Homeless Numbers Rising in Denver
Denver's federal money for the homeless has dried up, as has grant money. In 2005, then Mayor John Hickenlooper introduced Denver's Road Home project, to help the homeless find shelter and programs addressing drug addiction, alcoholism and mental illness, believed to contribute to homelessness.
But we have more homeless than ever -- more than 11,000 in downtown Denver. Many like to sleep on the 16th st Mall where it's well-lit and police are usually nearby. There's no law preventing sleeping on the street.
Now, with the increased numbers of homeless persons. the shelters are full, the temporary house is full, and the social programs have waiting lists.
Enacting laws preventing people from sleeping in the street just criminalizes homelessness. A much better approach is one suggested in the article;
The solution...is to get people into housing, help them find jobs and get them assistance with their underlying health issues.
Sure, there's a shortage of money for federal grants, but when I see what the Feds choose to spend it on, I'm appalled that they leave these vulnerable victims out in the cold (pun intended.)
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