‘Really nothing left’ of Westside camps
Other than unpredictable changes and abandoned sites needing cleanup, “there's really nothing left” of transient camping along Fountain Creek through the Westside,
Officer M.J. Thomson of the City Police Department's Homeless Outreach (HOT) team said this week.
The last prominently occupied tent complex, off Naegele Road by the 25th Street bridge over Fountain Creek, was dealt with last weekend, he said. The residents had been a male and female couple who were out of work; now, “they've found housing,” Thomson said.
He added that abandoned sites will be cleaned up by Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful, which contracts with the city for such work.
Other significant locations along the creek had been behind the Express Inn between I-25 and Eighth Street and behind the Sonic restaurant on West Colorado Avenue. “Some moved out on their own, others we gave warnings to,” Thomson said. “But we haven't had to give any tickets.”
The reduced numbers followed the city's approval of an ordinance in February that banned camping on public city land. This empowered HOT officers to start telling campers - totalling up to 500 at one point on the Westside and downtown - that they had to find other alternatives, seek help or face the consequences.
There are still an estimated 100 or so transient campers in the downtown area who have not yet cooperated with police or homeless-service entities.
Westside Pioneer article