“Homeless people represent .01% of Colorado’s population. Yet, they represent 5% of all those cited under Colorado’s Municipal Codes.” – TOO HIGH A PRICE: WHAT CRIMINALIZING HOMELESSNESS COSTS COLORADO
Colorado Springs has 10 active ordinances that specifically target behaviors almost exclusively displayed by folks trying to survive outside.
Between 2010 and 2014 there were over 1,004 citations issued for these 10 ordinances with fines ranging from $25 to $2500. Enforcing the 3 most cited offenses cost the city over $152,000.
Before 2016, over 800 cases of “non-jailable offenses” resulted in time in jail simply because the person cited could not pay the fine. This practice of “debtors prisons” in Colorado was ended in 2016.
After a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, the city of Colorado Springs had to pay out a 6-figure settlement to folks experiencing homelessness who were unjustly imprisoned.
It is abundantly clear that these short-sighted attempts to legislate away the impoverished from our sight in Colorado Springs are unjust and harmful to those being targeted. Ordinances that target behaviors predominantly displayed by folks living outside are an absolute waste of taxpayer money.
Stand with us in the battle to end the criminalization of homelessness in Colorado Springs.