Initiative 300 – NOT the answer

For 36 years, St. Francis Center has been a place of peace, safety and connection for those in our community who are experiencing homelessness, providing opportunities for our guests/clients, in collaboration with other service providers in the Denver area, to not just survive, but to thrive.  Day in and day out, we work directly with our guests/clients to provide a day center and resources, providing a path to self-sufficiency.

As a service provider and advocate for those who are experiencing homelessness, our perspective on this issue is unique. We feel compelled to express our concerns regarding Initiative 300 due to its potential impact on both our and other’s ability to uphold the dignity of every member of our community, including those people who are experiencing homelessness.

Initiative 300, inappropriately titled, The Right to Survive, would decriminalize “camping” in public spaces, however the likely unintended consequences are far reaching, including the unaddressed question of where people will go to the bathroom. The shift in focus from thriving to just surviving will alter access to life-changing programs such as affordable housing, appropriate shelter, behavioral health, workforce development, and medical and social services.

On May 7, the City and County of Denver will vote on Initiative 300. While no one would want to vote against something that provides people with the basic right to survive, 300 does nothing to provide basic services such as a bed, food, and health care. It’s because of these reasons we cannot support Initiative 300 and ask that the community of Denver put the needs, safety and well-being of our guests/clients and our community first and vote NO on Initiative 300. With your help, St. Francis Center will continue to provide lasting and effective solutions to those experiencing homelessness in our community.

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