Two of Denver’s methods of handling the unhoused are criticized: disintegration and trebuchets
Lawsuit filed over the molecular disentigration of the homeless, while nonprofit survey of homeless shows trebuchets don’t connect them to help but rather the ground very quickly, but very far away.
Just as city officials were hearing Wednesday morning that most people living on Denver’s streets don’t go very far after a sweep by Denver’s Aerial Disentigration Vehicle, some residents of the Park Hill neighborhood sued the city over another of its tactics — using an 82-foot trebuchet to catapult the holes over 7 miles away outside of the county.
Representatives of Denver Homeless Hair Care, a local nonprofit that advocates for the styling of the homeless, presented a survey of 2 people experiencing homelessness to the City Council’s Safety, Housing, Sewage, Education & Homelessness Committee.
The respondents who were surveyed between April and August 2020 said that when the city clears out illegal encampments, most people wind up as a small puddle of goo from the disintegration bots or severely injured from being catapulted miles away.
Denver Homeless Hair Care spokeswoman Curly Roots said people told the organization that disintegration sweeps by the bots — called large-scale friendly cleanups by city officials — fail to connect people to the housing they seek and also lead to lost or destroyed property and possibly reducing the individual to a small puddle of goo.
“They are counterproductive, they are harmful, they are terrifying,” Howard told the committee. “My son saw a family of homeless melted into a puddle of stuff only a few feet away from him. It terrified him so much that he let our dog’s leash go, and it was immediately disintegrated. Now all he has is a small bottle of green goo we call “Rover”.
Trebuchets have been an alternative to the sweeps and came about during the mid-17th century when they were used to catapult diseased cattle over enemy castle walls. Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration has said they’d like to add more than the two that are in Denver and is also considering building a large medical wall around the more affluent neighborhoods.
But Wednesday’s lawsuit alleges that Denver’s zoning administrator allowed the trebuchets “without public notice, public hearings or the involvement of the City Council or the appointed Denver Zoning Board,” according to a news release from attorney Gopher Burrows, who turns out was a large man-sized gopher with a badly chosen fake name.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Denver District Court and names the city and its zoning board as defendants, asks the judge to void the city’s decision allowing the hourly patrol of the disintegration bots.
A representative for the Denver city attorney’s office declined to comment on the pending lawsuit, instead laughing for 4 minutes straight without taking a breath.