Not Many Fans of Loveland’s Proposed Plan to Deal With Its Homeless Problem
*EDITOR'S NOTE: The August 24 meeting took place with Loveland City Council members, LPD officers, citizens and others discussing the heated topic.
If the City of Loveland was looking for an easy way to light up its citizens, they certainly found it with their latest plan for dealing with its homeless.
Like many cities, Loveland has had problems with people who live on the streets. Recently, they began to clear out encampments along the southern portion Highway 287 along the Big Thompson river. Now, they've announced a new plan to shelter the homeless.
The City of Loveland reports that in 2020 there were between 125 and 150 homeless people in town. With that amount, homeless encampments have begun popping up throughout town. The Kings Crossing Natural Area on the south side of town becoming one of the largest of them.
To help deal with the homeless problem, the city implemented a ban on unauthorized encampments. To have a ban like that, the city needs have an overnight shelter for the homeless (whether they use it or not,) and that's where the city's latest plan has people very upset. To say "very upset" is almost an understatement.
At the July 26 City Council meeting, council was in favor of proceeding with a tent/modular option at the S. Railroad Site. This means that modular or trailer units will be used for restrooms, showers, and administrative offices, while high-grade humanitarian GP Tents (similar to the ones that FEMA uses) will be used to house individuals.
Individuals using the shelter would not be able to bring their own tents to the site and the old building on the site would not be used as part of the shelter. We will have 24/7 onsite security guards and a screening fence will surround the shelter as part of our safety and security plan. The shelter site currently has a temporary 6-month zoning permit.
The City considered numerous potential sites for this shelter and needed to consider several factors. Ultimately, the City’s old wastewater treatment plant site (now called the S. Railroad Site) has been identified as the preferred location for shelter because it is already owned by the City and for the following reasons:
- Proximity to support services (Loveland Resource Center, Loveland Community Kitchen, Library, Salvation Army, Sunrise Medical Clinic)
- Ability to scale/size the shelter as needed for use, including expansion as needed
- It was one of few sites that could be zoned for this purpose
- Safety/security of the public and for campers
- Relative distance from neighborhoods and schools
I don't think anyone really objects to the idea of a place for the homeless to go, they are more upset about where this shelter will be.
Many citizens have let the city know that they are completely against this proposed long-term homeless shelter, and now Loveland's City Council is going to hold a town meeting about it. The city will be responding to public comments that are submitted prior to the meeting through their provided options:
- Leave a voicemail at 970-962-2302 (OCE)
- Call the Encampment Hotline at 970-962-2150 to share your question with library staff during normal business hours.
WHEN/WHERE IS LOVELAND'S PUBLIC MEETING ABOUT THE SHELTER?
- Wednesday, August 24.
- 5:30 p.m.
- Rialto Theater.
Living in Downtown Loveland as I do, I have heard many, many comments about the proposed shelter/encampment. Mostly, about their concern about the proximity to children; but also about how if the city 'coddles' the homeless, the worse the problem will become.
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