• Petitioned Members of the Denver City Council

This petition was delivered to:

Denver City Council
Members of the Denver City Council

Can Denver afford to criminalize its homeless?

    1. Petition by

      Tracey Stewart

Unlike Hungary, a bankrupt nation that still decided to pass a law to fine and imprison their homeless, Denver has options for spending taxpayer dollars in a more supportive way for its most vulnerable people.            

The ordinance that would ban unauthorized camping is a bad idea.  It is morally bankrupt and fiscally irresponsible.  Not only does it set Denver up for a long term deficit, but it also handicaps those who are already entrenched in a cycle of deep poverty and diminished prospects.

The cost to Denver’s taxpayers for increasing poverty by fining and imprisoning these individuals is immense. We know, from 2008 data, that it less expensive (with a greater return on investment) to fund housing first initiatives over jail cells.  With the current financial crisis, Denver ought to think long and hard about the ongoing repercussions? 

The effect on the individual is lifelong, especially with regards to employment. Consider this scenario—an individual is fined for not being able to afford housing. The fine may not only affect his/her criminal record, but his/her credit history.  Due to current legislation allowing employers to check potential employee’s credit scores, these individuals are now less likely to get a job.  This increases an individual’s debt, decreases his/her employability, ensures his/her inability to afford housing and continues to move him/her further away from self-sufficiency.         

This isn’t Hungary; this is the United States of America.

Please let others know that this is not sound fiscal policy.  The effects are far reaching from the lives of individuals to the business and institutions that taxpayers fund.  Let’s focus on prevention and intervention not criminalization.  Let’s not add more barriers while continuing to take away opportunities. Please sign the petition and show DENVER CITY COUNCIL that you oppose THE CITY-WIDE ORDINANCE TO PROHIBIT UNAUTHORIZED CAMPING.

Members of the Denver City Council, Denver City Council
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Members of the Denver City Council.

Vote NO on the the City-Wide Ordinance to Prohibit Unauthorized Camping

Although this is an attempt to "de-fang" Occupy Denver, it hurts our most vulnerable population-the homeless


[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Shawn Van Horn LITTLETON, CO
      • over 2 years ago

      I'm signing this because I've just reached a level of homeless. I have friends helping me, but NOT A HOME!!!

    • Erin Husi DENVER, CO
      • over 2 years ago

      I am of the opinion that many homeless people are victims of circumstance, and those circumstances came about because of terrible governance. When no one will reach out a helping hand, including your representatives, life can become even more despairing and hardships all the more difficult to overcome. The hand that should be helping Denver's homeless is now trying to herd them out. Denver, please stop this madness. Take a step back into humanity and maybe consult your conscience--its there for a reason.

    • Joe Mauro DENVER, CO
      • over 2 years ago

      Denver is capable of SO much more in its treatment of those who have the very least. Establish services, provide shelter beds, create opportunities for the homeless and THEN perhaps make a law against being homeless in Denver.

    • Maureen Crane Sauer WOODLAND PARK, CO
      • over 2 years ago

      What goes on in Denver affects the whole state.

    • shannon mcnamara DENVER, CO
      • over 2 years ago

      The notion of criminalizing homelessness is not just personally offensive, it's immoral. We live in a city that does not presently have the resources to provide shelter for all the homeless persons within Denver. To pass such an ordinance in light of that uncontested reality is simply cruel and draconian. We need to collectively focus our energy on addresing the social, economic, and political factors that contribute homelessness before we begin to legislate against it.


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