Funding for microcommunities in Denver

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    Funding for microcommunities in Denver Alexis Kenyon

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Denver City Council Microcommunity Spending

The Denver City Council has approved two contracts worth millions of dollars, for the operation of a pair of micro-communities for unhoused people.

One of the contracts is for Colorado Village Collaborative, which will run a micro-community near Evans and Santa Fe in southwest Denver. There will be sixty units at that location.

The other is for The Gathering Place. They’ll operate a 44-unit micro-community downtown, providing transitional housing for women, transgender, and non-binary people.

Ground has already been broken on these two micro-communities, and a third, which has already secured funding. In addition to small shelter units, each location features community buildings, and kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities. The micro-communities will be monitored around the clock, every day.

They’ll be populated by people from encampments the city intends to close.

In all, the newly approved contracts provide nearly $6 million to the non-profits operating the micro-communities, according to published reports.

It’s all part of Mayor Mike Johnston’s push to shelter a thousand unhoused people by the end of this year. The strategy also includes moving unhoused people to hotels converted into shelters.

 

Denver Migrant Dropoff

Denver officials, meanwhile, are criticizing the State of Texas, after another busload of migrants was dropped off in the city – this time, at the Colorado state Capitol. 

These types of bus drop-offs from Texas are not unusual but the location, Colorado’s State capital, is.

Jon Ewing, spokesperson for Denver Human Services calls the unannounced drop off vehicles “Ghost Buses” because no one knows anything about the people inside or what they may need.

It has been nearly a year since 100 immigrants were dropped off at Denver’s Union Station putting the city into a humanitarian crisis.

Denver has now received nearly 30,000 immigrants. Many are from South and Central America, particularly Venezuela.

Denver is just one of many interior cities across the US where Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has increasingly started to send busloads of detained immigrants..  

 

Funeral Home To Be Demolished

The owners of the Return to Nature Funeral Home near Colorado Springs are due back in court today.

Jon and Carie Hallford are facing over 200 preliminary counts stemming from their operation of the facility. They’re being held in the El Paso County jail on a $2 million bond each.

190 decomposing bodies were found at the funeral home in October.

The funeral home came under investigation after reports of an unpleasant smell coming from the property. The Fremont Sheriff’s Office discovered the bodies, many of them unidentified, and suspected false funeral records.

Federal authorities have ordered that the funeral home be demolished. The Environmental Protection Agency says demolition is necessary to ensure biological and hazardous materials are completely removed.

The demolition is expected in January. The EPA will release further demolition details once they’re finalized.

 

Colorado Uninsured Rate At Record Low

The number of people without health insurance in Colorado has reached a record low, according to a new report.

A survey by the Colorado Health Institute says the state’s uninsured rate fell to 4.6% percent in 2023. It’s been around 6.5% since 2015.

But the group said while it’s the lowest level since their surveys began, the numbers do not reflect the end of the public health emergency that led to millions of people nationwide being dropped from Medicaid rolls. That’s about 300,000 people in Colorado. The state says those people are gradually having their Medicaid renewed.

 

Bob Yates Named Museum of Boulder Interim Executive Director

Former mayoral candidate Bob Yates is now the interim executive director of the Museum of Boulder.

The Daily Camera says the museum’s board of trustees offered Yates the position after the November election and he accepted, saying he was looking for another way to serve the city. 

Yates assumed the post yesterday. He told the Camera that his priority is to make sure the museum is financially secure, beyond his time as interim executive director.

 

14th Amendment Appeal

The State Supreme Court this week will hear an appeal of a District Court ruling that rejected a bid to keep Donald Trump off of the 2024 ballot in Colorado.

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the former president’s eligibility to hold office argued that his role in the January 6 insurrection violated his oath to uphold the constitution. Judge Sarah B. Wallace rejected their suit.

Colorado Newsline reports that attorneys general from more than a dozen Republican-controlled states have filed briefs in support of Trump, who is the front runner for the Republican nomination. 

Trump is also facing 91 felony counts across two state courts and two different federal districts. He also faces a civil suit in New York for business fraud.

Oral arguments in the Colorado Supreme Court in Denver are scheduled for tomorrow at 1pm.

 

Colorado Camping Fees

Beginning with the New Year, camping and boating fees will go up at two popular parks in Colorado.

Federal officials say the campground fees at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Curecanti National Recreation Area, have been unchanged since 2016. It’s been even longer for boating fees.

As of January 1st, it will cost twenty dollars a night to stay at Black Canyon’s North Rim campground, and at loops A and C in the South Rim campground.

At Curecanti, overnight camping will also go up to twenty dollars at its Stevens Creek, Ponderosa, Dry Gulch, Red Creek, and East Portal campgrounds. It will go to $24 a night at its Elk Creek, Lake Fork, and Cimarron campgrounds.

Seasonal boating permits at both parks will rise to forty dollars, with seven day passes going up to twenty dollars.

 

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Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon is an experienced radio reporter with more than 15 years of experience creating compelling, sound-rich radio stories for news outlets across the country. Kenyon has master's degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism in radio broadcast and photojournalism. She has worked in KGNU's news department since 2021 as a reporter, editor, and daily news producer. In all her work, she strives to produce thought-provoking, trustworthy journalism that makes other people's stories feel personal. In addition to audio production, Kenyon runs KGNU's news internship program and oversees the department's digital engagement.
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