It’s rapidly getting colder on the streets of Colorado, and that means thousands upon thousands of folks living on the streets without shelter are at serious risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and death.
This will be the first winter since Denver Mayor Mike Johnston kickstarted his House1000 Initiative. This is the city’s primary coordinated response to the homelessness crisis. His goal is to house 1,000 unsheltered individuals and permanently close encampments in Denver by the end of 2023. The primary forms of shelter under this plan are micro-communities and converted hotels, and the primary way unhoused folks can get into those types of shelter are through sweeps.
There are growing calls for the City of Denver to do more to protect the unhoused. One of the groups advocating for the unhoused is – Housekeys Action Network Denver, also known by the acronym HAND. They’ve said that the Mayor has broken promises and demand he stop sweeps and provide more housing.
Reporter Jackie Sedley talked with Ana Lilith Gloom, who works with HAND, about efforts to aid unhoused folks during winter.