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Campers collect possessions near Denver middle school ahead of expected cleanup

The camp is getting help from Denver Homeless Outloud for people to move their possessions and get resources ahead of a possible cleanup by the city.

DENVER — Representatives with Denver Homeless Out Loud (DHOL) are in an area near 13th and Clarkson in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood Monday connecting those experiencing homelessness with resources and help collecting their possessions ahead of a possible cleanup by city officials.  

Denver officials said last week that a cleanup similar to the one at Lincoln Memorial Park is planned place at the encampment near Morey Middle School, but Mayor Michael Hancock declined to say when that would happen.  

Two people were arrested during last Wednesday’s protest at Lincoln Memorial Park, and Denver School Board member Tay Anderson was injured. The camp was home to 150 tents and roughly 200 inhabitants, DHOL said. 

> Watch above: Denver mayor answers questions from reporters about homeless sweeps.

DHOL estimated earlier this month that there were upwards of 600 tents belonging to urban campers in Denver, about 80 of which are set up at the encampment by Morey Middle School. 

On Friday, Hancock said that cleaning up these encampments is not just about keeping the inhabitants safe from conditions where he said the novel coronavirus, discarded needles and rat infestations were all concerns.

“We cannot allow for these encampments to persist in our city, period,” Hancock said.

The Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) said they did a "larger-scale cleanup effort on May 20" around Washington Street and 13th and 14th avenues. 

That forced the people who lived on those streets to move further east on 13th onto the sidewalk at Emerson Street next to Morey Middle School.

Hancock also said Friday that the city is focused on connecting those experiencing homelessness with services.

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