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Neighbors react to mock homeless camp on display in North Cap Hill

Posted at 5:04 PM, Oct 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-03 19:30:44-04

DENVER -- Residents living in the city's North Capitol Hill neighborhood are reacting to a mock homeless camp on display in a church parking lot at East 16th Avenue and North Ogden Street.

On Friday, the Colorado Village Collaborative, Interfaith Alliance and Belong Church joined together to setup a mock managed camp to demonstrate what the program is all about. They are hosting an open house through the weekend.

Colorado Village Collaborative and the city have been trying for months to secure a location for a managed homeless camp.

Last month, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced that the area between the Caldwell Library and Sonny Lawson park was being considered as a location for a Safe Open Space managed camp. But some neighborhood residents scuttled that plan before any public hearings were held.

“I think the resistance came from a lot of folks not understanding what it was,” said Denver resident Gerald Horner.

And that's why they're trying to show the community what they are.

“It’s a visual; it’s an educational tool to let the public have a better understanding of what the idea is,” said Horner.

Horner lives near where the second location was supposed to be. He welcomes the idea of managed homeless camps in his neighborhood. But not everyone is on board.

“I don't want to be by a camp period,” said Denver resident Renee Roszczewski. “I haven't seen needles, but there's a lot of trash.”

The camps will be supervised with people to help with mental health and substance abuse issues. But it's still tough for Roszczewski to get on board

"I don't know what kind of supervision they're looking at,” she said.