Rally planned to protest Denver mayor’s policy on homelessness

DENVER (KDVR) — On Monday, Housekeys Action Network Denver will hold a rally outside the Denver City and County building, calling on Mayor Mike Johnston to keep promises they said he’s broken on his homeless policies.

HAND has been sharing a flyer that flat-out calls Johnston’s “House 1000” initiative a scam.

House 1000 is the mayor’s goal of getting 1,000 people who are unhoused into homes and in micro-communities by the end of the year.

V Reeves with HAND said the mayor’s promises of solving the issue of homelessness have lacked accountability.

“We want him, at this point, just to follow his own encampment policy,” Reeves said. “We’re not asking for more than that. We’re asking for accountability to his own words when it comes to how he’s going to decide when to sweep and carry out a sweep.”

The mayor’s office provided a statement to FOX31 on this planned rally saying he remains committed to his goal of housing 1000 people by year’s end.

“Focus on those people who really need to be indoors during the harsh winter instead of the most visible people,” Reeves said, “instead of focusing on geography.”

The Mayor’s office, via a statement, said the mayor’s administration is “focusing on the most vulnerable populations”

In their statement, Johnston’s office acknowledged that “safety risks are highest for those currently living unsheltered in encampments, especially with winter approaching.”

“He needs to be sure that there are certain rules that are consistent across the board,” Reeves said, “that allow for autonomy and protect people’s rights, in those settings.”

The shelters where people who are unhoused are staying now, Reeves said, need accommodations for people to have a better shot at getting back on their feet.

As for people currently unhoused, Reeves said Monday’s rally will also ask the city for more hygiene resources.

“That means more bathrooms, handwashing stations, water access,” Reeves said, “so that we can make sure everybody in the community has these things available.”

With a little over two months left in the year, the city’s House 1000 dashboard reports only 168 people housed so far, giving the mayor that much time to keep his promise and house 832 more people.

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