The High Cost of Housing in Denver

I've lived in Denver my entire life and three years of that I spent homeless on the streets of the city I love. The homeless issue in Denver is exasperated by the rising cost of housing in the area. A one bedroom apartment in Denver now averages $1400. This price puts nearly all of the available housing out of range of anyone making minimum wage. A recent report on Colorado Public Radio estimated that it would require three persons working for minimum wage  and renting a unit as a group to afford a small, one-bedroom unit in the Denver Metropolitan Area. I am struggling as well. While I’m not currently homeless, the rent on my unit requires that 50 to 55% of my monthly income goes to paying rent. This, in my opinion, is unsustainable. In the event of an emergency (an automobile breaks down, medical issues and hospitalization episodes, a divorce, death of a spouse or other loved one) the renter’s security and stability can be shaken to its very core. I plan to produce a series of videos whereby I will interview homeless individuals in my city to determine the most common causes of their plight, be it drug abuse, mental illness or one of the several emergent issues listed above. While this research will be anecdotal, I hope to use it to influence the decision makers on our city council to try a new approach the issue of homelessness. It is my hope that the graphic nature of a video recording and the personal aspect of the interview process may sway some to rethink the solution process for Denver; my city, the city I love.

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Clifford Dolan - I am a truck driver in Denver and have made the homeless issue in my town a personal cause of mine. I've spent several years as a homeless person on Denver's streets and I understand how difficult it can be to make it up and out of homelessness. I'm hoping that with others support, I can shake up the decision makers in my town to rethink the issue of homelessness.

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