Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Homeless surge prompts Denver Rescue Mission to add 100 beds - The Denver Post

Homeless surge prompts Denver Rescue Mission to add 100 beds - The Denver Post

Prompted by a surge in downtown's homeless population, Denver Rescue Mission, working with Denver's Road Home project, will add 100 beds at least through next April.

The addition doesn't require new construction, just a temporary zoning change, said Denver's Road Home executive director Amber Giauque Callender.

The rescue mission has been turning away, on average, 45 men each night, spokeswoman Alexxa Tavlarides said.

"My understanding is that this summer we started to notice we were turning more people away," she said.

Mission president Brad Meuli, Denver's Road Home managers and Mayor Michael Hancock agreed to the expansion at the mission's Lawrence Street and West Park Avenue location.

In the past, the mission has added as many as 100 men's beds in emergency situations, such as when winter temperatures plummet.

The city lost 200 overnight beds two years ago when the Salvation Army closed its Crossroads shelter. At the time, much of that loss was absorbed by other shelters.

Road Home focuses on finding permanent places for homeless people to live, said Callender.

But this summer, outreach workers noticed a large increase in the downtown homeless population, particularly on the 16th Street Mall.

"We definitely felt the effects of Crossroads closing, and we were struggling to find transitional housing," said Revekka Balancier, spokeswoman for Denver Human Services. "But not to this extent."

Road Home doesn't yet have numbers to quantify what its workers have been reporting, but they should come soon.

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