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City to sweep encampment in Denver's Five Points neighborhood, move residents into hotel

Denver Housing Initiative
Posted at 4:18 PM, Oct 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-21 15:23:18-05

DENVER — The City of Denver will sweep an encampment at 21st and Curtis streets in Denver's Five Points neighborhood Thursday.

Just last month, the city cleared out a large homeless encampment in Capitol Hill and offered residents the chance to move to a hotel. City officials called the sweep the first public step toward meeting Mayor Mike Johnston’s goal of moving 1,000 people experiencing homelessness into temporary or permanent shelter before the end of the year.

The city currently has 137 people living at a Best Western Hotel in Denver. Staff said residents from the encampment that's swept Thursday will be offered space at the hotel.

City officials expect 50 to 60 new residents at the hotel, bringing the total number of residents to 200.


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Brenda Papp, a current resident at the hotel, called the experience life-changing.

"You can cook, you have your own food. You can take a shower and feel normal," said Papp

Papp's room includes a small kitchen, refrigerator, bathroom and two beds. She said hotel staff also provides the residents with three meals a day.

"Makes you feel like you're at home, it really does. No one can come take your things. No one can threaten you or violate you in any way, and that gives us all a fresh start," Papp added.

The city said current hotel residents consist of a mix of people from encampments, the Rodeway Shelter closure, and Catholic Charities as they begin some construction on their site.

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Papp said she moved to the hotel after living in another shelter. She said journey with homelessness has been difficult over the past few years.

"It's not fun. It's probably the hardest thing you could imagine. This is not a common thing in my life to go through. This is not common for the average person. So being thrown into this environment is like pulling your heart right out of you," Papp said.

Papp said she's enjoying her time at the hotel and is working with a case manager to figure out her next steps.

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