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Proposed homeless camp in church parking lot unsettles progressive Denver neighborhood


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SOURCE: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/proposed-homeless-camp-church-parking-lot-unsettles-progressive-denver-neighborhood-n1267181
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SectionsTVFeaturedMore from NBC Follow NBC News DENVER — A plan to help homeless people during the pandemic by letting them set up camp in a church parking lot has forced residents in an affluent neighborhood to question their progressive values and commitment to helping ease social ills.Advocates said unsheltered people were being left behind in Covid-19 mitigation efforts, so they devised a plan to provide safe outdoor spaces where homeless people could access meals, 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 into action and create a camp on site for about 40 unsheltered people for six months, many residents in the community were unsettled.“When I bought in Park Hill, it wasn't because there was a homeless encampment one block from my front door,” said Jon Kinning, who lives a block away from the church. "In this case, those that are experiencing homelessness."Despite the call to action, five Park Hill residents filed a lawsuit earlier this month in Denver District Court to stop the encampment and sought a temporary restraining order to prevent the project from moving forward.They said in the lawsuit that the proposal "pose[s] a real danger to minors and school-aged children," does not address the impact on the neighborhood and displaces people from one part of the city "with available resources to an area not equipped to handle" the safe-camping site.The lawsuit was dismissed by the court Wednesday, and the Colorado Village Collaborative is on track to open the camp June 14 after securing a city permit.Cole Chandler, executive director of the collaborative, which has created tiny home villages for homeless people in Denver, said more people are sleeping outside rather than in emergency shelters to avoid catching Covid-19, to have more freedom and to avoid becoming crime victims in the crowded spaces.“We're seeing some of the greatest numbers of homelessness that we've seen since the Great Depression," Chandler said recently.

As said here by Vicky Collins