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Centennial may become the next Colorado city to prohibit urban camping as council mulls ban

Public hearing scheduled Monday night
Posted at 11:39 PM, Jul 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 16:29:03-04

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Centennial may become the next Colorado city to ban urban camping.

The city council will hold a public hearing Monday night on a proposal to give law enforcement authority to tell homeless people setting up tents on public property to "move along."

There aren't many tents in that Denver suburb, but a few have been spotted along trails, creeks and canals.

"I feel bad for anybody that's homeless, but when it comes down to it, I have to think about my son," said Centennial resident Tamara Danner.

Danner told Denver7 she supports the proposed ban.

"I have a 9-year old boy, and there are needles; there is alcohol; there are bottles all over," she said. "I don't want that around my son."

Her daughter, Kimmi Ostby, feels the same way.

"My son picked up a shooter bottle the other day, and I freaked out because I didn't know whose lips had been on there," Ostby said.

Osby told Denver7 she feels sympathetic toward the homeless.

"I don't have anything personal against them," she said. "I just don't want them camping in the same area that my son plays in."

"What do they expect us to do?" asked one man who lives in his car.

The homeless man declined to give his name but said he opposes the proposed camping ban.

"I hope they don't look at all homeless people the same because we're not all the same," he said. "Many of us don't use drugs."

He told Denver7 that he'd like to see police concentrate on law-breakers -- people fighting, stealing and doing drugs -- and leave people sleeping in cars or tents, who are not breaking the law, alone.

In May, Denver voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposal that would have given homeless people the "right to rest" in spite of the Mile High City's camping ban.

As Denver enforces it's camping ban, nearby communities have seen an increase in homeless campers.

When Englewood Police conducted a sweep along the South Platte River in early June, many of the homeless packed up and moved elsewhere.

Some moved to Centennial.