Denver Coliseum shelter in ‘dire’ situation – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-09-22 22:25:16 –

Denver — The Denver Coliseum emergency homeless shelter is itself an emergency, according to disability rights advocates who describe their condition as “disastrous”.

They say FEMA money is being spent but the care requirements are not met.

“My leg was amputated and I had diabetes and frostbite,” said John Murphy.

Best of all, Murphy has been grateful to his home at the Denver Coliseum for the past two months.

“You have to evaluate it, but at the same time there are many difficulties,” he said.

The Coliseum was set up as an emergency shelter during a pandemic. Proponents said they would only provide basic services to the 270 men staying there.

But over time, John De Leon of Servicios de la Raza was shocked by what he saw inside. He shared photos of people with disabilities and people with serious medical needs who said they did not have access to critical care and resources.

“That’s bad. The whole facility is bad,” Deleon said.

He never forgets what he saw the day he asked for help from other supporters.

“He had a complete seizure and was sitting there half-naked, but at that point he couldn’t get the help he needed,” Deleon said. “Just seeing him rolling naked like that made me a little crazy why they allowed that to happen.”

He called Mary Putman at The Recipricity Collective, and they had been alerting the city and the Salvation Army for weeks. They said there was little reaction.

“The shelters are funded by FEMA, so these are federal funds and must have Americans with Disabilities Act in force, but they aren’t happening here,” Putman said. Stated.

According to Putnam, pandemic money does not go to people in need of direct care.

“The system has a lot of money, but I don’t think it’s really directed at these direct services needed. They seem to be heading towards homeless industrial infrastructure,” he says. I did.

Britta Fisher, head of Denver’s new Home Stability Department, disagrees with the claim that people with disabilities are not receiving care.

“People with disabilities are absolutely welcomed in the Coliseum and are some of the people we serve in an emergency COVID-19 response,” Fisher said.

She even said the city of Denver hired a medical contractor to provide personal care for the Coliseum shelter.

“It’s happening because we reported it,” Fisher said. “I have visited shelters several times and take these claims very seriously. I need to be a little more specific from these supporters raising these concerns, but this I’ve met them by. We’re our serving partners and we’re investigating them to the degree of concreteness we have. “

In a statement, Councilor Kandy Kudebaka said he was grateful to the Reciprocity Collective and its partners for warning about the situation in the Coliseum.

“Since receiving this warning at the end of July, staff and I have been in contact with city, state, and federal offices to seek solutions and face evacuation shelter guests in accessing the resources they need. We have sought to remove the barriers. We have convened a meeting with HOST to allow these disability defenders and outreach workers to bring urgent concerns directly to the city’s shelter operations team.

“The guests of the Coliseum shelter are my members and one of the most vulnerable members of District 9. Therefore, the people in charge of overseeing the city’s shelter operating contract actually paid attention, Responding with a sense of urgency is very important to me. The personal support services that shelter guests now need and the stable housing when the shelter was closed in December. You need to provide the resources you need to get it. “

Meanwhile, Murphy said the clock was ticking to find a place to live. The Coliseum Shelter will be closed in December.

“I think I’ll just put it in the hands of God, and let’s see what happens from it,” Murphy said.

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