Unhoused Community & Advocates Take Over Denver Recreation Center

Denver, CO – On Thursday evening, March 10, community members who are without permanent housing and their advocates arrived at the Carla Madison Recreation Center in an attempt to take over the public facility overnight to be out of the below freezing weather.

Unicorn Riot filmed as the action unfolded.

“Unhoused neighbors are freezing, at risk of losing limbs to frostbite, catching hypothermia, or dying. We have met too many unhoused people this winter who have lost limbs to frostbite. We will not stand for this when there are warm public buildings ready to be open for people in desperate need.”

Press release for the action

This facility is used during the day up until 9:00 p.m. as a warming shelter when the temperatures are dangerously low. However, with the night low expected to be 10 degrees Thursday into Friday, community members are taking matters into their own hands.

“If the City will not open the Recreation Centers for this life or death need, we will just have to do it ourselves. We are here to keep this public Recreation Center open to the public so unhoused neighbors can stay here tonight to survive this weather.”

Press release for the action

With Denver’s homeless shelters full during the below freezing nights, people who are seeking a warm place indoors have no available options. The organizers of Thursday’s action point out in their press release that “the City has an existing contract with Bayaud Enterprises to run a pop up emergency shelter at Recreation Centers in extreme winter cold,” but that they never used it.

We are here at Carla Madison Recreation Center because the City is not doing what is needed to protect our unhoused neighbors so we are forced to remain in this building to keep it open ourselves. So all may survive.

Press release for the action

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Unicorn Riot coverage on Denver’s housing crisis and unhoused community: