HOMELESSNESS IS BECOMING A HOT BUTTON ISSUE IN DENVER. DATA SAYS THE NUMBER OF UNSHELTERED PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS IN DENVER HAS NEARLY TRIPLED SINCE 2014. ON TOP OF THAT... THE CITY IS DOING CLEAN-UPS AND SWEEPS OF HOMELESS CAMPS THAT CRITICS SAY ARE DUE MOSTLY TO THE UPCOMING MLB ALL-STAR GAME. THE CITY SAYS THE GAME HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.
WE'RE LOOKING AT THE CHALLENGES PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS FACE EVERY DAY... WITH DENVER RESCUE MISSION PRESIDENT AND CEO BRAD MEULI.
***NOTE: DENVER RESCUE MISSION IS NOT INVOLVED WITH THE HOMELESS CAMP SWEEPS AND BRAD CANNOT COMMENT DIRECTLY ON THE CLEANUPS***
--The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development conducts annual Point-In-Time counts of homeless persons. The counts tally both sheltered and unsheltered homeless people on a single night in January. Cities and towns across the county take part in the largely volunteer-driven event.
--There were 6,104 homeless people in 2020 – the highest number since 2014.
--Homeless advocates suggest the city is trying to sweep its homeless issue under the rug and present a sanitized version of Denver to the out-of-towners sure to flock to Coors Field for the MLB All-Star Game.
-- City officials say the game has nothing to do with it – street side homeless encampments have simply reached critical points of garbage and waste pileup and need to be shifted.