Encampments arrange by individuals experiencing homelessness round Denver’s Capitol Hill and the governor’s mansion seem to have grown in current weeks, and on Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis mentioned he would welcome their elimination from state property.
At a information convention, Polis was requested about injury to the state Capitol and encampments displaying indicators for Black Lives Matter and in opposition to police. He mentioned the nuanced challenge is completely different than legal injury to property, however that state property in Denver is topic to the town’s guidelines about tenting.
Polis wasn’t clear on the specifics of Denver’s insurance policies, saying he doesn’t observe Denver politics, however that he’s urged the mayor and Metropolis Council to behave for weeks.
“They’re welcome to come back onto our property and take away tents,” Polis mentioned, including that legislation enforcement shouldn’t be solely welcome however inspired to take action.
Denver has an city tenting ban in place, nevertheless it’s nonetheless being argued within the courts. Metropolis officers consider the ban is authorized, so they’re persevering with to implement it via controversial “cleanups,” extra generally referred to as sweeps.
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However with the coronavirus pandemic and proposals from the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, the town has needed to take extra precautions earlier than breaking apart any camp websites, mentioned Mike Strott, spokesman for Hancock.
Strott mentioned metropolis officers have been in conversations with Polis and have provided to transient him on their plans, together with establishing sanctioned out of doors areas the place individuals can go as a substitute. The primary is deliberate for August.
Within the meantime, he mentioned, the town is making an attempt to attach individuals experiencing homelessness with companies they want and entry to elevated shelter area or different short-term choices.
Polis’s feedback drew some criticism on social media from activists, together with those that identified he didn’t lengthen a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures throughout an economically tough time for many individuals.
Denver Submit reporter Conrad Swanson contributed to this story.