Denver Hiding the Homeless during DNC

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Bailey Cross writes, Is Denver really trying to hide the homeless during the week of the Democratic National Convention?

Is Denver really trying to hide the homeless during the week of the Democratic National Convention? According to many citizens of Colorado, The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless along with the Denver Rescue Mission and a DNC advisory committee dedicated to dealing specifically with issues of the homeless, something is definitely going on. Together the groups plans to hand out free movie tickets, free day passes to many attractions including the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science, and free bus passes out of the city so that the homeless may attend events that are not nearby just in time for the DNC. Along with the entertainment that will be provided, many homeless shelters will open their doors during the day and have more cots available at night.”We don’t hide the homeless – ever….We are excited about the DNC and the opportunity to further educate our community and the nation about the plight of the homeless. [We were] here two years before anyone was talking about the DNC and will be here long after it is gone.” says The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. But many people do not agree that this is a chance to “educate” the homeless as much as a chance to get them out of the city. “Yes! Of course they are trying to hide them!” commented an anonymous officer in Denver. “I have a sister who is a cop in LA. When they held the convention there in 2000, they just shipped them [the homeless] out of the city. They’d do the same thing here to if they could.” While the officer’s opinion was very strong, Linda Wilson had mixed feelings. “I agree with what they are doing, but while they’re at it, why not do it all the time, instead of for just one week? Like Denver doesn’t have any homeless? Please. They just shouldn’t try to hide it.” she said.Jim Felmlee said, “I wouldn’t quite put it as a way to ‘hide the homeless’ as much as a safety precaution for them and for all the people coming to Denver. It definitely is something that should be pursued more constantly, not just during the DNC.”The Great Ventriloquist Nelson Calmacho, a recent immigrant from Puerto Rico, agreed when he said “They are not hiding them because of the fact that they are ashamed of the homeless population, but for the people coming in. With all of the drinking and drugs and pan-handling, it just isn’t as safe with them around all of the time.”Nelson Calmacho’s point was proven when a drunken man came up and grabbed me by the arm begging for money during Calmacho’s interview. As he staggered away, Calmacho said “Men like that could cause some big problems. It’s for the safety of the public.”

8 COMMENTS

  1. Is this the “On the stree…
    Is this the “On the street” interviews you were talking about?

  2. I work with many of homel…
    I work with many of homeless provider’s and they are working very hard to make sure the homeless are treated well during the DNC. Many homeless providers are giving the homeless a chance to engage in the democratic process by holding voter registration drives, offering extended outreach and holding awareness events for visitors. A traveling photo essay called the Faces of Homelessness educates the public about homelessness and shows that it impacts individuals, families and even kids. It’s on display at DIA and will be exhibited during the DNC. In the past three years, Denver has reduced chronic homelessness by 36% and created 1242 units of housing through a 10-year plan to end homelessness that was created by homeless individuals, service providers, police, and representatives from business and neighborhood organizations. To learn more, visit http://www.denversroadhome.org. Posted by Next Gen forJamie GlennonCommunications & MarketingDenver Dept. of Human Services

  3. That’s kind of scary that…
    That’s kind of scary that a man came up and grabbed you by the arm I would be freaked out.

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