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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Vigil memorializes Denver homeless deaths in 2023

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Friday, December 22, 2023   

A vigil was held yesterday, the shortest day of the year, to memorialize the deaths of Denver residents experiencing homelessness in 2023.

Cathy Alderman - chief communications and public policy officer with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless - said the annual 'We Will Remember' program is a reminder for the general public about the high stakes of living without shelter, especially in winter.

She said for many, this is the only service marking their passing.

"This is a tragic situation where people are dying on the streets of Denver," said Alderman. "But also, we should provide honor, dignity, and respect to every individual - no matter what their housing status was when they passed away."

Participants gathered in front of the Denver City and County Building to honor over 300 people who died this year. After the announcement of each name, people responded "We will remember."

Many brought donations including coats, gloves, socks and other winter gear to help the unhoused make it to Spring.

According to the most recent data, over 14,000 Coloradans experienced homelessness this year. Yet in the Denver metro area alone, over 22,000 apartments sit empty - according to the Apartment Association of Metro Denver.

Alderman said it's frustrating to know that there are enough vacant units to house all Colorado residents experiencing homelessness, but that it remains a problem.

"There are more than 20,000 empty apartments in Denver," said Alderman. "That is a gut punch every single day, knowing that there is that much housing going unused when people are dying outside."

The vast majority of available housing is far from affordable, as private developers continue to construct high-end units that provide a safe haven investment for hedge funds and people who own multiple homes.

Alderman noted that the state of Colorado has very few shelter options for people living outside the Front Range metro areas.

"As a state we really need to be looking at strategies, one, to prevent death among people experiencing homelessness," said Alderman. "But also to get people into what we know is the solution to homelessness, and that's affordable housing."



Disclosure: Colorado Coalition for the Homeless contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues, Housing/Homelessness, Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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