of notices and dates that went out. I think it’s somewhere in the ballpark of around 80 guests that we are on track to transition to a shelter program,” Angie Nelson, deputy director of Housing Stability and Homeless Resolution said.
Nelson said the new dates are designed to make the transition smoother.
“The best thing both for the guest and the staff on the receiving end of the referrals is that it’s best to stretch out the transition period over a couple of weeks. It helps guest not to have so much anxiety waiting up to the very last minute and say ‘oh, where am I going to go on Sept. 16,” Nelson said.
The residents living here were allowed to do so because they are at high risk of severe illness from COVID. They say they are worried about going to a shelter and getting sick and the new date to leave does not help.