Construction equipment has arrived in the Golden Triangle this week, where Mayor Mike Johnston plans to break ground on his third micro-community for people experiencing homelessness.
This one will be built at 1375 Elati St., a city-owned parking lot a few blocks from the Denver Art Museum and Civic Center Park, in the Golden Triangle.
Four months into his time in office, he has brought 274 people inside, according to a city dashboard. He has a month and a half to go to shelter another 726 people to meet his goal. The city plans to bring an additional 1,000 people inside next year.
“The site was carefully chosen to accommodate the specific needs of its future residents and has undergone rigorous assessments for environmental impact, zoning, building regulations, fire safety, public health concerns, traffic and transportation impacts,” according to a statement from the mayor’s office.
Once the site opens, it will be gated from the community, like previous sanctioned camping and tiny home projects have been.
“This is a critical part of our effort to not only get 1,000 people off the street and indoors, but to ensure every corner of the city is doing their part,” Johnston said in a statement. “I’m excited to have one of our micro-communities in the Golden Triangle where it will be an example for the rest of the city of what is possible when we come together as a community.”
There will be 44 “manufactured sleeping units” that look like sheds on the site. These will be built by Solution Builders and will arrive by early December.
The city pledges to offer residents employment assistance and resources, supportive services, restrooms, group kitchens, on-site laundry, and trash disposal, according to the statement.
The city is continuing to find sites to build microcommunities on, while it has already backed out of several proposed sites after neighborhood opposition and logistical issues.
Residents across the city have responded to the arrival of microcommunities in their neighborhoods with a mix of opposition and enthusiasm for the mayor’s attempt to shelter 1,000 and end homelessness in four years.
The city’s outreach workers are currently looking for encampments to decommission and move into this site and others.
“I cannot wait to welcome the first residents to this location by the end of the year and provide this path to permanent housing,” Johnston said.