48th Street Shelter has Kicked Multiple Houseless Women to the Streets for Petty and Corrupt Things – Women are made Vulnerable for trying to Speak Up about it!!!
Last month, on September 22nd, roughly 35 women were kicked out of the 48th street shelter for such ridiculous, corrupt and petty reasons as having their bed a few inches over a blue line, having stuffed animals on their beds, not packing downsizing their property fast enough, and similar petty property related reasons.
This includes an almost 70 year old woman who suffers from ulcers, schizoaffective disorder, and a barrage of other health conditions being “DNR’d” (“do not return”) for a week due to not being able to downsize fast enough despite moving over 90% of her belongings into storage, and a younger woman being kicked out for the same amount of time because her bed was positioned 2 inches over the blue tape line (as pictured)… Despite her bed being in this position when it was assigned to her.
Watch this video interview with one elderly women who is now on the streets kicked out for these reasons recently: (and attached)
This interaction between the staff and this elderly resident kicked to the streets was captured on video (audio only for safety) attached. Listen to staff tell her, ”you don’t need anymore” and she says “clothes I need clothes – I’m human!”
Now again after some of these women got back in the shelter, on October 17th 2023, staff at the 48th street Women’s Shelter went around writing up women for having jackets or towels draped over the side of their beds – Threatening to kick out roughly another 30 women to the streets if they do not remove these items!!!
See a picture of the notices given out here (name redacted)
See a picture of the “offense” of items draped over the side of the bed that could lead to women being kicked to the streets as winter is approaching.
These “warnings” were given while everything was already fitted underneath these beds!! And the practice of draping items over one’s bed has been a long standing common practice at this shelter. Women have not ever been told they could not do this until last week!! All of a sudden they are being written up for these items…. And one has to wonder WHY?
When residents of the shelter spoke up publicly and at a meeting the Mayor’s staff held at the shelter, the leadership of 48th street shelter responded with great concern that this was happening, as they did not even know what on ground staff was doing, and voided all the recent write ups for women who had blankets and such draped on the beds. We are very grateful that the shelter leadership took this action when seeing what on ground staff were doing – stopping ANOTHER 30 women from being kicked to the streets!! But the fact that they did not know what their OWN staff was doing…. Was ALARMING!!!
This one intervention does not stop the underlying, ongoing causes of this abuse of authority and inhumanity at the shelter. These issues and complaints have been going on for far too long but residents and other staff have been too afraid to speak up and call out the inhumanity. In fear of either loosing their place to live or their job!!
Immediate intervention is needed from the City and the leadership of 48th street shelter to stop this pattern of mistreatment of residents. No more women can be kicked to the streets for OBVIOUSLY CORRUPT and petty reasons!!! No more women to be treated with such disrespect and indignity!! 48th needs to hold their staff accountable for these OBVIOUS DISPLAYS of abuse of authority and the women and these people should not be allowed to work at the shelter!!! This inhumanity must stop. It is NOT RIGHT that women do not feel SAFE from staff living at Shelter’s!!
- Corrupt staff cannot be kept in these positions – they must be let go. If it is a staffing issue, then the City needs to step in to try to find a solution to this issue!!
- Staff need education on houselessness, trauma, decent respect, and how to deal with people who have mental illness!!
- The shelter needs to be investigated and held accountable to their job and to treating people as human!! With KINDNESS and RESPECT!! As being Houseless is already a HARD ENOUGH place to be in!!!
This shelter is run by Catholic Charities under a contract with the City of Denver. The City must intervene to ensure the shelter is run humanely, and not violating human rights, putting lives at risk, and treating people as less than human. If Mayor Mike Johnston and the City of Denver are SERIOUS about solving the Homeless crisis in Denver, then the view, judgement, and TREATMENT of these people NEEDS to change too!!! Otherwise we will only find ourselves right back in the same position!!!
***MORE EDUCATION*** on WHY people even become HOUSELESS in the FIRST PLACE!!!……..
***BETTER SYSTEMS rooted in genuine Kindness, EMPATHY, and Compassion!!!……..
We are calling for a meeting of the City (HOST), district 8 Councilwomen, Catholic Charities leadership, advocates, and shelter residents to make a plan for next steps to stop this pattern of abuse and create systems for accountability, training, rule changes, and more.
People staying in shelters and staff who work there should not have to feel AFRAID to speak up and call out injustices that they see going on!! It is a right regardless of what certain rules may be in place!!
If current staff who ALREADY GOT AWAY WITH kicking 35 people out a month ago are allowed to stay…. Then there is a risk more women could still get kicked out for petty and corrupt reasons!! Furthermore they could get kicked out also for standing up for what’s RIGHT and trying to call out the MANY injustices they’ve seen and experienced!!
This works directly counter to the Mayor’s “House” 1000 goal. More and more women could be on the streets in visible encampments that the Mayor is promising to make disappear. With winter coming, some of these vulnerable women might not even survive… And ultimately… there could be MORE people to house if there is no Intervention at shelter sites because of everything going ON on the inside that NO ONE even knows about!!!
Action is needed.