City Activities and Response

City Council has prioritized homelessness as a top priority in their strategic plan. Therefore, actions to address issues associated with homelessness will be a focus over the next two years. The work is ongoing to address this very complex issue and here are some of the plans we have underway:

  • Staffing for this spring/summer:
    • Two School Resource Officers and an additional police officer will be working with Crime Prevention Officer Brian Gross as a dedicated homeless team this summer; two park rangers and potentially a third, will provide extra duty on the Greenbelt; the Crash and Traffic Team will move any unallocated time to I-70/Kipling this summer; the City is applying for grants for additional overtime funding to focus on homelessness issues
    • Parks will be hiring additional seasonal staff who are trained and skilled in biohazard cleanups
      • Monthly cleanups are currently scheduled with CDOT; however this may increase to twice a month during the summer if CDOT staff is available.
      • The City is hiring a contractor for twice monthly clean ups in troubled areas to supplement what is already being done by City staff – that contract will start in late May
      • Both Localworks and the Wheat Ridge Chamber of Commerce are coordinating volunteer cleanups. Please see the “Key Dates” section for information.
      • The City will conduct regular assessments on public property, including the Wheat Ridge Greenbelt, and campers will be notified prior to any cleanup. Resources will be provided and assistance from the Homeless Navigator will also be offered.
      • The City street sweeping public rights of way, especially I-70/Kipling and 38th and Wadsworth, weekly
      • The City and CDOT are exploring landscape design options for the four corners at I-70/Kipling to discourage camping
      • The City is contributing more than $200,000 this year to area non-profits and agencies that assist with homelessness, mental health, addiction and family services. In addition, the City will receive additional stimulus funding from Congress through the American Rescue Plan Act which can partly be used to address homelessness issues. Other programs and services to support homelessness such as short-term and long-term housing needs will also be reviewed.
      • City Council has and is continuing to work on the legislative efforts to address issues associated with homelessness
        • In January City Council passed ordinances concerning trespassing and the illegal removal or defacing of notices on public property
        • On May 17, 2021 City Council will be discussing two new potential ordinances concerning pedestrians hindering the flow of traffic and pedestrian use of center medians on roadways
        • Staff is currently working with the City Attorney to draft new legislation to require motels to obtain a separate license to operate and to meet certain standards to remain in compliance with that license
        • Staff is also considering legislation to regulate motels that are operating as extended stay motels without the proper facilities or amenities to do so safely.

Staff will be providing regular updates to City Council and during public council meetings. Please check the “Key Dates” section and the City website calendar for more information. Members of the public are encouraged to tune in to these meetings to learn more and to continue to provide input. Additionally, an internal Homeless Working Group of City staff from across all departments of the City (Public Works, Communications, Parks and Recreation, the Police Department, the Homeless Navigator, and the City Manager’s Office) meets on a regular basis to coordinate local efforts to address homelessness issues

Share City Activities and Response on Facebook Share City Activities and Response on Twitter Share City Activities and Response on Linkedin Email City Activities and Response link
<span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing:">Load Comment Text</span>