DENVER — While tent cities are becoming permanent fixtures in the urban jungles of Austin and Los Angeles, Denver has begun to clean up.
The picture below was taken from atop steps of the Colorado State Capitol Tuesday. Had the picture been taken one year ago, tents would have flooded the park across the street now surrounded in fencing as the bright spring grass gives color to the urban landscape. The empty pedestal also would have featured a monument to a Union Civil War soldier that was toppled by leftist demonstrations last summer.
The city cleared the mass encampment by last fall, but the homeless merely moved to adjacent neighborhoods as the city eased enforcement of its pandemic camping ban. Eventually, those campsites were cleared too, and others spotted around the city as of Tuesday appeared vacated.
As the novel coronavirus recedes into the horizon, the city government opted to pursue state-sanctioned tent cities in affluent neighborhoods, much to the frustration of their progressive residents. City Council passed more than $24 million over three resolutions in February for programs addressing homelessness. The Colorado Village Collaborative landed $900,000 from the pot to construct new tent cities to house 100 families, branded as “Safe Outdoor Spaces.”
In May, locals in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood, where two in three voted for Joe Biden in November, sued to keep one such space from launching in their streets. The Denver District Court dismissed the lawsuit days later to pave the way for the tent city to open by June in the parking lot of Park Hill United Methodist Church.
The non-profit also used the funds to open another tent city on a parking lot at Regis University.
Representatives from the Colorado Village Collaborative denied The Federalist’s request for a tour or interview. Homeless camping proliferates far beyond downtown Denver.
Nearby Mayor Pursues Camping Ban
At the turn of the new year, Aurora Mayor and former Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman spent seven nights on the streets between Denver and the state capital’s largest suburb, home to more than 350,000 residents,
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