For Immediate Release
Cathy Alderman, Vice President of Communications and Public Policy
Aggressive Enforcement of Camping Ban Re-traumatizes Homeless [VIDEO]
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless’ outreach worker and psychiatrist
talk about the negative impacts of criminalizing homelessness.
DENVER, CO, July 19, 2016—The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless was disappointed to hear that there were multiple sweeps of homeless encampments last Wednesday, July 13 as reported in the Westword, by FOX31 Denver and 7News, especially on the heels of the announcement by the Mayor about creating a new Office of HOPE (Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere) last Monday. We had hoped that announcement was a signal that the City would be taking a more compassionate approach toward people experiencing homelessness in Denver.
We asked our staff how the criminalization of homelessness affects those who are living on the streets with no place to go.
“Imagine you’re not really wanted anywhere, and so you finally find a place to stay [then society] says, ‘actually, you’re not wanted here either,’” said Elisabeth Teater, Coalition Outreach Worker.
“We are re-traumatizing many of our most vulnerable community members who are homeless by saying there is no safe place for you to be, there is no place for you,” said Psychiatrist and Trauma-Informed Care Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Perlman.
The mission of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is to work collaboratively toward the prevention of homelessness and the creation of lasting solutions for homeless and at-risk families, children, and individuals throughout Colorado. The Coalition advocates for and provides a continuum of housing and a variety of services to improve the health, well-being and stability of those it serves. Since its founding more than 30 years ago, the organization has earned state and national recognition for its integrated healthcare, housing and service programs. The Coalition’s comprehensive approach addresses the causes of homelessness, as well as the consequences, offering critical assistance to over 15,000 individuals and families each year. Learn more at www.coloradocoalition.org.