From City Councilwoman Robin Kniech, At-Large:
COVID-19 has impacted all of us, but those without homes are particularly at risk because they have less access to basic hygiene, cannot “stay at home” to socially distance, and have higher rates of pre-existing health conditions that can put them at higher risk for complications from infections. To respond to the risk of COVID-19 among those experiencing homelessness, Denver has spent more than $14 million to:
- create two, new, 24/7 auxiliary shelters to create enough space for almost all shelter guests in Denver to socially distance
- transform existing overnight shelters into 24 hour spaces
- provide health screening, a health clinic and other services at the new shelters
- secure more than 550 hotel rooms, with services, for those with symptoms, positive tests or at high risk due to age or health
These responses have helped reduce the spread of the virus and improved care and health outcomes for those who are sick. But hundreds of individuals still sleep on Denver’s streets. Some are not comfortable in large congregate settings, others have a partner they aren’t allowed to stay with if they enter shelter, or due to a variety of other reasons.
I have been working alongside and supporting community organizations, service providers, and several members of Denver City Council who have come together to explore the best method for reducing risk of COVID-19 among those who are unsheltered.
This survey is intended to share information and gain feedback on a proposal to provide Temporary Safe Outdoor Space, during the crisis, for 50-100 individuals or couples at one time. We also seek feedback on ideas for expanding pathways out of homelessness beyond the COVID-19 crisis. This survey takes about 10-15 minutes (there are very quick demographic questions at the end).
Please take the survey and share your feedback today.
Councilwoman Robin Kniech