'No place to call home' for Englewood's homeless

Colorado Community Media's ongoing series, “No Place to Call Home,” explores the reasons behind the rise in homelessness in Englewood and the response from various parts of the community, from businesses and city government to nonprofits, the faith community and schools.

The series also reports on the challenges homeless people face while trying to regain stability in their lives.

Reporter Ellis Arnold spent two months researching and reporting this second part of the series, which explores the relationship between homeless individuals and law enforcement, the court and other public institutions.

“ ‘Homeless people are criminals’ is a stereotype that conversations about homelessness have to address,” Arnold said. “It’s often much more complicated than that. This part of the series aims to look at the reality of which laws some — but certainly not all — homeless individuals break, the circumstances that surround them and how law enforcement is trying to help.”

Arnold, 23, graduated from University of Colorado-Boulder in 2017 with degrees in journalism and political science. He covers the cities of Englewood and Centennial. He can be reached at earnold@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

Part Two

For homeless people, the streets, and the laws, are often gray areas

To Englewood police Sgt. Tracy Jones, the homeless situation on the city’s central streets is a row of stops — the light-rail station, the library, the Englewood Trolley bus route, the Walmart, …

Swedish Medical Center sees ‘slight increase’ in number of homeless patients

At the east end of Englewood’s central corridor, Swedish Medical Center treats as many as a half-dozen homeless individuals per day who come through the emergency room. “Some seasonality …

Englewood library, government offices up security

Like other public spaces around the city, Englewood’s library has become a place where homeless individuals are a common part of the scene. Englewood City Council in June approved expanded private …
More of Part Two
Nick Leewaye, left, and Amanda McGuire stand June 26 at Giving Heart Englewood, a homeless-services center on the 4300 block of South Broadway. McGuire grew up in the south metro area and has been homeless for most of the last year.
‘Where are we gonna go? There’s nowhere to go’
Amanda McGuire walked up to collect her belongings from a shed in Englewood one day in April. She and her partner had been living in … Read More
A tote bag of cans, plates and food containers next to a garbage bag of other materials and a beer can along South Platte River Drive in Englewood May 6. Personnel from the City of Englewood, outside homeless-resource volunteers and other governmental agencies carried out a cleanup of the river in January, during which about two dozen camps were located and about 25 truckloads of trash were removed from along the river.
What property is public or private?
Unlike Denver, where a 2012 law bans camping on private and public property, Englewood does not have a law specifically barring … Read More
Joe Jefferson, Englewood’s municipal judge and former mayor, emphasizes “restorative” practices in the courtroom. Many of his efforts to better the lives of defendants focus on those who are homeless. It’s important “not just to punish, but to restore and rehabilitate.”
Ruling with ‘human element’ in mind
Across the hall from his old seat as mayor on Englewood City Council, Joe Jefferson has donned the judge’s robes and brought with … Read More
Left, Englewood police Sgt. Reid McGrath, and on bottom right, Officer Heidi Bradley, sitting in a room with other officers June 15 at the Englewood Police Department headquarters near West Hampden Avenue and South Elati Street. McGrath heads the Impact Team of officers who address “problem areas” in the city.
Police integrate mental health component into work with homeless
On a late spring day in June, Englewood police Sgt. Reid McGrath described a call about a woman who said she was hearing voices — a … Read More
Randall Thompson, who has been homeless for 5 1/2 years in the Denver-metro area, stands near the CityCenter Englewood shopping center in July with his belongings, which he carries in shopping bags stacked on a scooter. Food, documents, clothes, a camera and mail sit among the assortment. Thompson, in his late 50s, frequently comes to the CityCenter area along West Hampden Avenue, a few blocks west of South Broadway.
Without family, ‘I had no options’
In a patch of grass just out of the hot sun, Randall Thompson lay near the sidewalk along South Cherokee Street near the CityCenter … Read More
Part One

Homelessness in Englewood: No place to call home

During a cleanup along the South Platte River in January, Englewood police counted 21 campsites with about 30 people living on its east banks. Some 25 truckloads of trash, human waste, syringes and …
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