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The Safe Outdoor Space that was not safe | Part 3

Denver's Big Experiment

Death at the Grant Street SOS Erica M died of an acute methamphetamine overdose at the Grant Street SOS camp, in her tent, on December 2020. She was likely dead for 2 days before she was discovered. The death of the 34-year old woman occurred less than a month after the camp opened. Today, six months later...silence Earthlinks, the service provider at the Grant Street SOS, is completely silent. Colorado Village Collaborative (CVC), the organization responsible for the Pearl Street, Regis University, and Park Hill SOS sites is enthusiastically positive with no mention a of death. CVC was awarded a $900K City contract, which passed City Council in February 2021 with one dissenting vote. The total project cost, according to the contract with Denver Department of Housing Stability (HOST) is $1,023,869.00 for 100 camp residents.

Kathleen Van Voorhis of The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, speaking for Colorado Village Village Collaborative and Earthlinks camp sites, stated in a June 2021 email:

"We will be releasing a full third party evaluation in the next month. This will discuss the SOS model at both sites, the success areas, the challenges, and will of course describe the methodology. It will also look at the transition, communication, and next steps for the model. The report was not released to any external parties."

There is no data that supports expanding the SOS program. At a June 2021 Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation SOS Forum, a question was asked about police response to the SOS camps. Cole Chandler, Colorado Village Collaborative Executive Director responded, "...I do know there were a couple of calls to the Grant Street site, but, again, they were extremely minimal."

The Mayor and City Council want SOS sites in every neighborhood.

Who benefits? SOS residents? neighborhoods? or service providers?

Where is the transparency and accountability in this big experiment?

See full article HERE.

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