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Suspend Denver's Urban Camping Ban

This petition had 3,075 supporters

It is with urgency that we request that Mayor Michael B. Hancock suspend the enforcement of the Denver Urban Camping Ban and related local policies and ordinances.

Given the cold months that we are in the midst of, it is imperative that we develop a comprehensive housing plan for those who currently lack access to affordable housing in our community. Suspending the Denver Urban Camping Ban and related local policies and ordinances until May of 2017 will allow time to develop a strategic housing plan that more closely fits the diverse needs of our community members experiencing homelessness. In addition, the time will allow those currently experiencing homelessness to take the necessary means to survive these cold winter months without fear of engagement by law enforcement and the subsequent penalty.

A 2014 study conducted by the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law found that $750,000 was spent on the enforcement of codes that punish the survival activities of those who are living on the streets. These are dollars that could have been better spent on the creation of permanent housing and alternative housing solutions, such as tiny home villages, to meet the needs of our fellow community members experiencing homelessness. The experience of homelessness is a complicated one, and making it a crime does not address the underlying social and economic justice issues, which include the rising cost of living in Denver, the lack of a living wage, and the many barriers associated with renting and owning a home.

We propose a suspension of the Denver Urban Camping Ban along with the suggestion that faith-based communities, and other organizations, who wish to set up temporary housing be supported in these endeavors. We also request your support in working with our coalition in finding solutions to the experience of homelessness in Denver - Neighbors Overcoming Poverty and Homelessness (NOPH) and Alternative Solutions Advocacy Project (ASAP), who are working together to find solutions to the experience of homelessness in Denver.


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