Park Hill residents file lawsuits against abandoned camp

Park Hill residents tried to prevent a homeless camp from opening business in a local church, but the court recently dismissed their lawsuit.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many sections of society, including the homeless population. Some, like Pastor Nathan Adam of Park Hill United Methodist Church in Colorado, are trying to help people without shelter. On Easter Sunday of that year, he teamed up with the nonprofit Colorado Village Collaborative (CVC) to “help the homeless by setting up camps in the church parking lot to accommodate the needy for up to six months.”

Brown and gold hammer; Image by Bill Oxford, via Unsplash.com.

Commenting on the matter, Pastor Adam said the homeless relief camps “are an extension of the work God has called us to love our neighbors. But especially to love our most vulnerable neighbors. ”But not everyone is happy about the pastor’s work. In fact, Park Hill residents are so angry they recently filed a lawsuit against the pastor, nonprofit, city, and church for “preventing the camps from being set up at the church.”

The lawsuit was filed in Denver District Court, arguing that “the site is a child hazard, does not meet city requirements, and does not consider the impact on the neighborhood.” One angry local resident said, “If I wanted to live in downtown Denver with homelessness on my face every day, with people sleeping on my patio or using the bathroom in my garage, I would live downtown.” The lawsuit became however turned away and the camps are expected to be fully set up by June 14th.

In response to local residents’ concerns, the church and nonprofit assured them that they “will not allow people with a history of violence or sexual assault” to enter the camps. Pastor Adam hopes this will help “keep everyone safe, including the children who are the main concern of the lawsuit.”

The camps would not only provide shelter, but also provide food and water, and provide safe, temporary housing for people without shelter. According to Pastor Adam and the non-profit organization, the camp would include “temporarily managed campsites with portable sinks, showers and toilets on site”. The camp will be staffed around the clock, providing resources to help individuals get back on their feet. The North Cap Hill camp has been used for large-scale surgeries in the past, including daily COVID-19 symptom screenings. Case managers were also on hand at these screenings with resources for mental health, physical health, employment, and life skills support.

So far, the camps have helped many people without shelter to find permanent shelter and other needs. Since the opening, 25 people have submitted housing applications, “of which seven are currently preparing to move from the secure outdoor area to a long-term apartment”.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of housing in the US and house prices are skyrocketing in much of the country. The pandemic has only made this problem worse, highlighting the need for programs like the one that Pastor Adam is running.

Swell:

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