Homeless find shelter in vacant Denver houses slated for redevelopment

Neighbors complain properties are a constant worry
Posted at 9:42 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 17:00:26-05

DENVER -- A heater and mattress sit in a vacant garage that still has electricity. The property was being boarded up yet again after neighbors reported a homeless man returned, so desperate to get in he may have entered through a hole in the roof. 

The house near East Colfax and Quebec has been a problem now for about two years, according to residents. It is just one of several vacant homes across the city where homeless people have been living at one point in time. 

"I was just getting ready to leave for work and I just saw a homeless guy walking up the street pushing a shopping cart and I noticed that he went in between the houses into the backyard," said resident John Skolnick.

Skolnick has called the police at least three times. Denver7 requested the 911 records for the property and found 13 calls over the past year.

"We want to get the calls so we can go make sure that there's not something going on there that's not safe for the community," said Sonny Jackson, a Denver Police Department Spokesperson.

Neighbors worry about illegal activity that may be happening inside, too.

"When you’ve got a vacant house like that and you see things going on you know it makes you kind of nervous," said Skolnick.

The house across town by resident Veronia Myers hasn't been vacant for quite as long, but it didn't take people long to find out about it. She has called police several times about the home near West Colfax and Sheridan.

“I have seen at least five to six different folks being kicked out of there at various times," said Myers.

Myers didn't realize anyone was living there until she took her dog out one morning and saw police at the house.

"I saw all these folks coming out with carts, shopping carts and bags it was like they had literally moved in there," said Myers.


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