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Park Hill Residents Cautious About Safe Outdoor Space For Homeless During Public Meeting

DENVER (CBS4) - Residents of Denver's Park Hill joined a virtual information meeting Monday night to get more information on the safe outdoor space for the homeless coming to the neighborhood. That included Mike Deatly, who has lived in Park Hill with his wife for five years.

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"We're all for helping people out, but at the same time it feels like the decision was made rather abruptly," Deatly told CBS4's Andrea Flores. "We want to educate ourselves and understand the full picture before we make any rash decisions or jump to conclusions, but our gut reaction is we don't know what we're getting into."

Colorado Village Collaborative will run the site in a parking lot behind Park Hill United Methodist Church. Executive Director Cole Chandler understands there are concerns and is working to make sure Park Hill residents feel safe.

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"We've made commitments to not permit violent offenders or sexual offenders. We have created a strong prohibition of drugs and alcohol on this site," Chandler explained during the virtual meeting. "We're also looking at various security measures and ways to mitigate our activity throughout the neighborhood."

Park Hill United Methodist Church Lead Pastor Nathan Adams says the church wants to lead by example.

"We see this as an extension of the work that God is calling us to love our neighbors, and specifically to love our most vulnerable neighbors, in this case those that are experiencing homelessness," Rev. Adams said during the call.

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While some residents in Park Hill are worried, Deatly wants to make sure neighborhood safety is a top priority.

"We do have open arms in this community, but that comes with the understanding that we're involved in decision making," he said.

Colorado Village Collaborative and Park Hill United Methodist Church will host an open house at the current safe outdoor space at Denver Community Church for Park Hill residents on May 1 from 10-11:30 a.m.

They also have two virtual community information meetings planned for:

  • May 13 from 7-8:30 p.m.
  • May 15th from 10-11:30 a.m.

RELATED: 'Homeless Mike' Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman Goes Undercover To Live On The Streets, Sleep On Denver Area Sidewalks With The Homeless

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