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Human waste, used needles pile up outside Denver homes

'Our Colorado' explores growing problem in CapHill
Posted at 5:16 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 20:48:44-04

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DENVER — Used needles and human waste behind several Denver homes in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood is becoming a big problem.

Denver Department of Public Health and Environment tells Denver7 that in the last three months they've had 23 complaints of people finding waste outside their homes. 

A spokesperson with the health department says they typically see a rise in calls during warmer weather. 

Denver police say it's against city ordinance to defecate in public and offenders could be arrested for indecent exposure.

But Colorado Coalition for the Homeless says it's no surprise residents are seeing more people in alleys, parks, and under bridges. 

The group says there aren't adequate shelters to meet the needs of the estimated 11,000 homeless people, many of which coalition officials say have been forced onto the streets due to rising rent and property taxes.

Department of Public Health and Environment says it strongly advises against people picking up waste and asks residents to contact the city’s 3-1-1 line for cleanup requests.

Denver police have a homeless outreach team working on connecting with homeless individuals on Capitol Hill to help them find appropriate resources.