Our Fight for Right to Rest Just Grows Stronger as Committee Votes Against the Bill Again

Our Fight for Right to Rest Just Grows Stronger as Committee Votes Against the Bill Again


On Wednesday April 19, 2017, the Local Government Committee of the Colorado State Legislature voted 5 to 8 against the Right to Rest Act – the right to sleep, sit, cover oneself, share food, sleep in your own vehicle.

After three years of bringing the Right to Rest Act to the Colorado State Legislature and having our rights – our humanity – voted down, our resolve, our movement, our power just grows. We know this is a long haul struggle. History has shown us that in order to succeed in overcoming discriminatory practices, communities must stand strong together and the fight takes years.

 

This vote against humanity came at the end of an 11 hour hearing including testimony from over 60 people supporting the Right to Rest and only 5 people who testified in opposition. Person after person supporting the right to rest testified to being threatened, having their belongings stolen and being forced by police to “move along.” Lawyers, business owners, service providers and faith leaders each spoke to the unconstitutional, dehumanizing and moral impacts of criminalizing existence. And person after person testified to how this bill does not create “special rights” for homeless people, but protects the rights of all people to stand, sit, lie down, cover oneself – exist – in public spaces.

 

The Right to Rest Act, introduced through the Western Regional Advocacy Project in Colorado, California, and Oregon, aims to end all laws and practices to push certain “unwanted” communities out of public space. Our county has a long history of racist, classist laws – Jim Crow, Anti-Okie, Sundown laws – used to push certain people out of public spaces and anti-homeless ordinances are just another example.

 

The Right to Rest hearing on Wednesday was a powerful demonstration of a people who will not be hidden, silenced, or treated as less than human. For the third year in a row we packed the committee room with a collective energy that will not go away, but rather continues to grow. As homeless and poor people, we know what is really going on in the streets. In closing comments Representative Lebsock, who voted yes, said “today we heard reality versus reporting.” Reality from people living on the streets, and reporting from city officials reporting numbers of shelter beds, housing units being developed, and money being spent. Reality was spoken loud and clear – “we will continue to exist and survive in public spaces no matter how much you try to hide us.”

 

The Representatives who voted NO against the Right to Rest justified their vote by expressing concern that this bill will create a “free-for-all” with homeless people sleeping and sitting everywhere, that there will be endless lawsuits against cities, that local municipalities need local control to use “tools” to deal with their homeless population, and that they want to “solve homelessness” not create rights. They had no shame in expressing their perception of the sight of visibly homeless people as “bad for business.” They had no shame in defending businesses and cities from the potential law suits they would face – never considering that instead they could just respect people’s rights.

 

Five Representatives voted YES for the Right to Rest this year. Their vote and words of support for a bill that simply asks we be allowed to sleep, sit, not have our blankets taken, are a sign of hope and humanity! We thank Reps Lebsock, Singer, Coleman, Exum, and Valdez! Furthermore, this bill would not be real without the incredible leadership and commitment of Reps Salazar and Melton sponsoring the Right to Rest three years in a row, standing strong against internal party division, and standing up for what is right!

 

Our work does not end. As homelessness will continue to persist with more housing budget cuts in sight, and while criminalization does absolutely nothing to actually end homelessness, we will remain right here, growing in numbers, demanding justice. We have no place left to go. We have no other choice but to fight for our rights to survive. Our solidarity with each other and strength in fight against our humanity only grows. Our fight continues right now and onward in the city councils, in the federal and local courts, back at the state capitol next year, and on the streets everyday!!

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Right to Rest Act HB 17-1314 Will be Heard in Committee Wednesday!!

Right to Rest Act HB 17-1314 Will be Heard in Committee Wednesday!!


When: Wednesday April 19th

Where: State Capitol Building (200 E Colfax Ave – Colfax and Lincoln)

Rally 12pm West Steps

Hearing 1:30pm Room 271

TAKE ACTION NOW!

https://coloradohomelessbillofrights.org/action-steps/

 

Denver, CO— On Wednesday April 19, 2017, the Colorado State Legislative Local Government Committee will be voting on the Right to Rest Act – HB 17-1314. This bill, sponsored by Representatives Salazar and Melton, would end the alarming trend of cities passing and enforcing laws that criminalize the basic civil rights of homeless individuals. The Right to Rest Act would, among other things, protect the rights of all people to move freely, rest, have privacy of one’s belonging, and eat in public space as well as protect their right to occupy a legally parked motor vehicle. The many laws across Colorado which infringe on these rights would be rendered null and void. This bill is about protecting all people’s human right to survive in public space and not be pushed “away” to nowhere.

 

This bill is being heard just two weeks after three people went on trial and were convicted for violation of Denver’s Unauthorized Urban Camping Ban -properly named Survival Ban – where the prosecution told defendant Randy Russell in cross examination, “You know it is illegal for you to survive in Denver.” This bill comes after a year of intensely escalated sweeps across Denver as well as sweeps in Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and many cities across Colorado. This bill comes after a lawsuit was filed and is under litigation against the city of Denver for the sweeps and seizure of property. This bill comes as housing prices are at an all time high in Denver and across the nation and government assistance for low-income housing has massively decreased. We cannot afford homes yet are criminalized for living homeless.

 

The Right to Rest Act (HB 17-1314) ends the criminalization of rest and accompanying violations of basic human and civil rights for all people.

 

This legislation protects the following rights and prohibits the enforcement of any local laws that violate these rights:

  • Right to move freely, rest, sleep and be protected in a public space.

  • Right to rest in public spaces and protect oneself from the elements in a non-obstructive manner

  • Right to reasonable expectation of privacy of your property in public space

  • Right to occupy a legally parked vehicle

  • Right to share food and eat in public

 

Wednesday April 19th rally at 12noon in front of the Capitol, hearing at 1:30pm in room 271. Survival while living without a home should never be deemed a crime.

Contact:

Denver Homeless Out Loud

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

720-940-5291

coloradohomelessbillofrights.org

wraphome.org

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Right to Rest Hearing April 19!! BE THERE!

Right to Rest Hearing April 19!!

 

HB 17-1314, The Colorado Right to Rest Act  is going to be heard and voted on in House Local Government Committee on Wednesday, April 19th at 1:30 in room 271, on the second floor of the State Capitol. We need you all to speak up! And BE THERE!

There will be food at the Rally at 12noon. The hearing might go late so if you can’t come until later, still come. The Capitol doors close at 5pm so it is hard to get in after that though.

Colorado state legislators Salazar and Melton introduce HB 17-1314 – The Colorado Right2Rest Act – for the third year. The Right2Rest Act is stronger, clearer, and more powerful! If HB 17-1314 passes this year – it will force the state of Colorado to abandon its practices of criminalizing homeless people for engaging in basic life-sustaining activities like sitting, lying, sleeping, resting and eating in public. The criminalization of rest must end if we are ever to turn the tide on our homelessness crisis.

Watch the camping ban in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etCAymiuRdc

You can read the full bill language here and you can read the main talking points here

Follow These 2 Easy Steps to TAKE ACTION!

1) Send a letter of organizational support!
Click here for a sample letter.

Please send your letter on organizational letterhead, to: info@denverhomelessoutloud.org and coral@wraphome.org and all the committee members below

2) Email and call the members of the Local Government Committeeand urge them to support HB 17-1314 , the Colorado Right2Rest Act

James Coleman james.coleman.house@state.co.us 303-866-2909 Democrat
Tony Exum tony.exum.house@state.co.us 303-866-3069 Democrat
Matt Gray matt@matthewgray.us 303-866-4667 Democrat
Steve Lebsock steve.lebsock.house@state.co.us 303-866-2931 Democrat
Larry Liston larry.liston.house@state.co.us 303-866-2937 Republican
Hugh McKean hugh.mckean.house@state.co.us 303-866-2947 Republican
Clarice Navarro clarice.navarro.house@state.co.us 303-866-2905 Republican
Kim Ransom kim.ransom.house@state.co.us 303-866-2933 Republican
Paul Rosenthal paulrosenthal5280@gmail.com 303-866-2910 Democrat
Jonathan Singer jonathan.singer.house@state.co.us 303-866-2780 Democrat
Dan Thurlow danthurlow55@gmail.com 303-866-3068 Republican
Donald Valdez donald.valdez.house@state.co.us 303-866-2916 Democrat

James Wilson representativewilson@gmail.com 303-866-2747 Republican 


Sample Script:

My name is ________ and I am calling to urge you to vote YES on the Right To Rest Act. You will be hearing HB 17-1314Colorado Right To Rest Act in the Local Government Committee. This bill provides critical civil rights protections to ALL Coloradoans that every Coloradoan is able to meet the biological need of rest.

The practice of criminalizing poor and homeless people for engaging in basic life-sustaining activities like eating, sleeping, resting, and lying is unjust, cruel and entrenches people in homelessness. HB 17-1314 will allow homeless people more time and energy to access services, search for employment and apply for housing that would otherwise be spent responding to police harassment, tickets, courts and jail time. Please vote YES on HB 17-1314: the Colorado Right To Rest Act!

 

Onward,
The Colorado Homeless Bill of Rights Organizing Team

Colorado Right To Rest Act HB 17-1314 Introduced

Colorado Right To Rest Act HB 17-1314 Introduced

Denver, CO— On Monday April 3, 2017, Colorado State Representatives Salazar and Melton (both Democrats) introduced legislation to end the alarming trend of cities passing laws that criminalize the basic civil rights of homeless individuals. HB 17-1314, known as the “Right to Rest Act,” would, among other things, protect the rights of all people to move freely, rest, have privacy of one’s belonging, and eat in public space as well as protect their right to occupy a legally parked motor vehicle. The many laws across Colorado which infringe on these rights would be rendered null and void. The bill is scheduled for its first hearing in the House Local Government Committee on April 19th at 1:30pm in room 271.

Colorado Right to Rest Organizer, Marcus Hyde, said, “We have a moral imperative to protect the civil and human rights of every person. Criminalization deprives individuals of safe, legal and dignified opportunities to perform necessary human functions. It forces vulnerable people who lack housing into more hidden, and therefore more dangerous, areas—with deadly consequences.”

In a unique irony the bill was introduced the afternoon before three (3) people start a criminal trial for violation of Denver’s Unauthorized Urban Camping Ban with the potential of spending a year in jail for sleeping and up to a $999 fine.

The Right to Rest Act (HB 17-1314) ends the criminalization of rest and accompanying violations of basic human and civil rights for all people.

This legislation protects the following rights and prohibits the enforcement of any local laws that violate these rights:

  • Right to move freely, rest, sleep and be protected in a public space.

  • Right to rest in public spaces and protect one self from the elements in a non-obstructive manner.

  • Right to reasonable expectation of privacy of your property in public space

  • Right to occupy a legally parked vehicle.

  • Right to share food and eat in public.

 

Survival while living without a home should never be deemed a crime.

Right to Rest is Comin to Ya! Get Involved Event Sat 1.7 1pm

Right to Rest is Comin to Ya! 2017 Get Involved Kick Off Event

Saturday January 7th, 2017
1-3pm
Denver Homeless Out Loud Office (Centro Humanitario) – 2260 California St Denver CO 80205
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Join us to get ready to bring about the Right to Rest Act in the 2017 legislative session!! After two years of running this bill to protect our basic human right to survive, this fixing to be a big year! After a year of intense sweeps in Denver, along with major sweeps of communities in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and others, a re-surge in enforcement of the camping ban in Boulder after a brief hold off, and hiking rent prices all over Colorado leaving more people with nowhere to live but outside…We are ready to come in strong demanding the Right to Rest this year.

Over this past year we have shown that together, with persistent work and boldness, we do have power. We the people of the streets, bridges, and poor won this year – stopping a sit/lie law from passing in Fort Collins, getting a brief hold off on camping ban arrests in Boulder, building new organizations to fight for homeless people’s rights in Colorado Springs, filing a lawsuit against the city of Denver for unconstitutionally taking people’s property, forcing the Denver Mayor to instruct cops not to take survival gear when enforcing the camping ban, among many other wins across Colorado. May this also be the year we win the Right to Rest…
The Right to Rest Act is a state legislative bill created from street outreach and run together with California and Oregon all as part of the Western Regional Advocacy Project. The bill protects all people’s rights to exist in public space – to sit, lie, sleep, cover oneself, sleep in a vehicle, have belongings, and share food. Basic survival. Yet, every year businesses, city governments, and the like show up to convince the legislators these are not human rights and cities must have laws to push unwanted people out of sight.
We will not be pushed out of sight. We will continue to exist in public – and increasingly so as homes are becoming more and more as a privilege for the rich.
Saturday January 7th 2017 is the time to come learn about the 2017 Right to Rest Act, learn about the legislative process, and get involved in organizing for the Right to Rest at the Capital, on the streets, in your business, or where ever! Come and bring a friend.
P.S If your organization, business, church, ect has not yet endorsed the Right to Rest you can do so here https://coloradohomelessbillofrights.org/endorse-the-campaign/

Contact:

Committee Votes 5-6 Against the Right to Rest – We press on…Join us for Speaking out for the Right to Rest Event 2/25

Colorado Legislative Committee Votes 5-6 Against the Right to Rest


Yesterday, February 24th 2016, the Local Government Committee of the Colorado State Legislator voted 5 for 6 against the Right to Rest. We were one vote short of passing this committee.
We are very sad. Because this bill did not pass the people of Colorado will continue to be awakened and moved about the city with no place to legally rest; the people of Colorado will continue to be ticketed and later thrown in jail for covering up with a blanket to stay warm; the people of Colorado will continue to hear taps on their window from officers telling them they can’t sleep in their own car. Laws will continue to be used to attempt to hid, to move “away,” the fact we live in a State and a Country with mass homelessness and poverty.
But we cannot be hidden and forced “away.” We are here and we will continue to exist in public space. And just as we must continue to exist, we will continue to join together and fight for our rights to exist…!
So much gratitude goes to Representatives Salazar and Melton for their incredible, dedicated, and deep hearted leadership in this fight!!
Thanks to Reps Feilds, Lebsock, Singer, Danielson, and Kilinginsmit for voting to support our rights!
Together we ran the Right to Rest Act last year and were voted down 3-8; we ran the Right to Rest Act this year and were voted down 5-6; we will keep coming back to the legislator year in and year out until we have the Right to Rest!
Watch Livestream of the last 20 min of the hearing here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsh2kOxzeVY
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Following yesterday’s hearing we are not stopping! Join us TODAY Thursday 2/25 for 
Speaking Out For The Right to Rest 

Denver Homeless Out Loud In Partnership With People Rising Against Poverty

When: February 25th 5:308:00pm

Where: Denver Inner City Parish; 1 21 2 Mariposa St, Denver CO

The day after the committee hearing, we are holding our Speaker’s Bureau with People Rising Against Poverty in order to raise the voices of those impacted by the criminalization of homelessness and mobilize to build the movement even stronger…

-Hear directly from houseless people affected by the brutal policies of criminalization

-Discuss strategy with most affected people and DHOL organizers on paths forward.

-Learn how to get involved

-Eat food!

Please also join on our Facebook event invite page and help spread the word by inviting your friends!

http://www. facebook.com/events/76951 82031 79377/

Contact:
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COLORADO RIGHT TO REST ACT TO BE HEARD IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE FEBRUARY 24, 2016!

Colorado Right to Rest Act to be heard in Local Government Committee February 24, 2016!


Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Time and Location:

Rally: 12:30pm in front of the State Capitol (Colfax and Lincoln)

Hearing: 1:30pm in State Capitol Building (room to be determined)

Press Release

DENVER — On February 24, 2016 the Local Government Committee of the Colorado State legislature will be hearing HB16-1191, known as the “Right to Rest Act.” Prior to the hearing, at12:30pm, a rally will be held in front of the Capitol to remind our legislators all people need the right to rest!

Representatives Salazar and Melton will introduce legislation to end the alarming trend of cities passing laws that criminalize the basic civil rights of homeless individuals. The Right to Rest Act would, among other things, protect the rights of homeless people to move freely, rest, have privacy of one’s belonging, and eat in public space as well as protect their right to occupy a legally parked motor vehicle. The many laws across Colorado which infringe on these rights would be rendered null and void, and people will be allowed to rest.

This bill will “allow people the right to rest without harassment from police and without ordinances that violate civil and constitutional rights,” the bill’s Sponsor Representative Salazar explained at the Right to Rest Festival. “You better believe homeless people are being discriminated against. So many ordinances are being passed against homelessness that violate people’s rights, and this has become a statewide concern.”

Denver Homeless Out Loud (DHOL), as a member of Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP), is leading the campaign for the Right to Rest Act in Colorado together with partner organizations across the state and along with 53 local Colorado organizations and over 170 nationally endorsing the campaign. In a coordinated campaign, California, Oregon, and Colorado are running the Right to Rest Act in their state legislatures.

Here in Colorado the low estimates of counted homeless people is 16,000, with schools counting 23,000 homeless children. Cities across Colorado are increasingly enacting and enforcing laws which punish people for doing what any person must do to survive–even though the extreme lack of affordable housing is forcing more and more people out of their homes and into living in public spaces. Due to the fact that these activities are being conducted in public space, these individuals are being treated inhumanely. Studies have shown for optimum health a person needs 7 to 8 hours of solid uninterrupted sleep. Colorado is ranked in the top ten states in the nation as to the highest cost of housing. The average one bedroom apartment is $1255. The average worker making minimum wage is priced out of the housing market. Colorado has what is known as the Telluride Law giving the owner/landlord the right to raise rent to any amount he deems fit. These two factors are contributing to people formerly housed no choice but to occupy public spaces.

The recently published report “Too High a Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness is Costing Colorado” by DU Sturm College of Law Homeless Advocacy Policy Project, shows that laws criminalizing homeless people for being homeless have become widespread in Colorado. Colorado’s 76 largest cities have 351 anti-homeless ordinances. Cities issue citations to homeless residents at a staggering rate. For example, 30% of all citations that Grand Junction issued are pursuant to an anti-homeless ordinance. The citations that Fort Collins issues to homeless residents represent 36% of total citations issued. Colorado Springs has doubled the rate at which they enforce anti-homeless ordinances between 2010 and 2014. Boulder stands out in issuing camping ban citations by issuing 1,767 between 2010 and 2014. By studying the enforcement of five anti-homeless ordinances in Denver, the report found that in 2014, Denver spent nearly three-quarters of a million dollars ($750,000.00) enforcing these ordinances.

The Colorado Homeless People’s Rights Survey, conducted by DHOL and partner organizations across the state, documents the experiences of 431 homeless people in 12 Colorado cities. This survey shows that 70% of respondents have been criminalized for sleeping, 64% for sitting/lying down, and 50% for loitering. Also, 60% have had their belongings taken by police or city employees. A similar survey done in Denver in 2012 found that 37% of respondents chose not to cover up against the elements in order to avoid violating the camping ban and being confronted by police.

But people’s voices speak louder than statistics. Here’s what one unhoused community member said about his efforts to survive in public space:

“One time, I was sitting at a bus stop. My feet were tired. I’d gotten off from a landscaping job and I couldn’t walk any further. I’d been up all night….A police officer approached me and told me to ‘move on’ and that I couldn’t camp here….I guess I was moving too slow….He put me in handcuffs….The other cop turned my backpack upside down and dumped it out. When they got done, he told me to ‘pick up this crap and get out.’  I had all my fresh laundered clothes in there and my water. I picked up my stuff and moved on….This stuff goes on every day.”

By ending the criminalization of rest and accompanying violations of basic human and civil rights, HB 16-1191 would encourage the diversion of expenditures from citing and jailing people for resting in public spaces to efforts aimed at preventing and ending homelessness.

To make a serious dent in the number of Coloradans facing homelessness, we must prioritize our efforts at the federal, state and local levels to provide affordable and healthy homes for all people who need it. At the same time, our humanity and common sense impel us to immediately end the cruel, costly, ineffective and unconstitutional practice of criminalizing people for performing necessary acts of survival in public places. That is what the Right to Rest Act is designed to do, and why the Colorado Legislature should pass it.

Watch video of DU Sturm College of Law Homeless Policy Project Presentation of “Too High a Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado”

Contact:

coloradohomelessbillofrights.org

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

940-720-5291

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Too High a Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado.

Read the report by University of Denver Sturm College of Law Homeless Advocacy Policy Project — Too High a Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado.

“LIKE MOST OF AMERICA, COLORADO FACES A HOMELESS EPIDEMIC.  Amidst a stark rise in housing costs and equally sharp drop in available affordable housing, Colorado’s cities struggle to address the overwhelming needs of its homeless residents. While professing a dedication to eliminating homelessness through homeless and poverty services, state actors continue to write, pass, and enforce local ordinances that criminalize life-sustaining behaviors. Laws that criminalize panhandling, begging, camping, sitting or lying in public, and vagrancy target and disproportionately impact residents that are homeless for activities they must perform in the course of daily living. This Report examines how laws criminalizing homeless people for being homeless have become widespread in Colorado. Through a comprehensive analysis of the enforcement of anti-homeless laws, this Report also examines the cost—economic and social—anti-homeless laws impose upon all Colorado citizens.”

3 Big Days: Law Report Release, Right2Rest Hearing, Speaking for the Right2Rest!

Three BIG DAYS coming up for the rights of the people!!

Mark Your Calender’s >2/16 >2/24 >2/25!!


 

 

 

Join us for the official report release of…

Too High A Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado

Did you know that in 76 cities in Colorado, there are 351 anti-homeless ordinances? Come to the report release and learn more…

Tuesday February 16th, 2016

11:30 am Refreshments – 12:00 pm Program & Report Presentation – 1:30 pm Discussion on Right to Rest Act

Address: 1600 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203 St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

Presentation by: The University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s Homeless Advocacy Policy Project www.law.du.edu/index.php/homeless-advocacy-policy-project

Hosted by: Denver Homeless Out Loud

Join us for the…

Legislative hearing and committee vote on the Colorado Right to Rest Act (HB 1191)

Wednesday February 24th, 12:30pm

Rally 12:30pm in front of Colorado State Capitol (Colfax and Lincoln)

Hearing 1:30pm in State Capitol Building (room to be determined)

Remind our legislators all people need the right to rest!

Now is the time to TAKE ACTION!! Call and email committee members and ask them to support the right to rest and vote yes on HB 1191. See list of committee members, contact info, and sample talking points here.

Join us for…

Speaking Out For The Right to Rest!

Denver Homeless Out Loud In Partnership With People Rising Against Poverty

When: February 25th 5:30-8:00pm

Where: Denver Inner City Parish; 1 21 2 Mariposa St, Denver CO

On February 25th, the day after the committee hearing, we will be holding our Speaker’s Bureau with People Rising Against Poverty in order to raise the voices of those impacted by the criminalization of homelessness, as well as to mobilize people to support our campaign.

-Hear directly from houseless people affected by the brutal policies of criminalization

-Discuss strategy with most affected people and DHOL organizers on paths forward.

-Learn how to get involved!

Please also join on our Facebook event invite page and help spread the word by inviting your friends!

http://www. facebook.com/events/76951 82031 79377/

for more info:

Denver Homeless Out Loud

coloradohomelessbillofrights.org

info@denverhomelessoutloud.org

720-940-5291

Report Release Tuesday Feb 16th! Too High A Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado

Join us for the official report release of…

Too High A Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado

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Did you know that in 76 cities in Colorado, there are 351 anti-homeless ordinances? Come to the report release and learn more…

Tuesday February 16th, 2016

11:30 am Refreshments – 12:00 pm Program & Report Presentation – 1:30 pm Discussion on Right to Rest Act 

Address: 1600 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203 St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

Press release from University of Denver Sturm College of Law below.

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Denver Law Students Examine Costs of Criminalizing Homelessness in Colorado

 Report details effects of anti-homeless laws on Colorado

February 12, 2016 – DENVER – The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is proud to announce that its Homeless Advocacy Policy Project has published a groundbreaking policy report, Too High A Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado.

Too High A Price is the first report to provide a comprehensive look at municipal ordinances across Colorado that directly affect homeless individuals.  Colorado policymakers address“visible poverty” in their cities by enacting “quality of life” ordinances.  These ordinances typically prohibit life-sustaining behaviors that homeless individuals need to survive, such as sitting, sleeping, camping, and panhandling in public places.

By conducting a broad analysis of the enactment and enforcement of anti-homeless laws in Colorado, Too High A Price examines the cost—economic and social— that anti-homeless laws impose upon all Colorado citizens.  Given the prevalence of anti-homeless ordinances, trends of enforcement, and cost of implementation and adjudication, Too High A Price reveals that Colorado policymaker’s efforts to eradicate homelessness in this way are inefficient and discriminatory.

Key findings of Too High A Price include:

  • Colorado’s 76 largest cities have enacted 351 individual anti-homeless ordinances.
  • Under these anti-homeless ordinances, Colorado cities issue citations to homeless residents with significantly higher frequency than housed residents.
  • Six Colorado cities spent over $5 million dollars enforcing just 14 anti-homeless ordinances between 2010 and 2014.

Too High A Price was designed in a unified effort with the Western Regional Advocacy Project, and builds on similar reports studying the criminalization of homelessness in California and Washington by students at the UC Berkeley School of Law and Seattle University School of Law, respectively.  The Homeless Advocacy Policy Project also worked in partnership with a local community organization, Denver Homeless Out Loud, in authoring this report.

The findings of Too High A Price strongly support The Right to Rest Act, Colorado House Bill HB-16-1191, which was introduced to the Colorado Legislature by Representatives Salazar and Melton in February 2016.  The Right to Rest Act prohibits the enactment or enforcement of laws that criminalize resting in public spaces.

The Homeless Advocacy Policy Project is part of Denver Law’s Experiential Advantage Curriculum, exposing students to complex real-life situations to provide unparalleled opportunities to develop as a lawyer.  For more information on Too High A Price and the Homeless Advocacy Policy Project, see http://www.law.du.edu/index.php/homeless-advocacy-policy-project.

The Denver Law student authors of Too High A Price will present the Report’s methodology and conclusions and answer questions at a press event on Tuesday, February 16th, from 11:30-1:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1600 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203.

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Presentation by: The University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s Homeless Advocacy Policy Projectwww.law.du.edu/index.php/homeless-advocacy-policy-project

Hosted by: Denver Homeless Out Loud www.denverhomelessoutloud.org Contact: info@denverhomelessoutloud.org 720-940-5291