June 3, 2023
Denver city officials are facing criticism from activists after removing homeless camps near the baseball stadium ahead of the Colorado Rockies' opening day.
Denver city officials are facing criticism from activists after removing homeless camps near the baseball stadium ahead of the Colorado Rockies’ opening day.



The city of Denver is facing criticism from homeless advocates after removing encampments near Coors Field ahead of the Colorado Rockies’ opening day.

“It’s disgraceful, and they’re not trying to solve the problem,” Grant Francis, with the homeless advocacy group Mutual Aid Monday, told Denver7. “They’re just trying to provide some optics that make it look like they’re trying to do something.”

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The Colorado Rockies will play their home opener next Thursday, April 6. The city started sweeps this week on Larimer Street near Coors Field, according to Denver7.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, a Democrat, has been criticized for sweeps in the past — especially ones that appear to coincide with sporting events. His administration stepped up sweeps in 2021, just before the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, The Denver Post previously reported.

“It’s anywhere where there’s an event that generates any kind of income for the city,” Francis said.

A spokesperson for Hancock did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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A 2021 report estimated the city of Denver spent between $41,679 and $104,201 per homeless person per year. But activists believe the city should increase housing availability for those on the streets and provide more services like trash pickup to camps in the meantime.

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“The sweeps need to stop,” homeless activist Amy Beck told Denver7. “And we need to provide some basic sanitation to the camps. We need to do trash removal and provide bathrooms and access to clean water.”

Denver’s homeless crisis has become a key issue in the upcoming mayoral election.

Residents will vote next week to elect a new mayor, with a runoff in June if necessary. Candidate Kelly Brough, who led the packed field in a February poll, has said she would end the practice of sweeping camps.

“We all know sweeps don’t work, moving a tent across a border, pretending we solved someone’s problem, it doesn’t work,” Brough told 9News. “We need to house and shelter people.”

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