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Homeless Camps Cleaned Up As Homeless Assistance Tax Idea Floated

DENVER (CBS4) - Under a federal court settlement and the appeal of an urban camping ban ticket dismissal, the city of Denver performed another homeless encampment cleanup Wednesday.

There were three locations around 22nd and Stout Streets.

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(credit: CBS)

After giving a week's notice the city of Denver once again moved in to clean up. An area resident named David was at his home.

"First they'll do one side, then the other side. That night they are back."

This had been what the city deemed a "large scale encumbrance."

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(credit: CBS)

Earlier this week Mayor Michael Hancock emphasized they are not just kicking the homeless out.

"We don't move them along without saying where. We have recommendations, we have beds. On any given night we can tell you how many empty beds we have in our shelters, how many vouchers," he told CBS4's Rick Sallinger.

But many don't want shelters. After the recent cleanup by the capitol, CBS4 found a new
tent city come and go by the Art Museum.

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(credit: CBS)

The mayor says the idea of a designated area in another location with services is not the answer.

"Encampments are not the answer. An encampment doesn't solve the homeless problem at all. We are going to continue to focus on solving homelessness with shelter and services, while not allowing encampments to occur in our city."

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Michael Hancock (credit: CBS)

And now there is talk of a possible ballot measure to increase taxes to aid the homeless. The Denver Mayor's office says it cannot comment because it has not seen the details.

"I think it would be terrific," one homeless man said about the tax.

On Monday tents were set up by the central library with signs that read "if not here then where?"

Tickets were given out for violating the urban camping ban. The organizers agreed to remove the tents for the remainder of the week in exchange for housing vouchers.

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