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In a few weeks it will be illegal for the homeless to sleep along places like the 16th Street Mall.



Some people nearly got thrown out of the meeting before the vote.



More than 100 homeless and homeless advocates held a protest in front of the City and County Building downtown before the meeting.



The ban does not prohibit people from sleeping on public property, but does ban campers from using any form of shelter from the weather.



Supporters of the ban say it will now give police tools to help people find services and get help.



"I believe we'll see some immediate changes in terms of giving people the option of taking services as proposed to them if they're not willing to make changes in their behavior related to camping," Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, said.



Opponents say this ban now criminalizes homelessness.



Councilwoman Susan Shepherd has been a vocal opponent of the ban and got choked up before the vote.



"My heart is heavy tonight. My heart is broken. I want to thank all of you for being here tonight to witness the grave injustice and tragedy that we are about to commit tonight," Shepherd said.



Shepherd urged people to vote out or run against the city council members who voted for the camping ban.



"She went a little too far," Councilman Charlie Brown said regarding Shepherd's comments.



Denver's police chief says officers will only intervene as a last resort and won't give out citations or make arrests if shelter spaces are filled.



"Our approach to this is passive. The last thing officers want to do is arrest someone for being homeless," Denver Police Chief Robert White said.



"We don't see homelessness as a crime," Denver Police spokesperson Sonny Jackson said.



Jackson says the law means officers can ticket homeless people for camping or sleeping on the streets, but he says tickets will actually be one of their last resorts.



"There will be a very high threshold before we write a ticket. What we will try to do is find assistance for homeless people in the form of resources before we write a ticket," Jackson said. "Before we would even be able to write a ticket, we would have to have a supervisor on seen with that an officer."



Jackson says for that to happen it would most likely have to be for some other violation in addition to camping or sleeping outside.



"We care for every member of our community. The public's safety is a concern, so we tend to look out for homeless people when we can," Jackson said.



Jackson also adds that additional officers and resources will not be used in enforcing this law. He says right now officers try to assist the homeless with resources before anything else and that will be the case whether the vote goes through or not.



Those who provide services for the homeless in Aurora are worried about the impact Denver's camping ban will have on them.



Aurora Warms the Night is a nonprofit that provides hotel vouchers to homeless people when the weather is severe. The executive director is expecting the camping ban will push Denver's homeless along east Colfax Avenue to cross Yosemite Street into Aurora.



"To take this kind of action when there is no underlying criminal behavior other than that a person is homeless means that everyone is going to be exposed to a very unpleasant experience," Mary Hupp, executive director of Aurora Warms the Night, said.



Aurora currently does not have a camping ban.



Denver's camping ban will go into effect on May 29.


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