While Mayor Mike Johnston says addressing homelessness is, a Denver businessman says he's had it with the homeless going number two wherever they want. In what he calls an act of civil disobedience, Jon Caldara dumped human poop that he found outside his business on the steps of the Denver City and County Building on Monday.
"This is a present from the homeless to the people who have kept this homeless problem going," he said.
President of the Independence Institute -- a think tank in downtown Denver -- Caldara says he's tired of the homeless using his private property as their public restroom.
He says at least twice a week security cameras catch a homeless person defecating outside his business or worse.
"We have to clean up vomit and urine and syringes and used condoms and feces. We didn't cause the homeless problem in Denver but we have clean up after it," Caldara said.
Caldara says he's tried appealing to police and Johnston to no avail. The answer he says isn't tiny homes, it's jail cells.
"This is a not an affordable housing crisis. This is a drug crisis, this is a mental health crisis, and this is a crisis of law. That these people who need help will never get help if they are not brought to jail where they are forced to get some help."
While Caldara isn't the first person to poohpooh the work of city leaders, he may well be the first to leave poo on the steps of city hall, but he hopes he's not the last.
In the meantime he says he'll continue to dump on city hall and urged other Denverites to do the same.
"Next time you clean it up, drop it off here. Drop it off at city hall as an act civil disobedience to ask them, to demand of them -- to address the problem."
As Caldara dumped human excrement on the steps of city hall, city workers. For the first time, they offered housing ahead of the move.
A spokesperson for Johnston released a statement saying, "Today's a big day. It's move-in day for around 70 people living in an encampment to a place they can call home as part of our homelessness initiative. The city has provided trash pickup for many encampments across the city to support both the residents living in the encampment as well as those who use those public spaces. Mayor Johnston is focused on actions that promote true change and the milestone of move-in day indicates we're on our way to reaching our goal to house 1,000 unsheltered individuals by the end of 2023."
The city is hosting several town halls this week so neighbors can weigh in on possible locations for Johnston's planned tiny home villages. Meanwhile, city council is considering how to allocate more than $27 million for homeless initiatives including youth homelessness, affordable housing and converting hotels to housing and converting hotels to housing.
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