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.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Emergency Homeless Shelter Opened

Record numbers at the shelter. There are currently hundreds of people on parole in Denver who are homeless. I wonder how many were dropped off on Smith Road yesterday with no where to go and no idea how to get to a shelter.

Denver opened up a temporary homeless shelter Thursday because of the extreme cold that packed existing shelters the past two nights.

The temporary shelter in the old Denver Wastewater building on Third Avenue was opened to up to 50 men, who were screened and transported by the Denver Rescue Mission.

"We're going to keep it open through Sunday because we have another cold front coming," said Debbie Ortega, executive director of the city's Commission to End Homelessness.

"We'll continue to closely monitor the capacity to ensure that (the homeless) are getting services."

The decision to open the temporary shelter came one day after the Denver Rescue Mission housed a record number of men - 386 - at its Lawrence Street shelter Wednesday night, when temperatures dropped to 2 below zero and the high reached only 21 degrees.

The Denver Rescue Mission late Thursday night had 340 men at its Lawrence Street shelter and transported an additional 40 to the temporary shelter.

Workers said they were expecting more people to show up later in the night.

"(Wednesday) we had the largest number ever," said Greta Walker, spokeswoman for the Denver Rescue Mission, adding that the shelter usually has the capacity to house 300 men.

"Our goal is to save lives, so we didn't want to turn people way," she said. "In minus-degree weather, it's too brutal to stay outside in the weather. But it also shows that there is lack of shelter beds in the area, too."

Rocky Mountain News


Anonymous said...

come on in all reality ,something needs to be done to help these people,what happend to the mayors plans ??? they need to be treated with dignity even if they are poor and dont have a home,someone ,somewhere needs to come up with a real plan to house these people indefenitly.....a home ,a job or the ability to get there s.s.i. and be able to afford a place to live...it costs so much to get a place in denver that its impossible for the homeless or the working poor to get a place once they are on there feet,come on as a population of humans we all need to do something for these people...charlie

Anonymous said...

Legal discrimination in rental housing exists in Colorado. If you are on parole, it is almost impossible to get rental housing. You have to fill out applications and you will be denied housing because you have a criminal record.
The success stories come from those who are able to find housing with those relatives or friends with which they have been able to maintain a relationship. Unfortunately, DOC denies many of those applications because of various reasons, including denying constitutional protections such as having a firearm to protect yourself and your family.
There are a few housing alternatives in the Capitol Hill area, but there you are in the middle of crack and herion, so there are the immediate temptations to go back to the old life. No jobs are offered, or DOC denies the jobs that Paroles do find. Every inmate that gets out of DOC needs to be given a copy of the GO guide from CCJRC a year before their release. It is also handy for homeless and county releases.

Anonymous said...