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Denver micro-community opening Monday, neighbors raise concerns

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DENVER (KDVR) — Denver is set to open a micro-community in the Overland Park neighborhood off South Santa Fe Drive on Monday. It’s part of Mayor Mike Johnston’s House1000 initiative.

“The micro-community is going to provide opportunity to people to survive,” Denver District 7 Council Member Flor Alvidrez said.

People from an encampment off Colfax Avenue and Umatilla Street will be moved to the community, which is made up of 60 tiny homes. The community will offer wraparound services, including medical care and employment services.

“We have worked so hard to get to this point,” Alvidrez said.

The community is gated, secure and staffed 24/7. Routine drug testing will not be required in the facility, which has some neighbors concerned.

“Stuff can start happening way worse than it is right now, and there’s already an issue with it, and we don’t want that around here,” said Joe, who lives nearby.

Denver micro-community in the Overland neighborhood
Denver is set to open a micro-community in the Overland Park neighborhood off South Santa Fe Drive on Monday, March 11, 2024.

Micro-community announcement planned for Monday

Neighbors appealed zoning for the project as recently as Jan. 30.

“I can tell you this much: Everyone I’ve talked to that lives around here, they agree with me that they don’t like it opening. The property values are going to go down, and it’s not right,” Joe said.

Alvidrez hears the residents’ concerns and assures the community will remain safe.

“I’m here to be alongside my residents and make sure they feel comfortable and safe in how this progresses. This is just one next step,” she said.

Alvidrez said she’s committed to helping people experiencing homelessness in District 7. She has worked with the mayor to come up with a plan for commercial corridors. More on that plan will come out in April.

Johnston and Alvidrez are scheduled to announce the opening of the micro-community Monday morning.

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