Homeless Housing Issues

The Mercury Cafe Could Get Squeezed Out.
Don’t Let The Coalition For The Homeless Build A 9 Story Building 15 Feet From The Mercury Cafe

Yikes, oh no, the Mercury could get squeezed out. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has three 5-story buildings within a block of us already and they want to build a 9-story building right beside us, 15 feet away from us to house the homeless.  We believe housing is a human right, and we support their mission but the neighborhood is already saturated and the additional problems this will present could destroy us.  Keep reading for more details.

Please, if you can take the time to write a short letter or send the form letter below opposing this project, I would be so grateful, and it would help keep the Mercury strong. Our goal is to have 1,000 letters sent on our behalf.

Talking Points:
I believe housing is a human right. For 30 years I have supported the Coalition’s mission. But… This project would shade the Mercury’s 50 solar panels and block our wind turbines. The neighborhood is already saturated with this kind of housing(see detailed list below). There are already 3 five story buildings within a block of the Mercury providing this type of housing. This saturation concentrates poverty. Other neighborhoods need to share this kind of housing.

 Form Letter:
“I am writing to share my concern for the Mercury Cafe in regards to a proposed project by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH). The plan to build a nine-story building directly alongside the Mercury Cafe will further hurt, even cripple, the Mercury Cafe and their ability to continue as a business.

Founded in 1975, the Mercury Cafe has been in their current location at 22nd and California since 1990, serving the Denver metro area as a venue and launching pad of musicians, artists, poets, and dramatists, and a culinary supporter of local farmers, ranchers, brewers, and vintners. 

The cafe is the site of dance classes, student performances, weddings, memorials, celebrations, and community organizing. It’s at the heart of a large, loyal and vibrant community. The Mercury Cafe is a model of sustainability with its clean energy and commitment to organic and locally sourced food and spirits.

The Mercury Cafe believes housing is a Human right.  However, within 1 block of the Mercury Cafe, there are already three five-story buildings that serve the homeless residents of Denver.  Concentrating the poverty and mental illness into one block in the neighborhood is not good for the people who live in the housing.  It has also been a struggle for the small businesses on the block to navigate. Another such facility will add to this profile.

Unfortunately, CCH has a history of failing to fully resolve many issues arising from buildings they already manage here, including their tenants’ human waste, trash, and confrontational interactions. With escalating intensity, these unresolved issues are falling on the Owner and staff of the Mercury Cafe, who now deal with them on a daily and nightly basis. 

While CCH meets with and seems to listen to its business neighbors, they have failed to make the effective and sustained changes needed to truly support neighborly co-existence. And yet CCH now wants to build another building in this already saturated location. 

I believe CCH can and should locate their proposed building in another area of Denver, so as to disperse the impact of this type of housing rather than continuing to overwhelm the neighborhood around 22nd and California. Thank you,”

This letter above will pop up into your e-mail application if you click on the “Send E-mail Now” link. Feel free to send whatever portion of the letter makes sense to you, or craft your own letter. Thank you so much for your support, it means everything to us.

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Facilities Already Concentrated In Neighborhood:
The Denver Rescue Mission Lawrence Street Shelter, which sleeps up to 315 homeless people per night (1130 Park Avenue West)

The Samaritan House, operated by Catholic Charities, which sleeps over 320 men, women and children per night (2301 Lawrence Street)

The St. Francis Center, operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, which on average provides emergency assistance to approximately 800 men and women during daytime hours (2323 Curtis St)

The Salvation Army Residential Substance Abuse Program (Harbor Light) for up to approximately 70 men dealing with substance abuse (2136 Champa Street)

The New Genesis shelter, which sleeps 120 men per night and provides assistance to 1,100 homeless people per year (17th and Sherman)

The Urban Peak drop-in center for at-risk homeless youth (2100 Stout Street)

The Stout Street Health Center operated by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (“CCH”), which provides integrated health care for more than 13,000 homeless individuals each year and provided 114,706 health care visits last year, including the treatment of mental health conditions, substance use disorders and chronic diseases (2130 Stout Street)

The Glenarm Street Homes operated by CCH which provide transitional housing for the homeless and consist of eight 3 and 4 bedroom units (2050 Glenarm Place and which has been an ongoing problem for the Clements Historic District for over 20 years)

The Renaissance Stout Street Lofts operated by CCH which provide transitional housing and supportive services for the homeless and consist of 59 one-bedroom and 19 two-bedroom units (2130 Stout Street, less than one block from the Mercury Cafe)

The Renaissance Off Broadway Lofts which provide transitional housing and supportive services for the homeless and consist of 81 units with 15 studios, 42 one, 21 two-and 3 three-bedroom apartments (2135 Stout Street, less than one block from the Mercury Cafe)

The Renaissance Downtown Lofts, operated by CCH which provides transitional housing and supportive services for the homeless and consist of 59 one bedroom and 19 two bedroom units (2075 Broadway, one block from the Mercury Cafe)

The Drehmoor Apartments, a 75 unit project based Section 8 apartment complex for seniors (215 E 19th Ave)

The Capitol Hill Apartments, a 121 unit project based Section 8 apartmentcomplex (1825 Logan Street)

The Beldame Apartments operated by the Empowerment Program which provides transitional housing and supportive services for approximately 20 homeless women who are in disadvantaged positions due to incarceration, poverty, homelessness, HIV/AIDS infection, and/or involvement in the criminal justice system (1904 Logan Street).