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Homeless, advocates call for end to sweeps at Denver City Council; city adds 100+ shelter beds

Posted: 8:10 PM, Dec 05, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-06 05:29:39Z

DENVER – Homeless people and advocates gathered at the Denver City Council meeting Monday night to share their experiences on the city’s streets and oppose the city’s camping ban on the same day the city said it was adding 100 spaces at the men’s emergency shelter.

The push at city hall comes amid a series of sweeps at popular Denver homeless camps in recent weeks that the homeless and their proponents have called “an extreme escalation of force.”

Last week, several homeless people spent the night in front of the mayor’s office after they were moved from their prior camp.

The city bans camping in the city, which has resulted in complaints from homeless advocates that the city is targeting people living on the streets.

As Arctic weather moves into Denver Monday night, advocates are worried that people having to live outside will suffer hypothermia or even die because of the cold weather.

“With this level of camping ban enforcement we are likely to have many more homeless people die this winter,” advocate group Denver Homeless Out Loud said in a news release announcing the plan to protest and speak at Monday’s council meeting.

Their push comes on the same day the city announced it was partnering with Denver Rescue Mission to add at least 100 beds at the men’s emergency shelter because of the Arctic front.

The city said there was “no finite end date anticipated” for the additional beds.

More information on winter shelters can be found here.

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