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Denver City Council clears paths for homeless shelters in Lincoln Park



Denver City Council clears paths for homeless shelters in Lincoln Park

The Denver City Council on Monday, local nonprofit Haven of Hope gave the green light to turn an industrial building in the Lincoln Park neighborhood into a homeless shelter with eight to 12 beds for people in a recovery program.

The approval came despite eighteen emailed comments opposing the zoning change, largely focused on concerns about the potential impact the facility could have on crime rates, public drug use, trash and property damage in a neighborhood that has recently struggled with problems related to a large number of homeless people. encampment.

City officials swept the encampment — located at the intersection of West Eighth Avenue and Navajo Street — last month, in part because of three overdose deaths and multiple felony arrests that occurred there.

City Council President Jamie Torres, who represents the city’s District 3, where that encampment and future shelter are located, said the concerns raised in the opposition letter are largely a reflection of the city’s inability to adequately address the homelessness crisis.

The city also received 28 comments in support of the zoning change. No one opposed to the shelter spoke at Monday’s meeting.

“These are the symptoms when people don’t have access to bathrooms, don’t have access to places to get water, to find food,” Torres said before joining her colleagues in a unanimous vote to support the zoning change. “And the crisis facing the city is exactly why Haven of Hope wants to do what they can, little by little, to meet the recovery needs of the people on our streets.”

According to the city planning department, the property at 700 N. Mariposa St. is already zoned for larger homeless shelters, with 41 guests or more.