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Members of the Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission hold true to the values of respect and inclusivity. In doing so, we must speak up when we see injustice being done to our friends — namely in the form of the removal of encampments where our homeless neighbors reside. I pass over these encampments every day on my way to drop my son at school, and I see the safety and health issues that arise as a consequence.
We continue to be trapped in an ongoing battle with ourselves: Rather than focusing our efforts on productive solutions to the housing problem, we perpetuate the cycle of abuse when we forcefully remove our citizens and push them toward ... nothing at all. Indeed, the approximately 50 residents of this particular tent city were told that this area was safe by both the HOT police team and CDOT during the last sweep of the city.
The continued isolation of our homeless brethren and moves by the city to force residents elsewhere is both short-sighted and inhumane. Our city's resources could certainly be put to more constructive use by educating our leaders on the realities of living without a home in the Springs.
We invite our city leaders, including Mayor John Suthers and city and county police officers, to partake in an immersive Urban Experience with us at the J&P as we walk throughout downtown, visiting community agencies and meeting people who face homelessness every day. Perhaps there is some knowledge yet left to impart that would help inform our leaders in taking a compassionate look at reality.
We hope to join area nonprofits in looking into the establishment of a permanent designated camping area for our residents: a safe and clean place that satisfies all constituents.
— Anjuli Kapoor, Executive Director, Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission
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