Dec 13, 2023 - News

Johnston administration says it will hit its goal to shelter 1,000 people by year's end

City staff erect a fence during a homeless encampment sweep in downtown Denver in August. Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez/Axios

Mayor Mike Johnston's administration on Tuesday said it will meet its goal to shelter 1,000 people experiencing homelessness by year's end.

Driving the news: Cole Chandler, the mayor's senior adviser for homelessness resolution, provided a calendar during a public meeting with the city council detailing how the administration plans to complete the effort.

  • It includes "move-in" days for people who will be removed from encampments and placed into shelters. The calendar also shows the city is planning at least seven more sweeps this month — including four in the final week of December.
  • People will be moved into seven proposed sites across the city, including three micro-communities and four hotels.

Why it matters: The public now has a more definitive picture of when and where the city plans to shelter people as part of Johnston's signature policy initiative.

By the numbers: At least 584 people were counted as being sheltered as of Tuesday at noon, after the city completed an encampment sweep earlier in the day.

State of play: Since Johnston has taken office, Denver has completed five sweeps that provided shelter or housing options, Chandler said.

The intrigue: Chandler said the city plans to release a new dashboard this week providing more information about long-term outcomes for people housed under the plan.

Of note: More than 90% of people offered shelter by the city take it, director of unsheltered homeless response Lana Dalton said Tuesday.

  • People who decline are asked to move their tents, though the city still attempts to connect them with services.

What's next: The annual point-in-time count — a one-night tally of people living on the streets in the metro area — is scheduled to take place on Jan. 29, city officials say.

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