My heart is very sad today. Last night the Denver City Council voted to criminalize "urban camping." This is a euphemism which makes it sound way more fun that it actually is. Rather, "urban camping" means criminalizing homelessness. There are not enough shelter beds in the city of Denver for the people who are homeless on any given night, so this new ordinance makes it possible for police to ticket homeless people for merely being without a place to stay and sleeping on the streets. This was put forth by the powerful business lobby in downtown Denver. Even the police say they do not want to enforce this law because it is not a solution. As someone who works at a homeless shelter, this impacts us and our services. There are so many root systemic causes for homelessness, that merely making it illegal to sleep outside is not going to solve anything. Until we address a lack of health care services, mental health services, substance abuse, domestic violence, generational poverty, and the stigma of being poor, this cycle is condemned to repeat itself over and over again.
Also last night the Republican-run house killed the Colorado Civil Unions bill in committee. Shameful. It is a really tough day to be a Coloradan. I am really ashamed of my city and state. There is a lot of grieving today.
Kyrie Eleison. Lord have mercy on us all.