Shelter is a universal human right, assholes!

We all see them sleeping, standing and harassing bystanders for cigarettes in downtown Denver. The homeless are a little crude, kind of smelly and seem to be everywhere you look. But they're an important cultural aspect of Denver. It’s what makes the city so grand! So does their misfortune justify the hardship of living on the streets? The DHOL says hell no!

Marcus Hyde, a member of the Denver Homeless Out Loud (DHOL) and a firm believer in the idea of shelter being a basic human right, proposed the development of a tiny home village in the Curtis Park neighborhood with the intention of getting the homeless off the streets, out of society’s hair and into a nice, tent-like home.

Hyde sent the proposal to the Denver Housing Authority (DHA), after they asked for one, in December of last year. After a few (alleged) meetings with the DHA, and no written consent on moving forward with the plan, the completion two tiny homes and three Conestoga huts at Sustainability Park went up, thus creating “Resurrection Village,” a happy vagrant slice of paradise.

However, according to the DHA, Sustainability Park, contrary to Hyde’s beliefs, is not public land, meaning the homeless were invading private property. Dude. That’s what they do. They don’t have a home, hence the irony here. 

Stella Madrid, a community affairs officer with DHA, says that in all of the conversations with DHOL, DHA clearly indicated it could not undertake the project. “There are so many steps that need to be taken for [tiny homes] to become a policy under city zoning and ordinances and laws. We don’t have a position one way or the other until some of those elements are in place.”

So after the DHOL basically told the DHA to go fuck themselves, this is America, we’re building it whether you like it or not, an arrest of ten people were made on the charge of trespassing after a swarm of 70 police cars, a SWAT team and a helicopter arrived. We know trespassing is a big deal, but was it really necessary to send the entire state of Colorado to arrest 10 people advocating the human right to shelter?

“The ridiculous thing is there is so much public support for this. People donated to the bail fund, which was raised before we even got down to the jail,” Hyde tells Boulder Weekly. “The solution to homelessness is not cops and caseworkers,” he continues. “Homelessness ends in one simple step. Give them a house. We know it’s cheaper; it’s more dignified. We know it’s been proven.”

So there’s finally some real movement toward helping the homeless instead of lengthy bureaucracy bullshit and the city shuts it down. How typical. Thanks DHA! You’re the real MVP.