Winter is Coming…Where Do We Go?
Fort Collins is facing a global pandemic, and local decisions have left many in our community hungry, stressed, and without shelter. The horrendous failures of our federal & state governments are leading to a massive wave of new evictions, homelessness, and increased need for emergency aid. Fort Collins needs a plan that includes homeless, marginalized, and incarcerated people, and we need universal housing for all.
We, the Fort Collins Homeless Coalition (FCHC), believe:
- The City should immediately repeal its camping ban. Every human being needs sleep to survive, and hundreds must currently meet this need in public spaces. The City needs to stop over-policing, and start investing in community care.
- We need individual & family housing. Individual housing is far better for personal & public health than congregate shelters. The City should purchase or lease hotels rooms or apartments, not just for the ‘most vulnerable’ but for all who need a home.
- We need housing for all. The City should be increasing budgetary support for local affordable housing projects & lobbying the federal government to restore HUD funding for subsidized housing.
- We need basic emergency services in Fort Collins, including 24/7 shelter, food, bathrooms & hand-washing, and drinking water. Since Aztlan was closed, dozens of people are being turned away from shelters to sleep outside each night, hundreds have nowhere to be indoors during the day, and many are hungry & thirsty. These humanitarian crises are even more dangerous when winter weather arrives.
Winter is coming, and Fort Collins is failing its most vulnerable community members. Closing the Aztlan shelter knowing that hundreds of people would no longer have any option to spend days or nights indoors was unconscionable, as was shutting down the encampment in Heritage Park in defiance of CDC guidelines for public health.
Press releases and materials
What if You Can’t Stay Home? — on March 13, 2020, FCHC issued a set of emergency preparedness recommendations to our City, County, and State governments.
Community Leaders Must Act to Provide Housing For All, op-ed piece from FCHC member Lynn Thompson in The Coloradoan, March 30, 2020.