Legal Rights

    Why can’t Wheat Ridge Police Department arrest people panhandling on medians? It is dangerous?

    Soliciting is not itself illegal.  It is actually protected speech. But soliciting can be restricted when paired with conduct that is dangerous - for example, if someone steps out into moving traffic to solicit.

    Why isn’t the area near I-70 and Kipling off limits to panhandling and camping?

    A great deal of that property is owned by CDOT. The Wheat Ridge Police Department works closely with CDOT to keep the underpass and other medians clear and free of trash and debris. Asking for money is not a criminal act. If individuals are obstructing traffic or a sidewalk, they are asked to leave the area. If individuals refuse to move or continue to come back to the area, the Wheat Ridge Police Department will issue a trespassing ticket.

    Why do I see tents and people experiencing homelessness on private property even after reporting it to Wheat Ridge Police?

    If individuals are on private property, Wheat Ridge Police Department cannot order them off or issue trespassing citations. We must have the owners’ permission and we work hard to get that; however, some property owners are unreachable or want to allow people to stay on their property.

    Can’t Wheat Ridge Police keep people from panhandling or standing around on sidewalks around the City?

    Most sidewalks are public and can be used by anyone with very few restrictions.  Everyone has equal right to stand around and occupy public sidewalks. Like the median issue above, it is only when conduct endangers oneself or others that it can be restricted.

Homeless Navigator

    I have encountered an individual who is experiencing homelessness and asking for resources, should I call the Homeless Navigator?

    Send an email to; however, if urgent, contact the non-emergency number for Wheat Ridge Police Department 303-237-2220.

    Should I refer everyone I encounter that is experiencing homelessness to the Homeless Navigator?

    Only email the Homeless Navigator if the individual or family is/are asking for help and are receptive to resources.

    I have encountered an individual who is experiencing homelessness and asking for resources, can I call the Homeless Navigator in that moment to come and meet with the client?

    Please provide the individual with the email address of the Homeless Navigator and encourage them to reach out. Additionally, please email the Homeless Navigator with the client’s contact information and location. If the client doesn’t have any contact information, the Homeless Navigator can attempt to locate the individual the next time the conduct outreach in the area.

    I have been seeing camps pop up in a certain area, would the Homeless Navigator be able to help remove the camps?

    The Homeless Navigator does not assist with moving camps or asking individuals to leave a space. Please contact the Wheat Ridge Police Department non-emergency number at 303-237-2220.

What do I do if...

    I have seen an individual experiencing homelessness in my neighborhood or camping in the parks, do you have a resource list I could give to individuals experiencing homelessness?

    It is a better idea to contact the Wheat Ridge Police Department non-emergency number (303-237-2220) if individuals are seen camping or beginning to gather in areas around the City. Let the dispatcher know of the location of those who may need services so those individuals can be contacted. There are multiple safety aspects to consider before interacting with an individual on a public street or right of way. Email the Homeless Navigator and she can reach out to individuals and provide them with the appropriate resources.

    I have been seeing some individuals asking for money or food on street corners, is it better to give food or gift cards rather than cash?

    Instead of providing cash or gifts of food to individuals, consider giving to local non-profits or agencies that serve families and individuals experiencing homelessness or make a donation to the Wheat Ridge Community Foundation to support the work of the Homeless Navigator

    We are experiencing inclement weather and I have seen an individual who is outside and not prepared for the weather, is there a shelter they could go to?

    Call the Wheat Ridge Police Department non-emergency number 303-237-2220 and let Dispatch know the location of those individuals.