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Denver to conduct several more homeless encampment sweeps this month

Two micro-community sites expected to open this month being delayed to January
City of Denver encampment sweep.jpg
Posted at 5:45 PM, Dec 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-12 22:40:52-05

DENVER — The city’s efforts to meet the mayor’s goal of housing one thousand people are kicking into high gear.

The city plans to close several more homeless encampments over the next two to three weeks and will begin tracking the “long-term” outcomes of moving people indoors.

But two micro-communities won’t open as expected by the end of the year.

The mayor’s senior homelessness advisor, Cole Chandler, says instead of December they now project those sites won’t open until January.

“The critical path there is the Satellite community centers that were approved by council this last week, just getting those delivered is going to take us a little bit longer,” said Chandler. “And so, they’re not on track to open before the 31st.”

The city council approved the purchase of up to 14 Satellite community centers for $4.2 million last week. The community centers will house administrative offices and be used for case management meetings, meals, socializing, and laundry.

While the city never provided a specific date the sites were supposed to be ready for move-in, the groups the city selected to run the sites said they were told to "be ready" by December 15.

Chandler says the third micro-community site, in the parking lot of the Stay Inn near I-70 and Peoria, will open on December 31st.

Chandler provided the city council with a detailed update Tuesday on the city’s plans and the work it plans to do over the next three weeks.

He says the city will continue closing encampments and moving people into hotels.

He said the city has closed or is in the process of closing four encampments.

Denver to conduct several more homeless encampment sweeps this month

He anticipates the closure of at least 7 more encampments by the end of the month.

“By the end of the month, we expect to have resolved as many as 12 total encampments and have brought more than 1,000 people indoors through these efforts,” Chandler said.

Chandler says the city's dashboard, which some have criticized for its lack of information, will also be updated later this week.

He says the new dashboard will track long-term outcomes.

“So, of the people that have moved in, how many are still indoors at 30 days? How many are still indoors at various touchpoints? And then when people are leaving, where are they going? Are they going to permanent housing? Are they going back to the streets, all that sort of thing,” said Chandler.

Despite the delayed opening of two of the micro-communities, city officials remain confident they will meet the mayor's goal of getting 1,000 people off the streets by the end of the year.

City officials say 90% of the people they have approached have accepted their housing offer.

They said they will continue working with the other 10% over the next few weeks.

As of Tuesday, the city's dashboard shows 584 people have been moved inside.

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