September 12, 2022
Purple Cliffs unmanaged campsite closes at the end of month
The city of Durango is addressing the closing of Purple Cliffs. Over a dozen city and county residents shared their concerns with Durango city council this week.
By Sarah Flower
The unmanage campsite Purple Cliffs is scheduled to close on September 30. One of the presenters from city staff is Luke Alvey-Henderson, he's the director for the Durango Public Library.
He says the latest count as of last week shows that this closure will leave at 82 people, including 10 children from three different families displaced.
According to Durango City's councilors, the city has offered a parcel of land to La Plata county commissioners, but according to them, they have not heard back with less than a month left city councilor Kim Baxter urge Council to act immediately on creating a managed homeless campsite.
Last week project Moxie, a nonprofit organization that looks at solutions to affordable housing, presented a petition to the city councilors that had over 550 signatures as of Tuesday.
The petition demands that the city amend its code and to create a space for the unhoused that would have overnight parking, trash and restroom services. Jenn Lopez is the president of project Moxie.
She says her team has solutions, but they can't move forward without a collaboration from the city.
According to Lopez statistics show that the cost of doing nothing for homelessness is not nothing. She says communities are spending anywhere from $35,000 to $50,000 per unhoused individual.
City staff including Alvey-Henderson, Deputy Chief of Police Brice Current and city manager José Madrigal presented counsel with the current efforts that are being done in the city.
Some of the ideas are de-escalation training for city employees, recruiting additional code enforcement officers and creating sobriety and treatment programs. Counselors echoed that these efforts and the idea of a managed camp for the unhoused will take time and effort and collaborations with multiple agencies throughout the region.
Reporting for KSUT Tribal Radio. I'm Sarah Flower
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