Safe outdoor camping site offered at Five Points no more

DENVER – In a rapid turn of events, Mayor Hancock has decided to take a safe outdoor camping site for the homeless off the table.

The proposed site would have been in the Five Points neighborhood, near the Blair Caldwell Library, off of Welton and 24th Street.

The mayor withdrew his proposal Tuesday evening ahead of the scheduled community meetings, saying in part that “there are potentially better sites, with fewer legal and practical hurdles.”

For city councilor Candi CdeBaca, who represents District 9 – which includes the Five Points neighborhood – this shows that the mayor is not serious about finding and finalizing a location.

“The concept is being sabotaged by our mayor. He has never supported this concept and we can say very clearly now that his feigned interest in it is not real,” CdeBaca said.

The city councilor said the Five Points site was a solid choice as it would have merged the surrounding camps in the immediate area into one that could be managed.

“An effort to contain an encampment or to alleviate the things that people don’t like about existing campsites is step number one. Remember that the people who pushed us to do better on (Initiative) 300, the people who pushed the camping ban, are now also the people who resist solutions to the things we all complain about every day ” , said CdeBaca.

The advisor refers to the Downtown Denver Partnership.

When Denver7 contacted the partnership, they said it was the Five Points Business Improvement District that raised concerns about the proposed campground.

A spokesperson for the Five Points Business Improvement District told Denver7 that no legal action has been threatened by their board of directors in the city. Their lawyer submitted a registration request to gain more transparency on the selection process.

“We have now gone through two sites in public but around a hundred sites in the background that it has just crushed”, specifies CdeBaca.

The city of Denver has said it is seriously considering finding a new location for the first safe outdoor camping site.

Sally J. Minick