When: Fridays at 5 p.m.
Where: The Palm, 1672 Lawrence St, Denver, CO 80202 (map)
This action seeks to highlight the role of The Palm and the Colorado Restaurant Association in pushing an ordinance through the city council that criminalized the survival act of sleeping by our homeless friends. Wendy Klein, the sales manager at The Palm, testified for the Downtown Denver Partnership in support of the “Urban Camping” Ban. Detailed information on the impact of the “Urban Camping” Ban on the homeless can be found at Denver Homeless Out Loud.
Wendy Klein, sales manager at The Palm, spoke in strong favor of the ordinance criminalizing homelessness at the April 30, 2012 city council public hearing about the “Urban Camping” Ban. She also brought the unanimous vote of the Colorado Restaurant Association in support of the ban to the City Council.
According to Kline who could only refer to the homeless as they or it, “they are lining up outside our doors even as we speak this evening placing their property on our property to save their nights real estate so that they will have a safe, warm place to sleep impeding our guests and even those who are walking back and forth from the restaurant…Now with the warmer weather descending, we are seeing it come back in full force. Our people are asking us what we can do.”
The wealthiest “movers and shakers” in Denver meet to eat, socialize and make deals at Palm Restaurant.
Occupy Denver calls on The Palm, the Colorado Restaurant Association, the Downtown Denver Partnership and the City Council to take the lead of other cities and pursue compassionate, justice-based alternatives instead of criminalizing homelessness. We call on business groups to increase funding for initiatives that will eradicate homelessness.
Homes Not Handcuffs: The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities, a report from the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, provides many alternatives to the criminalization of homelessness.
The report makes the following recommendations:
- Instead of criminalizing homelessness, local governments, business groups, and law enforcement officials should work with homeless people, providers, and advocates for solutions to prevent and end homelessness.
- Cities should dedicate more resources to creating more affordable housing, permanent supportive housing, emergency shelters, and homeless services in general. To address street homelessness, cities should adopt or dedicate more resources to outreach programs, emergency shelter, and permanent supportive housing.
- Business groups can play a positive role in helping to address the issue of homelessness. Instead of advocating for criminalization measures, business groups can put resources into solutions to homelessness.
- When cities work with homeless persons and advocate for solutions to homelessness, instead of punishing those who are homeless or poor, everyone benefits.