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'My rolling palace': Colorado resident describes living out of RV on city streets

Alice Kelly hopes to afford an apartment one day
Family in RV.png
Posted at 5:47 PM, Nov 23, 2021

DENVER — Alice Kelly lovingly refers to her 1984 Winnebago as the "rolling palace." It's more than an RV — it's her home.

Kelly and her wife have been living in the RV for more than two years. She said she still hopes to be able to afford an apartment one day, but it's just too expensive and she's trying to work on her credit score.

"We don’t have any way to pay rent and, believe it or not, living in one of them things is just as costly as paying rent or almost close to it. We pay $600 to $800 a month just to keep it warm and have electricity," Kelly said.

Kelly reached out to Contact Denver7 after seeing a recent story where residents complained about RVs that had been parked on city streets for weeks, which is against Denver ordinance. Kelly said she wanted to offer another perspective and invited Denver7 to tour her home.

"We try not to be a nuisance to society," Kelly said. "Most people are just out here trying to make a living like anybody else."

She said the RV feels like the best option for her. Kelly has avoided shelters after she said she was stabbed outside. She said she would rather sleep in a tent than go back.

"Sometimes you got an RV if you’re really lucky," Kelly said.

Officials with the City of Denver say they have noticed an uptick in RVs being parked on public streets, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Housing Stability is currently exploring a safe parking program. The pilot program is expected to get off the ground in early 2022, and the city is working with local partners to make it happen.

"There’s a local nonprofit partner that operates throughout the entire metro region called Safe Parking Initiative and the model is really to provide some limited staffing, a place where you can use the restroom and get a meal," said Angie Nelson, Director of Housing Stability and Homeless Resolution.

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