The рrороsed hоmeless саmр in the сhurсh раrking lоt resоlves the оngоing Denver аreа

"Indeed, I can invite people in the community who feel, 'My neighbor is not the right place for this,' to reconsider

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source: https://ibb.co/1bhCG9D

The plan to help the homeless during the epidemic by allowing them to set up camp in a church car park has forced residents in a wealthy area to question their ongoing values ​​and commitment to reducing social ills.

Lawyers say illiterate people are lagging behind in efforts to reduce Covid-19, so they set up a program to provide safe outdoor areas where homeless people can access food, medical care and other services.

But when Pastor Nathan Adams of Park Hill United Methodist Church announced on Easter Sunday that it would put faith and work and camp on the site of about 40 uneducated people for six months, many residents in the community were unstable.

Pastor Nathan Adams of Park Hill United Methodist Church in Denver.Vicky Collins / of NBC News

"When I shopped at Park Hill, it wasn't that there was a single homeless camp that was far from my front door," said Jon Kinning, who lives far from the congregation. "If I wanted to live in the city of Denver and I was close to homelessness every day, when people slept on my balcony or went to the bathroom in my garage, I would stay in town."

About 4/2 miles from downtown, Park Hill is lined with lush vegetation, beautiful brick houses and cozy bungalows. Black Lives Matter signs adorn the grass in the most white area around the church, and in the 2020 election, about 67 percent of Park Hill voters voted for Joe Biden.

"It's a neighborhood where kids are used to being comfortable," said Stephen Booth-Nadav, who has lived across the street for 20 years. "In the summer, children play in the streets, play in the parking lot, and walk the streets, playing with their dogs."

The children sell lemonade in the Park Hill area of ​​Denver. Vicky Collins / of NBC News

When church members arrived at the Colorado Village Collaborative about converting lots into a safe outdoor area, Adams and 400 other people on the information line were supportive. Two such camps were already open in December near the Capitol city without major problems.

"We see this as an extension of the work God has called us to do, to love our neighbors but especially to love our neighbors who are in great danger," Adams said recently. "In this case, those facing homelessness."

Despite calls for action, five Park Hill residents filed a lawsuit earlier this month in the Denver Regional Court to suspend the camp and sought a temporary injunction restraining the project from proceeding.

They told the court that the proposal "poses a real threat to young children and school-going children," not to address the negative impact on the area and to evacuate people from one part of the city "with resources to an unsafe area to" secure tent space ".

The case was dismissed by a court on Wednesday, and the Colorado Village Collaborative is set to reopen the camp on June 14 after obtaining a city permit.

Cole Chandler, general manager of the agreement, which has created small shelters for the homeless in Denver, said more people are sleeping outside than in emergency rooms to avoid catching Covid-19, have more freedom and avoid becoming victims of crime in crowded spaces.

Cole Chandler, executive director of the Colorado Village Collaborative in Denver. Vicky Collins / of NBC News

"We are seeing some of the largest homelessness figures we have seen since the Great Recession," Chandler said recently. "And there are not enough places for people to go. We need solutions like these that want to reduce injuries, we want to reduce the impacts on nearby areas and, most importantly, seek to provide services and connect long-term housing to people on the streets."

A point-in-time survey conducted in January 2020 by the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative found 4,171 people living on the streets of the city and center. The city's shelters can accommodate about half of many per night. The results of this year's survey have not yet been released, but experts expect the number to grow.

Daniel Brisson, executive director of the Center for Housing and Homelessness Research at the University of Denver, said new features such as the parking lot camp are key to reducing the problem.

"There are not enough beds in the current shelter system to meet all the needs, so we need different solutions for different homeless people," he said.

However Booth-Nadav's daughter, Ariella Nadav, 18, said she would fear for her safety if she came home from work late at night and had to park on the road.

Denver resident Ariella Nadav. Sincerely Stephen Booth

"I don't want to go into my house every summer night and fear for my life, not only my health, but also my well-being," he said. "I don't want to face sexual harassment every day."

No violent or sexually active people were allowed in the camps, Cole said. But the population includes people who have been on the streets for many years and are addicted.

"We do not exclude homeless people. Our area is currently home to about 40% of the homeless and 60% homeless," he said. "We do not allow drugs or substances in this area. But this is a way to reduce harm. And we have people living with addiction that are part of this community."

On a recent trip to one of the camps in partnership with the city, drug trafficking could be seen across the street near an abandoned dinner.

Cole Chandler, executive director of the Colorado Village Collaborative in Denver. Vicky Collins / of NBC News

"We are seeing some of the largest homelessness figures we have seen since the Great Recession," Chandler said recently. "And there are not enough places for people to go. We need solutions like these that want to reduce injuries, we want to reduce the impacts on nearby areas and, most importantly, seek to provide services and connect long-term housing to people on the streets."

A point-in-time survey conducted in January 2020 by the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative found 4,171 people living on the streets of the city and center. The city's shelters can accommodate about half of many per night. The results of this year's survey have not yet been released, but experts expect the number to grow.

Daniel Brisson, executive director of the Center for Housing and Homelessness Research at the University of Denver, said new features such as the parking lot camp are key to reducing the problem.

"There are not enough beds in the current shelter system to meet all the needs, so we need different solutions for different homeless people," he said.

However Booth-Nadav's daughter, Ariella Nadav, 18, said she would fear for her safety if she came home from work late at night and had to park on the road.

Denver resident Ariella Nadav. Sincerely Stephen Booth

"I don't want to go into my house every summer night and fear for my life, not only my health, but also my well-being," he said. "I don't want to face sexual harassment every day."

No violent or sexually active people were allowed in the camps, Cole said. But the population includes people who have been on the streets for many years and are addicted.

"We do not exclude homeless people. Our area is currently home to about 40% of the homeless and 60% homeless," he said. "We do not allow drugs or substances in this area. But this is a way to reduce harm. And we have people living with addiction that are part of this community."

On a recent trip to one of the camps in partnership with the city, drug trafficking could be seen across the street near an abandoned dinner.

Cole has been showing Park Hill residents to help alleviate their worries about what the camp will look like in their area. The colorful exterior walls kept the camp secret, with bright red tents fitted with fans and heaters lined up in rows. Portable showers and toilets are set up nearby, as well as hand washing stations and trash cans.

The stadiums were clean, security guards and volunteers were on duty on 24/7. Cole said no one in the Capitol Hill camp had been diagnosed with Covid-19, and 32 of the 36 residents had been vaccinated.

Mark Montes, better known as "Shorty," in the Denver homeless refugee camp. Vicky Collins / of NBC News

Mark Montes, known as “Shorty,” helped himself by drinking coffee inside a tent that had drinks and snacks.

"I have been homeless for 11 years on the streets," he said. "If it weren't for them, I would still be on the street drinking and not even getting a job or anything."

One resident, who identified himself as Max, wore a yellow sun hat, a very open hat, and a flat as he sat under a tent with his camp neighbors and a dog named Muttley.

Max, a homeless man, camp in Denver Vicky Collins / of NBC News

"I'm gay and my family doesn't agree," Max says, adding that he feels safer in the camp than in a shelter or on the streets. "Awakening, being kicked in the head by a police officer is not the best thing."

Even after seeing the Capitol Hill camp, Stephen Booth-Nadav is unsure.

“I read things on Facebook that some of my neighbors in five blocks away say, oh, they’re so happy this is coming to Park Hill,” he said. “I think there are five blocks left, and I can say that. Does my neighbor who is five blocks away understand what I mean when I say that my daughter is afraid to park her car in the house? ”

But Brisson said the type of mind prevents changes in grip.

"Saying 'it shouldn't be me' puts pressure on the underprivileged, the poorest communities in our society," he said. “So I might actually invite people in the community who feel that 'My neighbor is in the wrong place at the wrong time,' to reconsider: Whose place?”