DENVER — City of Denver crews on Tuesday morning cleared and cleaned a camp occupied by those experiencing homelessness near 14th Avenue and Logan Street in downtown Denver.
The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) said conditions at the camp, located one block from the Colorado State Capitol, had degraded, presenting hazards to the people living there.
DDPHE said the camp will be temporarily closed so it can be cleaned.
"We definitely want everybody to know that our goal is not to displace people," said Danica Lee of DDPHE's Public Health Investigations Division. "We have worked extensively to connect people with services. We have folks out here this morning connecting people with services."
DDPHE said the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) posted notice of the cleanup seven days ago.
"The health department, we have to take care of the whole city and so we're working to take care of both the people who have been camped out here, but also to restore this area, make it safe for everybody and take care of the environmental issues as well," said Lee.
"We will be working with our city crews to clean up this area, evaluating the area to understand the extent of of the impacts like rodent infestation, there's a lot of trash that needs to be taken care of, improperly discarded syringes, human waste," said Lee.
DDPHE said it will work to connect residents of the camp with shelters.
"We're also working as quickly as we can to advance other solutions such as safe outdoor spaces for people," said Lee.
DDPHE said 14th Avenue would likely be reopened to traffic sometime later Tuesday.
Denver Homeless Out Loud, an advocacy group for people experiencing homelessness, announced Monday it filed a class-action lawsuit challenging homeless sweeps as unconstitutional and in violation of a previous settlement agreement.
Homeless Out Loud said this will be the fourth homeless camp that the city has swept in the last three weeks.
Denver Homeless Out Loud has previously called for the city to end the sweeps unless they offer housing or land for the camp residents to relocate.
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