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EDITOR’S NOTE ELISABETH MONAGHAN MANAGING EDITOR Native community. Among the is Phamaly. Since FOR THIS YEAR’S JULY ISSUE, we profile three local theater companies along with a story by Jacob Richards about Grand Junction-based Get Uncomfortable Productions. Additionally, we have an article on Native American painter, Jerry Rael, written by Giles Clasen. As Clasen explains, Rael’s works present a lost era of the American West, but his paintings also act as a protest of the past and present treatment of the theater companies the included in this issue late 1980’s Phamaly, a disabilityaffirmative company, has produced some of the area’s best shows performed by a group of incredibly talented actors, who, without Phamaly, would not have an opportunity to perform. Robert Davis covered Curious Theatre, which has produced thought-provoking plays designed to challenge ideas and stir emotions for nearly 40 years. Jamie Miller profiled John Hand Theatre (Firehouse Production Company), whose mission is to build a community of positivity, kindness, inclusivity, and joy through the theater arts. We have so many more exceptional theaters along the Front Range, including Miners Alley, Aurora Fox Arts Center, Town Hall Arts Center, Benchmark Theatre, and several others we weren’t able to cover in this issue. Whether or not you’re a long-time resident, visitor, or someone who has just moved to the area, there is no shortage of amazing art or exceptional theater here, and I hope this issue inspires you all to get out and experience the remarkable work of Colorado-based artists. ■ ROBERT DAVIS is an award-winning freelance reporter for the Denver VOICE. His work has also appeared in Colorado Newsline, Business Insider, Westword, the Colorado Sun, and Medium.com. INTERIM OPERATIONS MANAGER Isabella Colletti MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan JAMIE MILLER graduated from the University of Georgia with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and business management. She enjoys exploring the Colorado mountains, reading a good book at a local coffee shop, and doing yoga. JACOB RICHARDS is a community organizer and writer on the western slope of Colorado. His columns have appeared across the West including The Denver Post, Salt Lake City Tribune, and The Daily Sentinel. When not working in the wilderness, he is working on a project called “A People’s History of the Grand Valley.” PROGRAM DIRECTOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Lanie Lee Cook Emma Hurt Aaron Sullivan ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Rea Brown Giles Clasen Robert Davis Gigi Galen WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. WRITERS Lando Allen Albert Bland Giles Clasen Robert Davis Raelene Johnson Jamie Miller Jacob Richards Jerry Rosen Charles Spring Rodney Woolfolk BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, President Antonio Diaz, Treasurer Michael Burkley Robert Davis Charity Von Guinness Nikki Lawson Cabal Yarne THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS GILES CLASEN is a freelance photojournalist who is a regular contributor to the VOICE. Several of the photos he’s taken for the VOICE have won national and international awards. He also served on the VOICE’s Board of Directors. DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE 2 DENVER VOICE July 2024 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. July 2024 DENVER VOICE 3
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IN GOOD COMPANY: Profile of Get Uncomfortable Productions GET UNCOMFORTABLE: Advocacy Theater in the Grand Valley BY JACOB RICHARDS LOGAN SHIRLEY WAS WALKING AROUND NEW YORK CITY one day in 2016, when he had a realization: “New York City doesn’t need the kind of theater that I want to do.” But Shirley knew that his hometown of Grand Junction, Colorado, on the other hand, was exactly the kind of socially conservative community that could use a healthy dose of “advocacy theater.” “I’m simply not interested in just entertainment. It doesn’t make my soul soar,” said Shirley, now the founder and creative director of Get Uncomfortable Productions in Grand Junction. He credits his interest to his time at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City, which “stretched me as an actor. I fell in love with theater that pushes boundaries.” For example, Shirley and Get Uncomfortable Productions just finished a performance of “Hand to God.” The play follows a puppet club that brings chaos to a church basement in Texas through sex, sin, and a foul-mouthed puppet named Tyrone. Shirley, who played the demanding dual role of Jason and Tyrone, said “‘Hand to God’ is a challenging play for audiences. “They have only two hours to process what us actors have had weeks to process. We just about broke even on ‘Hand to God.’ The response has been very positive,” he said. “We have a remarkable amount of local theater in our community, much of which is family-focused, but I do think there is room for something for the adults; something worth getting a babysitter for,” said Shirley. COURTESY OF GET UNCOMFORTABLE PRODUCTIONS COURTESY OF GET UNCOMFORTABLE PRODUCTIONS Shirley attended Grand Junction’s Bookcliff Christian School as a child but said he was “always uncomfortable in a Christian school.” Shirley said that despite growing up in the church, and being the son of a pastor, religion never quite worked for him. Theater, on the other hand, worked well for him. He began acting locally at a young age with the now-defunct Performing Arts Conservancy, under the direction of Rachel Nelson. He did his first paid acting gig for Nelson in a summer show called “Hold onto your Hats.” He also participated in choir and plays while he was a high school student. Get Uncomfortable Productions is a family affair with his parents taking active roles on and off the stage. According to Shirley, his father Ray and mother Diana supported him in everything that he has wanted to do. As creative director, Shirley has not shied away from difficult subjects. The company’s “Good Chaos” variety show last winter touched on themes of alcoholism, domestic violence, and LGBTQ+ issues. Get Uncomfortable also produced Shirley’s play, “The Earth Exposed,” which takes place in a fictionalized Grand Junction. “I write about characters in extreme situations,” he said. “We did have two people walk out on that one … Not sure if it was the foul language or the joint that was rolled on stage.” Shirley said that other than those two people, Get Uncomfortable Productions’ shows have been generally well-received. “Good theater is theater that surprises — that defies expectations — that often hurts. Good theater is something that hits you and knocks you back on your heels,” he said. Shirley’s productions certainly do that, but the next one will be a little lighter: William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” “We need a little reprieve from the heaviness,” he explained. Get Uncomfortable Productions’ shows are produced on shoestring budgets and performed in a church basement. But what they lack in funds they make up for with talent and fearlessness. When the curtain comes up, Logan Shirley and the cast are sure to transport audiences out of their comfort zones. ■ COURTESY OF GET UNCOMFORTABLE PRODUCTIONS COURTESY OF GET UNCOMFORTABLE PRODUCTIONS 4 DENVER VOICE July 2024 IN GOOD COMPANY: Profile of Firehouse Theatre Company BEHIND THE CURTAIN WITH FIREHOUSE THEATRE BY JAMIE MILLER WHEN JOHN HAND WAS MURDERED IN MARCH 2004, his sister, Helen Hand, did not let his dreams die with him. Instead, she brought them to life. Despite being a practicing clinical psychologist, Helen stepped up to run the two organizations John founded: the nonprofit John Hand Theatre (Firehouse Theatre Company), launched in 2002 inside the old Lowry Air Force Base, and Colorado Free University, founded in 1987. John had a knack for building organizations centered on community, self-discovery, and growth. Helen describes John as the more outgoing of the two siblings, while she was more shy. What they had in common was that neither had much theater experience when stepping into their roles at the John Hand Theatre. Helen’s experience was limited to 10th grade, when she helped with costumes and had a one-liner performance in the play “The Mouse That Roared.” Since becoming executive director of the theater, Helen has produced over 60 plays and supported hundreds of actors. In an ironic turn of events, she certainly has found her roar. She has continued John’s vision of creating a community founded on exploration and empathy, where actors and audience feel seen and valued. “I think sometimes I can feel his presence here. And people who do the productions say that they can too,” Helen said. Being a part of the Denver theater community has helped Helen feel close to her brother and evolve outside her comfort zone. “The theater is a perfect place for people to grow and change. The personal growth from being involved has been amazing … I want everyone to experience those ‘ah-ha’ moments I have had when they come in here,” Helen said. And she is doing a good job of encouraging that experience. “Helen possesses an incredible drive to continue learning COURTESY OF JOHN HAND THEATRE and strives to keep improving,” said Julie Kay Wolf, creative director at John Hand Theatre. “She is a testament that we can all learn and grow throughout our entire lives. She said not too long ago to me that she never expected to be growing and learning so many new things later in life. That is so inspiring.” John Hand Theatre is on track to produce six shows this year. The most recent was “These Shining Lives,” a true story about the friendship and strength of four women working for Radium Dial Company in the 1920s. Helen said the show development process is extremely intentional. In a small theater without a big red curtain, creativity, and love are at the heart of each show’s build-out. “Our artistic vision is to stage shows that encourage people to look at life through other perspectives and develop empathy. We try to find a balance in the kinds of stories and topics — a mix of funny and serious — that leave people with a sense of inspiration or admiration for the human spirit,” Helen said. According to Helen, intentionality goes beyond the shows and extends into the audience experience. Everyone who sets foot into the theater is “framily” — a term Wolf coined for friends and family.. Helen explained that the theater is always growing this “framily.” They cast a wide net by always hosting open auditions and making diversity a main priority. “We try to be really intentional about having as diverse of a cast as possible. Even with older plays, you know, breaking some of the limitations that might have been set in the script,” Helen said. The theater continued to fulfill its duty of bringing casts and audiences together, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, when it seemed impossible. In the summer of 2021, Firehouse Theatre performed the murder mystery “Skullduggery,” which was presented in a “drive-through theater” format engineered by Director COURTESY OF JOHN HAND THEATRE COURTESY OF JOHN HAND THEATRE COURTESY OF JOHN HAND THEATRE Maru Garcia. The audience remained in their vehicles and drove between three stations in the theater parking lot. Each station had a different actor performing a scene of the show. They found a way to come together even while staying apart. Helen said that although audience attendance is increasing in the intimate 86-seat theater, it has not recovered to prepandemic levels. But the show must go on — and Helen knows it. That is why Helen considers every closing night a celebration, complete with a champagne toast tradition. “We like to spend some time processing what the experience has been like, giving everyone a chance to share appreciation for each other and acknowledge the gift that they brought to the community,” Helen said. Helen’s behind-the-scenes presence is a large part of bringing these “gifts” to the stage, and last year, she was recognized for her contributions to local artist Rick Long’s series “Unsung.” The “Unsung” collection is a portrait celebration of 22 impactful Denver theater artists “that never got their curtain call.” “Denver’s theater scene would not be the same without her. Helen has such a big heart and it shows in the lives of those touched by the Firehouse Theatre Company,” Wolf said. To view upcoming shows and find ways to support the John Hand Theater (Firehouse Theatre Company), visit https://www.firehousetheatercompany.com. ■ July 2024 DENVER VOICE 5
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IN GOOD COMPANY: Profile of Phamaly Theatre Company A MATTER OF ACCOMMODATION BY ELISABETH MONAGHAN FOR 35 YEARS, Phamaly Theatre Company has produced plays and shows with casts that are made up entirely of performers with disabilities, establishing a reputation for being among Denver’s best live theater organizations. In May of 2021, Ben Ranaan, who also is disabled, worked in the disabled theater sector for 15 years before relocating from Cincinatti to become Phamaly’s artistic director. According to Phamaly’s website, Raanan’s artistic focus is centralized around creating artistically rigorous theater with, for, and about the disabled community. Before joining Phamaly, Ranaan worked with theater companies, where the focus was on specific disabilities. Rather than being a theater for performers who have Down Syndrome, or who are deaf or mobility challenged, Phamaly works with actors who have all kinds of disabilities. For Ranaan, that means balancing everyone in the company’s individual needs. Recognizing that each actor has specific needs for how they will move about on stage, Ranaan tries to be as reactive as possible instead of proactive. “I like to see what people need in any given moment and react to what I’m seeing, rather than kind of a certified idea of ‘here’s how I’m going to accommodate this person, and this person, and this person,’ because things change on a daily basis here, and I’m going JENNA BAINBRIDGE PERFORMS IN EVITA. COURTESY OF PHAMALY THEATRE COMPANY to react to what I see in front of me, I’m going to live in the moment, I’m going to create right here and now, versus some big elaborate plan I had that isn’t going to work. “I have a toolbox of techniques or accommodation tactics that I’ve used in the past, but for me, it makes no real sense to actually approach disability and approach accommodation until I know who the actors are, and I’ve gotten a chance to sit down with them and see where their heart lies,” he said. While Phamaly employs only actors with disabilities, Ranaan wants people to understand that the company strives to create the best production possible — not just the best production for a disability company. “Coming to a Phamaly show is the same as seeing a show at Vintage Theatre, Aurora Fox Theatre, Town Hall, or Miners Alley. When you come to see a Phamaly show, the emphasis is on the professionalism. The emphasis is on work that has brought us to the levels where we’re presenting the same quality of work that you would see in any company in Denver,” said Ranaan. According to Ranaan, his approach to accommodating an actor’s specific needs means he talks to them to understand how they want to interact with the space that is the stage, and how or if the actor wants to present their disability as part of their role. For example, rather than deciding whether a character’s wheelchair should be hidden by building it into a costume, or rather than hide the fact that one of the actors is blind, Ranaan looks at each situation and works with the actor to find out what they want and how he can best accommodate them. “There was a story about a blind actor in our company. People would comment that they didn’t know she was blind until they saw her after the show, and while that’s fantastic, I think that’s not always what some of our actors want,” said Ranaan. “So we look at each message of inclusivity on its own singular scale. If we have two blind actors, where one wants to use a cane, and one wants to feel out where they are URINETOWN ENSEMBLE. COURTESY OF PHAMALY THEATRE COMPANY REGAN LINTON (L) AND JENNA BAINBRIDGE (R) PERFORM IN “INTO THE WOODS.” COURTESY OF PHAMALY THEATRE COMPANY 6 DENVER VOICE July 2024 IN GOOD COMPANY: Profile of Curious Theatre and make it look like they’re not blind — those are separate accommodations that we have to look at very specifically to accommodate each one. But if someone’s doing a really hard scene, they may go, ‘I don’t want to have to worry about where I am on the stage. [I want] somebody to guide me and get me to where I need to be, so I can focus on the acting, and I’m not pulled out of the moment.’ It’s kind of like that in every show. I think it’s very easy sometimes to homogenize disability… I think the thing that makes Phamaly strong is that there is no set model,” said Ranaan. In the three years since joining Phamaly, Ranaan has remained steadfast in his commitment to accommodating each of his actors while remaining focused on creating artistically rigorous theater. And while he endeavors to remain present and reactive in his role as artistic director, he also works diligently to embody Phamaly’s mission. Ranaan is proud that Phamaly has maintained its values and morals since its inception, despite how much the world has changed over the past 35 years. “The views on disabilities have changed, let alone the views on everything else,” said Ranaan. “I’m pretty proud of the fact that we’ve developed a really good space in rehearsal and in performance, where actors are given the emotional environment needed for them to create their best work.” Ranaan also takes pride in being affiliated with a theater company that has given current and former company members opportunities for success outside of the Denver theater scene. For instance, since leaving her role as a company member and former artistic director for Phamaly, Regan Linton has understudied the role of Ani for the Broadway production of “Cost of Living.” She’s also working on promoting the award-winning documentary “Imperfect” (2021), which follows actors from Phamaly through their production of the musical “Chicago.” Jenna Bainbridge is another Phamaly success story. As a member of the the play “Suffs,” Bainbridge is the first wheelchair user to originate a role on Broadway. As Ranaan explained, Bainbridge wasn’t brought in because of her wheelchair. They gave her the part because of her talent. Bainbridge also performed with the “Suffs” ensemble at the 2024 Tony Awards. To learn more about Phamaly, or to purchase tickets for their upcoming show, “A Chorus Line,” visit www.phamaly. org/show/a-chorus-line. ■ PHOTO BY ROBERT DAVIS NO GUTS, NO STORY Curious Theatre Company Explores Denver’s Humanity BY ROBERT DAVIS THERE’S MAGIC IN THE WALLS of the old church in the Golden Triangle neighborhood that Denver’s Curious Theatre Company has called home for the last 26 years. The theater is where audiences go to be challenged, said company artistic director Jada Suzanne Dixon. It’s a place where up-and-coming playwrights and artists can explore Denver’s humanity — and their own — through the collective experience of feisty, provocative, and progressive theater. “What are the things that inspire us? What are the things that scare us? What are the issues that are in our world that we see reflected in plays by playwrights that matter to us, that are aligned to our mission, even if it scares us?” Dixon told the Denver VOICE. “That’s the thing we want to lean into, and not run away from.” Denver’s theater scene already carries a lot of weight. The Buell Theatre and Ellie Caulkins Opera House have attracted national tours of plays like “Wicked,” “Hamilton,” and “The Book of Mormon.” While these venues and plays are important, Dixon said Curious Theatre focuses its energy on providing Denver with a place where audiences can be sparked to action. BEN RANAAN GIVES CURTAIN SPEECH. COURTESY: PHAMALY THEATRE COMPANY “We’re leveraging theater and sort of the collective experience for both artists and patrons alike, to be moved to be inspired and hopefully spark action towards some type of change, whether that’s on an individual level, or community level, or larger society as a whole,” said Dixon. One of Curious’ latest plays, called “The Cost of Living” by Martyna Majok, is a great example of Curious offering its audience a way to reinterpret a contemporary issue. Rent, food, and gas are all more expensive in Denver than they were before the pandemic. The play dives into how the stress of living a more expensive life wears on the play’s four main characters. “How John and Jess, Ani, and Eddie navigate their separate realities but also engage and spar with each other offer lessons in accommodation that go beyond issues of disability to ones of class, yearning, and economics,” Lisa Kennedy, The Denver Post’s art critic, wrote in her review of the play. Even though these plays take place on stage, there is something to be said about the history captured in the church where the stage lives, Dixon said. The church, which is located at 1080 Acoma St., dates to the 1890s when nearly everyone in Denver was looking for relief from plummeting silver prices, which wrecked the city’s economy. About 100 years later, Curious Theatre took over the building to create a “different vibe” in Denver’s arts scene, Dixon added. The theater is starting to take a new shape as well. In May, the company announced it is working to raise $250,000 by July to cover a budgetary shortfall. This is happening at a time when Denver’s theater community is still reeling from the pandemic. To help raise money, Curious Theatre listed their church building for sale in May. Dixon told Denverite that the move is about “excitement” and not uncertainty. Unfortunately, the cost to maintain the church has grown beyond the theater’s budget, she added. So, selling the property seems to make sense for the organization’s long-term future in Denver. “Now we have an opportunity to talk to other people, get their thoughts, be partners with others, and maybe model an innovative solution for the future,” Dixon said. ■ July 2024 DENVER VOICE 7
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COMMUNITY PROFILE SATISFYING HIS SOUL Native American Artist Speaks Out Through His Work BY GILES CLASEN PAINTER JERRY RAEL has something to say, and he uses his painting as his platform to share his thoughts. Rael paints abstract images of Native men and women. They are often on horseback in beautiful landscapes. He said he sees his work as a celebration of his Indigenous and Chicano heritage. “I’ve always been pretty fascinated with the Native American culture, even as a young kid. We used to play a lot of Cowboys and Indians, and I used to always want to be the Indian,” Rael said. At face value, Rael’s paintings display a lost era of the American West. His work often utilizes Native or Western forms riding on horses through Southwestern scenes. Rael uses positive and negative space in his images to explore the mysticism of the natural world. The faces of his subjects are indistinguishable and are often facing away from the viewer and walking into the unknown. His images invite the viewer to explore meaning beyond their beauty. Rael said that he intentionally leaves his paintings open to interpretation. To Rael, his work is a protest of the past and present treatment of the Native community. “There’s a lot of messages in [my paintings] that are kind of subliminal,” Rael said. “Certain people are able to grasp the meaning. Some others, they see just the beauty of the image, and that’s okay. But other people, they can read a little bit deeper into it and see the story behind the painting.” Rael’s style and art grew out of a series of coincidences. He studied art at the University of New Mexico, but painting became more of a hobby while he taught in Denver Public Schools and raised a family. When Rael retired, his wife pushed him to start painting again. A chance encounter with a friend led Rael to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1. This isn’t a smoke-filled drinking establishment many associate with the VFW. Instead, the Post, located on Santa Fe Blvd., is dedicated to healing and is a place for military veterans to develop as artists and sell their art. Rael has thrived with the support he receives at the VFW by winning local and national awards. He sells many paintings each month, and institutions like the Children’s Hospital in Colorado Springs have purchased his work. According to Rael, he tries to make his work accessible to any collector creating small pieces that sell for $200 and larger works that sell for $2,000. “I paint, foremost, to satisfy my spirit, my soul,” Rael said. “I know I can’t satisfy everybody. I don’t try to. I do this for me, to share my visions and thoughts. But I am always thinking about what is likely to be received well and sell.” When younger, Rael painted much more intricately detailed images. As Rael aged his hands became crippled by arthritis making it impossible for Rael to focus on detailed imagery. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN 8 DENVER VOICE July 2024 CREDIT: GILES CLASEN CREDIT: GILES CLASEN COMMUNITY PROFILE COMMUNITY PROFILE “Abstract Expressionism is what I call my work now,” Rael said. “My hands are starting to hurt; the arthritis is pretty bad in them now. I can’t do the real small stuff like I used to. I can’t do the fine detail. So now, it’s a little bit more of a loose approach in form.” Today, Rael holds the brush loosely, moving in swooping gestures to create representational forms. He uses a kaleidoscope of colors and Native designs to depict the historical Southwest. Some paintings include Native men and women beside white cowboys moving together. The paintings never depict violence. They are about community, even communities at odds with one another. Rael said he seeks to depict communal suffering tied to hope. “You could pretty much say that my work is about the relationship between a conqueror and the conquered. We’re all caught up between those two dualities. My artwork speaks to that in some way, and sometimes, I don’t know the answer,” Rael said. Rael finds inspiration in his grandfather, the Colorado land rights advocate Apolinar Rael, who participated in the lawsuits against the Taylor Ranch in the San Luis Valley. The nearly 80,000 acres of land had been promised as a communal and economic resource to the Native and Chicano farmers and ranchers when the land was granted to the United States from Mexico in 1844. In 1960, Jack Taylor bought the land and closed it to those who had been guaranteed access. The Colorado Supreme Court restored access to the ranch following nearly 40 years of lawsuits. “My grandfather took Jack Taylor to the Supreme Court. And so on his gravestone, there are a couple of horses and it says something to the effect that, ‘He dared to dream and that his dream, someday, would come true.’ That means so much to me and I think about it often,” Rael said. Dreaming is an important aspect of understanding the broader world for Rael. It helps him connect to something bigger. “I do get a lot of visions. And a lot of my dreams are about pain in that culture, in my people, and pain today. And so, it’s only fitting that I do this kind of work,” Rael said. According to Rael, he does not see his work as divisive. He hears from people of all backgrounds how meaningful they find his art, and he tries to make it inviting and open to all. Rael hopes his paintings bring people to see that suffering is communal and that suffering in one community predicts suffering for other communities. “We aren’t the only people suffering,” Rael said. “White people, all people are suffering. The same greedy powers that took from the Native community are taking from all people and hurting us all today. It’s all about standing up and speaking for the people through the artwork.” But Rael is pleased if someone looks at his art and sees a beautiful painting of Native Americans and cowboys traversing the landscape of his people. ■ Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. DONATE YOUR CAR! CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS! CREDIT: GILES CLASEN CREDIT: GILES CLASEN The Denver VOICE is gearing up for an exciting – and busy! – summer. We need volunteers to help us represent the Denver VOICE at events like PrideFest and Dragon Boat Festival, and to help us run open houses at the offi ce during the First Friday Art Walks. If you’re interested in volunteering for events like this, scan the QR code above, or contact our Program Director Connie Gaitan at progam@denvervoice.org. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN July 2024 DENVER VOICE 9
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EVENTS Tourism Edition At last, summer is here! And it has a lot to offer. Check out the events below for your summer-of-fun bucket list. Courtesy of Deborah Lastowka. LIVE MUSIC FREE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES The Levitt Pavilion has quickly become the darling of Denver’s live music scene … and some folks have yet to go there! Round up your friends and fam, bring your blankets and chairs, and kick back for a night of eclectic musical performances. WHEN: Various dates through September WHERE: Levitt Pavilion, 1380 W Florida Ave. CITY PARK JAZZ Jazz in the park is back! Enjoy live music, sunsets, food trucks, cute dogs, and community at this beloved summer event. WHEN: Sundays through August 4, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. WHERE: City Park Pavilion, 2001 Steele St. PERFORMANCES IN THE PARK Free family-friendly outdoor concerts in Wheat Ridge. WHEN: Wednesdays through July 31, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. WHERE: Anderson Park Pavilion, 4355 Field St. SUMMER ROOFTOP PARTIES Experience intimate musical performances while enjoying craft beverages and sweeping views from one of Denver’s sweetest rooftops. WHEN:Friday nights in July and August, doors at 6:30 p.m. COST: $18 - $20 WHERE: MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany St. CROSSCURRENTS This free riverside music festival includes performances by Girl Talk, Moto Bandit, South of France, and more. WHEN: July 13, 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. WHERE: Confl uence Park, 2250 15th St. 10 DENVER VOICE July 2024 COST: Free INFO: crosscurrentsdenver.com INFO: mcadenver.org FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK The Santa Fe Arts District comes alive every Friday night, offering a great opportunity to contemplate art and to people watch. WHEN: First Fridays, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: The bulk of the galleries is along Santa Fe Drive, between 5th and 11th Aves. INFO: denversartdistrict.org ART COST: Free, donations accepted INFO: cityparkjazz.org COMEDY COST: Free INFO: rootedinfun.com COLORADO-COMEDY.COM Colorado Comedy provides an ongoing calendar of free/low-cost comedy showcases and open mics across the state. The site also highlights comedy podcasts, clubs, and classes. COST: Free INFO: levittdenver.org THE UNDERGROUND MUSIC SHOWCASE (UMS) Discover your new favorite band at this 3-day “mess” of a festival. One of Denver’s best weekends — hands down. WHEN: July 26 – July 28 COST: 3-day passes start at $90 WHERE: Various venues along Broadway/South Broadway INFO: undergroundmusicshowcase.com SUMMER SESSIONS Check out Denver’s newest music series, also featuring food + drink. WHEN: July 18 and August 15, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. WHERE: 19th Street Bridge, S. Platte River Dr. COST: Free INFO: summersessionsdenver.com FILM FARMERS MARKETS SUMMER MOVIE SERIES Watch a whole slew of movies this summer while enjoying food + drink specials on Avanti’s patio. WHEN: Every Thursday through Sep 12, 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Avanti Food & Beverage, 3200 Pecos St. FILM ON THE ROCKS Film on the Rocks is back, baby! Come watch contemporary classics in the coolest outdoor venue around. WHEN: July 8, July 15, and August 19, doors at 6:30 p.m. COST: Tickets start at $20 WHERE: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W Alameda Pkwy. INFO: denverfilm.org FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT Free Monday night movies series. Selections include Trolls Band Together and Barbie. WHEN: July 8 and 27, gates at 6 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Infi nity Park, 4599 E Tennessee Ave. SUNSET CINEMA Bring your own chairs, blankets, family, and friends to the Performing Arts Complex and enjoy an animated selection of movies this summer. There will be pre-show performances along with themed food trucks, drinks, and other cinema snacks available for purchase. WHEN: July 9, July 23, Aug 6, and Aug 20 doors at 6:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: DPAC Galleria, 16th St. & Arapahoe St. SCI-FI SERIES Denver Film and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science join forces to untangle fact from fi ction in your favorite science fi ction fi lms. WHEN: July 10, 17, 24, 31, Aug 7, 6:30 p.m. WHERE: Sie FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. SUMMER CINEMA SUNDAYS Enjoy a double-feature movie screening, pop-up markets, food and drink specials, and themed activities at this family-friendly event. WHEN: July 14 and Aug 4, doors at 10:30 a.m. WHERE: Holiday Theater, 2644 W. 32nd Ave. COST: $3 - $10 INFO: mcadenver.org REEL TO REAL Reel to Real is a four-week series that brings to life Colorado’s history, culture, and communities through film. After each screening, History Colorado curators and other experts, will lead a discussion covering the film’s historical context, impact, and thematic connection to the state. WHEN: Aug 6, 13, 20, 27, 6:30 p.m. WHERE: Sie FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. COST: View schedule / buy tickets online INFO: denverfi lm.org CINEMAQ FILM FESTIVAL CinemaQ is Denver’s only LGBTQ+ Film Festival celebrating the vibrant and diverse stories in the community through a captivating selection of curated movies, panels and discussions, and iconic events. WHEN: Aug 8 – Aug 11, times vary. WHERE: Sie FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. COST: View schedule / buy tickets online INFO: denverfi lm.org July 2024 DENVER VOICE 11 COST: View schedule / buy tickets online INFO: denverfi lm.org INFO: denverfilm.org MIXED TASTE Mixed Taste is a long-running, beloved program where even the most mismatched subjects fi nd unexpected common ground in an interactive lecture series. WHEN: Wednesdays from July 10 – August 14, doors at 6 p.m. COST: $5 students / $20 GA WHERE: Holiday Theater, 2644 W 32nd Ave. INFO: mcadenver.org DPL EVENTS The Denver Public Library is your friend, offering a variety of free/low-cost workshops on writing, meditation, current events, history, film, English and Spanish language classes, U.S. citizenship, and more! WHEN: Various dates/times COST: Most events are free WHERE: Denver Public Library branches INFO: denverlibrary.org/events DPR ACTIVITIES Denver Parks & Recreation offers a number of free/low-cost activities for the entire family, including tennis lessons, standup paddleboarding, kayaking, group hikes, youth sports, dancing, arts and crafts, and more! Be sure to also check out their summer pool schedule as well. WHEN: Various dates/times COST: Free or low-cost WHERE: Various locations INFO: denvergov.org/Government/Departments/Parks-Recreation MISCELLANEOUS INFO: infinityparkatglendale.com/events COST: Free INFO: avantifandb.com HEAD TO A LOCAL FARMERS MARKET FOR FRESH PRODUCE AND UNIQUE WARES. ARVADA FARMERS MARKET, 5700 Olde Wadsworth Blvd. Sundays, 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., through September 29. CHERRY CREEK FARMERS MARKET, 3000 E 1st Ave. Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., through October 12. CITY PARK FARMERS MARKET, City Park Esplanade. Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., through October 26. GOLDEN FARMERS MARKET, 1019 10th St. Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., through October 5. HIGHLANDS FARMERS MARKET, Lowell Blvd. & W. 32nd Ave. Sundays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., through October 13. LAKEWOOD FARMERS MARKET, Mile Hi Church at 9077 W. Alameda Ave. Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., through September 28. SOUTH PEARL STREET FARMERS MARKET, South Pearl St. between E. Iowa Ave. & E. Arkansas Ave. Sundays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., through November 12. UNIVERSITY HILLS FARMERS MARKET, 5505 W. 20th Ave. Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., through October 26.
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS MY BABY BLUE BY CHARLES SPRING, VOICE VENDOR My baby blue Lovely so true In and out No doubt True blue Eyes too So blue as the Ocean And so true is The person Angry is her eyes So cold like blue steel But yet so happy To appeal Happy is her eyes so warm Like the sun But yet can be so Ready to be done My baby blue A face — kind and gentle A soul — warm and true A heart — loving and kindle Lovely, pretty, beauty Are you My baby blue A true blue SUMMER’S HERE! ILLUSTRATION BY GIGI GALEN, VOICE VENDOR ILLUSTRATION BY GIGI GALEN 12 DENVER VOICE July 2024 IN YOUR OWN WORDS PAGE TITLE SIDE EFFECTS OF CANCER TREATMENT BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR WHEN I CHOSE TO DO RADIATION AND CHEMO, I didn’t realize the things that I would end up going through. If I had known, maybe I would have chosen differently. I fooled myself into believing I could and would get through my cancer treatment without any real side effects. Now, I’m cancer-free, and I have side effects from the radiation treatment I had in December. That was over five months ago, and my glands are swollen on the left side of my body. I have to go through therapy to work on getting the glands unswollen. If that wasn’t bad enough, my fingernails have been dying and breaking off, and now, the same thing is happening to my toenails. My toenails breaking hurts worse than the pain I’ve felt from my brittle fingernails breaking. I wish my fingernails and toenails would break off all at the same time. Instead, I have to wait weeks for them to change, and these changes are not for the best. It is hard to see all of the negative changes that are happening every day as a result of my treatment. Watching my nails falling out is harder than when I had to shave my head, so I didn’t have to watch as my hair fell out slowly. When I eat, I can taste metal. That means food tastes even worse when I eat with metal utensils. So, for now, plastic utensils are my best friends for eating food with. I do not know for how long I will have to eat with a plastic fork. Cancer and treatment for cancer are very hard on the body. I don’t know what will show up next. Just because I’m not in treatment anymore doesn’t mean cancer side effects will not show up months after the treatment has ended. It seems like cancer keeps telling me, “I’m not done with you, yet!” So, when I get up and wonder what today will bring, I might find some new bad thing happening to me. But I say to myself, “We will deal with it as it comes. At least I’m cancer-free. To keep complaining doesn’t do anything for you. It can’t change anything, so just deal with it because you can’t heal if you stay in dark thoughts.” I’ve found that when you let doubt and fear creep into your mind, it will affect how you deal with treatment and whether or not you’ll get through it okay. I have learned to stay positive through writing about Self. I am grateful that I have the best cancer doctors at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center. I am hoping that after I lose my fingernails and toenails, nothing else bad will pop its ugly head up. I do know that whatever happens, I will deal with it the same way I have so far — with the best attitude and laughter, by staying at peace from the inside to the outside — letting nothing worry me. I hope that by sharing my story, it can help anyone who is faced with health challenges. You can stay positive to win your fight. Just keep fighting the good fight, because only in light can you win. For me, I will continue going to my cancer docs every six months for checkups, but that is okay. I am alive now, and I plan to be here for a very long time. ■ ACROSS Across 1. Cousin of a herring 5. Film legend Greta 10. Place to enter a PIN 13. Vulcan’s forte 15. Crazy as ___ 16. Glimpse 17. Busy 19. Phone no. add-on 20. Rule in some leases 21. Shows how it happened 23. Oregon’s fourthlargest city 25. Opposite of FF 26. Hot stuff 32. CD follower 35. Gossipmonger 36. In place 37. Attention-getter 39. Makeup artists? 41. Be inclined 42. Burgundy grape 44. Corn pancake of Colombia 46. Bake sale org. 47. Common features of tablets and smartphones 50. Farm layer? 51. Special dress 55. Mathematical curve 60. Crossword constructor’s task 61. Night before 62. 20-sided die, for example 64. Transgression 65. Like a beaver, idiomatically 66. Sawyer of ABC 67. Adjective that happens to describe the number of letters it contains 68. Second-stringers 69. Certain compass pts. DOWN 1. Threw 2. Pay tribute to 3. Fly-catching? 4. Sell off 5. Lass 6. Controversial apple spray (anagram of LARA) 7. Boxer’s wear 8. Ravel composition 9. Unity 10. “Just ___!” (“Hang on!”) 11. Phone message 12. Big Apple baseballers 14. ___ Pacific (Hong Kong airline) 18. Author Allende 22. Hang around for 24. Fanatic 27. Fab Four drummer 28. Vocation 29. Lone Star State sch. 30. Spendable thing that rhymes with “spent” 31. Icelandic epic (anagram of DEAD) 32. Wholly absorbed 33. Cincinnati’s home 34. Waiter’s handout 38. Coffee shop order 40. Cry at an awards ceremony 43. Pop star nickname 45. Aslant 48. Vehicle with caterpillar treads 49. Mecca residents 52. Turkish money 53. Combined 54. De Mille of dance or Varda of film 55. Mexican money 56. Passionate 57. Rip apart 58. Theater box (anagram of LEGO) 59. Offshore 63. Shirt part PUZZLES COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 14 RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: KAREN BEEMAN July 2024 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $10,000+ Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Anonymous Individual Donor Matt and Nikki Seashore Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Cisco Francis Trainer and Trainer Family J. Albrecht Designs Master Goldsmith $5,000 - $9,999 Anschutz Family Foundation Laurie Duncan and Duncan-Mcwethy Foundation Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Alexander Seavall Frederic K Conover Trust Mary Walker & Walker Family Foundation The Christian Foundation Bank of America Charitable Foundation Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation Envestnet $1,000-$4,999 Christopher Boulanger Joshua Kauer Katherine Standiford Jill Haug Donald Weaver Whole Foods Foundation Michael Dino Alex Salva Signs By Tomorrow Rose Community Foundation Russell Peterson SEI Giving Fund Chris and Susan Pappas Julia and David Watson Gaspar Terrana Warren and Betty Kuehner Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Megan Arellano James and Cyndi Lesslie Keyrenter Property Management Denver Mathew Rezek The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Jeremy Anderson and Thomas Stalker Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Elsbeth Williams KO Law Firm Graham Davis Peter Iannuzzi $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson Sheryl Parker Ruth Henderson Fire on the Mountain Craig Solomon Seth Belzley Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Stephen Saul WalMart Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity KL&A Engineers and Builders 14 DENVER VOICE July 2024 SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13 SUMMER WISH LIST Q Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant Chapstick, sunscreen Hand warmers GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables Ball caps, hats Fold-up umbrellas, backpacks VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! A ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S QUESTION WAS SUGGESTED BY DENVER VOICE VENDOR RAELENE JOHNSON. What is your best childhood July 4th memory, or what are your current traditions for celebrating the summer? ALBERT BLAND Getting up early, thanking God for another blessed holiday, then gathering myself together for a wonderful cookout at home, or over at a relative or friend’s house, where we have a good time. Then, enjoying the fireworks in the city. May you all have a very safe 4th of July! RAELENE JOHNSON As kids, we loved summer vacation. On the 4th of July, we would go up into the mountains of Maine and have a picnic. We would do fireworks afterward. Those were the carefree days when we were children. JERRY ROSEN I usually go see fireworks on July 4th. It’s really beautiful to see all the lights on display. It’s really amazing. RODNEY K. WOOLFOLK BAR-B-Q!!! Concerts in the park, ice cream, swimming. BY REA BROWN, VOICE VENDOR @DenverVOICE July 2024 DENVER VOICE 15

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EDITOR’S NOTE ELISABETH MONAGHAN MANAGING EDITOR this BEFORE ANYONE WHO USES A WHEELCHAIR or has other mobility issues heads to a grocery store, restaurant, office or apartment building, or outdoor venue, they have to plan their approach. Does the establishment have a ramp, elevator, or other wheelchairaccessible entrance? Does the interior layout have enough space for wheelchairs to navigate between doors, tables, or aisles? Can they get in and out of the bathroom with ease? In issue, VOICE contributor Frank DeAngeli introduces our readers to the Roll Mobility app. Roll Mobility is a platform, where people can discover businesses that are accessible to those in wheelchairs or who have other mobility challenges. As DeAngeli explains, the Roll Mobility team launched the app in February of last year. Just a little over a year later, the app now has reviews of more than 100 businesses and attractions in Denver. I suggest our readers keep an eye on this app because I truly believe that Roll Mobility is “going places.” Another highlight I am excited to point out this month is Denver VOICE vendor Raelene Johnson’s latest update on her health. While treatment for her cancer and other health challenges kept her from vending for nearly half of 2024, Johnson is on the mend. Her regular customers will be happy to see her at the Farmer’s Market in Boulder, and all of the vendors, volunteers, and staff at the VOICE are delighted to have her back in action. ■ FRANK DEANGELI is a PNW transplant who has spent six years in Colorado. He has previously spent much of his professional career working in case management at a homeless shelter. He loves movies, making music, and throwing any kind of flying disc. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg JACOB RICHARDS is a community organizer and writer on the western slope of Colorado. His columns have appeared across the West including The Denver Post, Salt Lake City Tribune, and The Daily Sentinel. When not working in the wilderness, he is working on a project called “A People’s History of the Grand Valley.” VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Lanie Lee Cook Aaron Sullivan ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Giles Clasen Gigi Galen WRITERS WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. Robert Davis Frank DeAngeli Alan Hudson Raelene Johnson Jason Martin Gabriel Pearce Jacob Richards Jerry Rosen Larmarques Smith Charles Spring BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, President Antonio Diaz, Treasurer Michael Burkley Robert Davis Charity Von Guinness Nikki Lawson Cabal Yarne THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS ROBERT DAVIS is an award-winning freelance reporter for the Denver VOICE. His work has also appeared in Colorado Newsline, Business Insider, Westword, the Colorado Sun, and Medium.com. DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE 2 DENVER VOICE June 2024 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US LOCAL NEWS CVS INVESTS $19.2 MILLION TO BUILD 85 AFFORDABLE HOMES IN ARVADA BY ROBERT DAVIS CVS HEALTH INVESTED $19.2 MILLION through Boston Financial to help developers complete a new 85-unit supportive housing project in Arvada known as the Marshall Street Landing. The new development is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2025, according to a press release. Each unit will be fully furnished and include amenities like a cooking range, refrigerator, air conditioning, and luxury vinyl floors. The complex will also feature a community kitchen, commercial laundry rooms, and on-site management. RENDERING OF MARSHALL STREET LANDING. CREDIT: SHOPWORKS ARCHITECTURE The development is being built by a partnership between Family Tree, a homeless service provider, and BlueLine Development, a real estate investment firm based in Missoula, Montana. Marshall Street Landing will also include services for people exiting homelessness. For instance, the Jefferson Center for Mental Health will provide mental health and substance abuse counseling. Family Tree will also provide trauma-informed case management, advocacy, crisis assistance, and life-skills educational training. “Marshall Street Landing is a testament to what we can achieve when we come together with a shared vision of compassion and inclusivity,” Dontae Latson, CEO of Family Tree, said in a press release. “Permanent supportive housing is not merely a place to live; it is a foundation for life. It offers individuals and families who have faced homelessness or disabling conditions not just shelter, but a community and a sense of belonging.” CVS Health made the $19.2 million investment through Boston Financial, an investment firm that specializes in investing in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties. This isn’t the first time that CVS Health has invested in a subsidized housing development in Colorado. To date, the company has spent more than $43 million to create more than 2,100 housing units in the state. Across the country, CVS Health has helped create more than 22,600 affordable rental units, including 14,300 units for families and another 5,800 for senior citizens. ■ HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. June 2024 DENVER VOICE 3
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SUMMER WISH LIST Q Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant Chapstick, sunscreen Hand warmers GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables Ball caps, hats Fold-up umbrellas, backpacks VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! A ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S QUESTION WAS SUGGESTED BY DENVER VOICE VENDOR CHARLES SPRING. When you were a child what or who did you want to be when you grew up? ALAN HUDSON When I was a kid, I wanted to be a police officer, but it didn’t go as planned. I ended up just working for my uncle’s lawn services, and to be honest, I still want to be a police officer. I’m trying to get my life better, so I can be who I want in my life. JASON MARTIN When I was very young, I looked up to my father, who was a Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army. The whole military thing intrigued me. My father would come home in the original HumVee, and he would be driving, and I would also be driving on the passenger’s side. (There was a steering wheel there.) GABRIEL PEARCE I love the homeless. I know how they feel, so I want to be an owner of a homeless shelter, [where I can] make people safe and keep their stuff safe. They also need counselors for drug abuse and psychiatrists for their other mental health issues. JERRY ROSEN That is a hard question to answer. I would like to be someone who is very respectable in society and one of the very nicest people. I would like to be myself and not be someone who isn’t. It is very important to be yourself. LARMARQUES SMITH When I was a child, I wanted to be a volcanologist! I always had a fascination with volcanos. It started with the May 1980 eruption of Mt. St Helens. There is not much that can compare. Learning about St. Helens opened the door to my interest in other volcanos, like Mount Vesuvius and the volcanos in Hawaii. Although that dream has faded, I still enjoy learning about them. Hopefully, I will get to visit a few before I die… CHARLES SPRING When I was five years old, I wanted to be an astronaut, and then, when I turned 10, I wanted to join the Marines because everyone in my family was in some branch of the military. @DenverVOICE 4 DENVER VOICE June 2024 NATIONAL STORY COURTESY OF THE CONVERSATION / INSP.NGO CITIES WITH BLACK FEMALE POLICE CHIEFS HAD LESS STREET VIOLENCE DURING BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS BY KAYLA STAJKOVIC AND ALEX STAJKOVIC BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS in U.S. cities with Black women police chiefs experienced significantly lower levels of violence – from both police and protesters – than cities with police chiefs of other racial backgrounds and gender, according to our newly published paper. After George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police on 25 May 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement surged. Advocating for social justice, the movement galvanized over 11,000 protest events across thousands of cities in all 50 states. Most demonstrations were peaceful, but others were not, and city police chiefs had the job of dealing with street violence. In some communities, they engaged in dialogue with protesters; in others, they responded with force. Our research included analyzing 11,540 protests that occurred between 25 May and 29 August 2020, in 3,338 cities, spanning 1,481 counties across all states. To ensure robustness and eliminate bias, we measured violence based on an independent categorization of violence, protest event descriptions, numbers of arrests, and severity of the charges. We also researched the gender and racial background of the local police chief. Our analysis, published in the Journal of Management, found that protests in cities with police departments led by Black women tended to be relatively peaceful. Consider, for instance, Black female Chief Catrina Thompson in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who chose dialogue over force. She conveyed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter cause and affirmed that peaceful protests could spur change without destroying the city. By contrast, a protest in Lincoln, Nebraska in late May 2020 saw a group of protesters break store windows and threaten police officers, which resulted in police officers – in a department led by white male Chief Jeff Bliemeister – firing pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets. This and other research have found that through their personal and professional experience, as they rise through the ranks of a traditionally male, white profession, Black women tend to develop a strong understanding of racial dynamics and use their knowledge to devise flexible strategies. Of course, not all Black women lead in exactly the same ways, but they tend to share similar experiences that can help foster peaceful outcomes in times of social unrest. WHY IT MATTERS Amid a backdrop of widespread protests and calls for social justice, public safety depends on peaceful interactions between police and demonstrators. The study highlights the significance of having diverse leadership voices and the importance of recognizing and elevating individual identities. Despite a rise in the appointment of Black police chiefs over the past decade, Black women continue to be underrepresented in law enforcement leadership positions. This research highlights the value to society of including diverse perspectives and leadership approaches informed by the intersections of people’s identities. WHAT STILL ISN’T KNOWN Despite these insights, several questions remain unanswered. We do not yet know the specific way in which the leadership of Black women police chiefs translates into lower violence levels. We suggest the mechanism is a complex result of their communication strategies, community engagement practices, and decision-making processes – but we do not know which has the most influence. Our study also raises questions about how these findings about Black women at a time of Black protest might be applied to other civic leaders’ handling of demonstrations from different types of social movements. WHAT’S NEXT The study paves the way for more in-depth research into how intersecting identities – such as gender and race – affect leadership approaches and outcomes across various professions, not just law enforcement. Ongoing research efforts – our own and others – are directed at better understanding how people’s identities inform their leadership styles and how they handle conflict. Future studies are also needed to explore how organizations and communities can better support Black women and promote them into leadership roles, ensuring their perspectives and skills benefit society as a whole. ■ Courtesy of The Conversation / INSP.ngo June 2024 DENVER VOICE 5
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COMMUNITY FEATURE ROLL MOBILITY TEAM FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: MEREDITH BERKOWITZ, LAURA SPORRER, JOE FOSTER, RACHEL ZOELLER. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN ROLL MOBILITY PAVES THE WAY FOR A MORE INCLUSIVE AND ACCESSIBLE FUTURE BY FRANK DEANGELI ONE OF DENVER’S BIGGEST DRAWS TO LOCAL RESIDENTS AND VISITORS is its easy access to outdoor recreation, charming mountain towns, and natural beauty. However, for anyone who uses wheelchairs or has mobility issues, some obstacles to accessibility begin in areas much closer to home — at bars, cafes, restaurants, office buildings, and residences. Roll Mobility, a Denver-based app and accessibility tool, is seeking to make its hometown, as well as cities across the world, more navigable for wheelchair users and other individuals who face mobility challenges. Officially launched in February of 2023, the app allows CREDIT: GILES CLASEN community members to submit reviews, photos, and videos of different businesses, listing their strengths and weaknesses in making their places of business accessible to all. These submissions help to paint a picture of a location’s overall ease of access for community members with disabilities, who then can make decisions on where to live or socialize, based on the ratings and reviews from similarly challenged individuals. 6 DENVER VOICE June 2024 Joe Foster, one of the founders of Roll Mobility, explained that the idea for the app started almost three years ago as written notes on the back of a napkin. “We said ‘Well, this must already exist. We must just not be Googling it correctly.’ We were just kind of blown away that this gap existed.” Speaking with people with disabilities, Foster found that, typically, options for gauging a business’ accessibility can be limited and are often unreliable. “Folks with disabilities would call and talk to a host to get information on accessibility,” Foster said. “And unfortunately, it sounds like that information was incorrect eight out of 10 times. They’d hear things like ‘We’ve got stairs, but don’t worry; we’ll just carry you up the stairs.’ A lot of adults don’t want to be carried anywhere.” The Roll Mobility app prompts users to leave reviews of a location by filling out a 13-item questionnaire. Eight of the questions are about the facility itself, and five are about the bathroom. These questions include “Are there accessible COMMUNITY FEATURE sidewalks/ramps outside the entrance?”, “Are you able to access every part with a power chair?”, “Are there plenty of low-top tables with removable chairs?”, and “Is there a rollunder sink?”. According to Foster, Roll Mobility has intentionally created these questions with objective “yes” or “no” answers to ensure that users know which places meet their specific needs. Currently, the Roll Mobility team is developing a questionnaire tailored specifically to address the accessibility of outdoor trails. Since the Roll Mobility app’s inception, users have given it glowing reviews. One reviewer mentioned that having the app is akin to having a friend who has visited a business before and can speak directly to its accessibility. Many testimonials mentioned that knowing whether or not a place will have accessible bathrooms is often a concern, particularly at drinking establishments, and Roll Mobility has helped to assuage that particular anxiety. The consensus among reviewers is that an app like Roll Mobility is long overdue. Foster said that accessibility in Denver can vary widely from location to location, and he commends local businesses that have made a great effort on this front. Brewability in Englewood previously applied for and received a grant from the City of Englewood to install an automatic door. Sanitas Brewing Company, which also is located in Englewood, went out of its way to build a low-height bar. This addition has made the brewery more accessible for wheelchair users. According to Foster, the vast majority of feedback from businesses has been positive. Foster also stresses that for the app to continue to exist and thrive, it relies on the community’s input. “Our job throughout this whole process has been not to tell people what they want, but to ask people what they need,” Foster said. “We really feel like this is a community, and engaging the community is really important to us. That’s our true mission.” As of May 2024, more than 100 businesses and attractions in the Denver metro area have reviews on the Roll Mobility app. Additionally, reviews have been submitted in 45 different countries. Roll Mobility partners with organizations that are also working towards building a more equitable, inclusive, and accessible world For example, on June 8, in partnership with Dateability, a company that has designed a dating app specifically signed a dating app specifically for people with disabilities, Roll Mobility is hosting a Spring Fling Pub Crawl through downtown Denver. For information on the Spring Fling Pub Crawl, visit Eventbrite.com. To learn more about Roll Mobility or to download the app, visit RollMobility.com. ■ JOE FOSTER. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN MEREDITH BERKOWITZ. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN LAURA SPORRER. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN RACHEL ZOELLER. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN June 2024 DENVER VOICE 7
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COMMUNITY PROFILE MAGGIE SELDEEN, MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE AT. COURTESY OF HIGH ROCKIES HARM REDUCTION REDUCING HARM IN RURAL COLORADO BY JACOB RICHARDS A SOUTHERN COLORADO ORGANIZATION says it kept 59,300 needles off the streets of Pueblo last year. Needle exchanges, like those offered by Southern Colorado Health Network and Southern Colorado Harm Reduction Association, are central to the harm reduction movement, which uses an evidence-based strategy that “meets people where they are at” to help reduce negative outcomes associated with drug use. But despite a meeting packed with supporters of the programs, Pueblo City Council voted in May to ban needle exchanges. Now, there is a fear among harm reduction activists that Pueblo’s needle exchange ban will be replicated in other communities across Colorado, even as they struggle to combat the stigma of reducing harm among drug users. Harm reduction looks different Junction-based organization Inman, director of the all-volunteer group. “We are the boots on the ground.” “As a former drug user, I wish I would have had this sort of service,” Inman said. “As the director of a nonprofit, I act as an ally and advocate ... but open ears are rare.” Solidarity Not Charity has found partner nonprofits “frown on distribution of safer smoking and snorting supplies,” Inman said, adding that “local government prohibits distribution of any safer use items on government-owned property, which means we are often distributing from the back of our automobiles, which does nothing to decrease stigma.” In the Roaring Fork Valley, Maggie Seldeen grew up “surrounded by drug and alcohol misuse as a child and adolescent.” As a former drug user, Seldeen saw many close friends contract Hepatitis C and has lost “countless friends to unnecessary overdose death.” “I also lost my mother to a heroin overdose in 2006,” she said. Armed with lived experience and a degree from Colorado in each community. There is no universal formula, and nowhere is that truer than in rural areas of western Colorado. Grand Solidarity Not Charity regularly does camp outreach and has served weekly meals since 2008. “We are in a unique position to provide safe access to DURANGO STREET MEDICS AT BUCKLEY PARK DURANGO. COURTESY OF DURANGO STREET MEDICS 8 DENVER VOICE June 2024 sterile syringes, safer smoking and snorting supplies, overdose prevention kits, fentanyl tests, and wound care/ hygiene supplies” to underserved populations, said Nicole Mesa University, Seldeen launched High Rockies Harm Reduction in 2020. The organization serves a huge geographic area of Garfield, Summit, Eagle, Pitkin, and Lake Counties. Offering a wide range of services to these five counties with just two paid employees is the biggest challenge Seldeen’s group faces. “Road and weather conditions make traveling across this region very difficult … while trying to bring mobile services to a historically underserved region,” Seldeen said. High Rockies Harm Reduction has received support from local law enforcement agencies, municipalities, and health departments, but Seldeen acknowledges that “there is still a lot of stigma associated with accessing these services in the first place.” COMMUNITY PROFILE SOLIDARITY NOT CHARITY’S WEEKLY ‘FEED’ AND OUTREACH. COURTESY OF SOLIDARITY NOT CHARITY In Durango, Amy Landrum can be found at Buckley Park on most Sundays. Landrum was a single parent on Medicaid, living paycheck to paycheck when she decided to go to nursing school. “I’ve been treated poorly by the health care system. I get how difficult it can be to try to access services in a hostile environment,” she said. Now a licensed nurse practitioner and a volunteer with Durango Street Medics, Landrum runs a medical supply distribution and free health clinic at the park, alongside the mutual aid distribution and community meal provided by Durango Food Not Bombs. “I frequently witness how incompetent, racist, classist, and profit-driven U.S. health care can be,” said Landrum, who has been working as a health care professional for over 10 years. “I can’t topple the current system, but I can use my license to try to make health care a bit more accessible and comfortable for people in my community.” Landrum also leads Stop the Bleed, making use of her training as a wound specialist. “Violence, especially against certain groups, is a reality. Knowing how to control bleeding can make a real difference for an injured person’s chance of survival,” Landrum said. Even as the harm reduction community faces challenges, there has been some movement toward acceptance. Narcan, for example, was hard to acquire when Landrum first started doing harm reduction in La Plata County a few years ago. “I had to purchase it myself or beg for it from established harm reduction agencies,” Landrum said. But “now with expanded access like the Colorado bulk fund” — a state program that allows bulk naloxone purchases at low or no cost — “it is much easier to get Narcan and put it in the hands of people who benefit from it.” According to Landurm, her efforts still receive the occasional negative comment, and stigma still exists. But she keeps in mind that people are actively working to change that. “A lot of folks — current and former drug users, harm reduction activists, and people who have been directly impacted by overdoses or poisonings — have been working really hard for years to reduce stigma and improve harm reduction access in Colorado,” she said. “So, I’m thankful for those people because, without their efforts, it’s unlikely I would have the freedom and supplies to do this work.” ■ AMY LANDRUM, NURSE PRACTITIONER AND WOUND SPECIALIST WITH DURANGO STREET MEDICS. COURTESY OF DURANGO STREET MEDICS MAGGIE SELDEEN DEMONSTRATES A NARCAN APPLICATOR. COURTESY OF HIGH ROCKIES HARM REDUCTION SOLIDARITY NOT CHARITY HARM REDUCTION TABLE, GRAND JUNCTION. COURTESY OF SOLIDARITY NOT CHARITY June 2024 DENVER VOICE 9
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INTERNATIONAL STORY PHOTO COURTESY OF NAJA BERTOLT JENSEN ON UNSPLASH WHAT ARE NANOPLASTICS? BY MOHAN QIN IT’S BECOME COMMON TO READ that microplastics – little bits of plastic, smaller than a pencil eraser – are turning up everywhere and in everything, including the ocean, farmland, food, and human bodies. Now a new term is gaining attention: nanoplastics. These particles are even tinier than microplastics – so small that they’re invisible to the naked eye. Nanoplastics are a type of microplastic, distinguished by their extremely small size. Microplastics are usually less than 5 millimeters across; nanoplastics are between 1 and 1,000 nanometers across. For comparison, an average human hair is roughly 80,000-100,000 nanometers wide. Nanoplastics are attracting growing concern thanks to recent technological advances that have made researchers more able to detect and analyze them. Their smaller size means that they are more easily transported over long distances and into more diverse environments than microplastics. They can more easily penetrate cells and tissues in living organisms, which could lead to different and more acute toxicological effects. Studies in the past two years have found nanoplastics in human blood, liver and lung cells, and reproductive tissues such as the placenta and the testes. Around the world, nanoplastics have been found in the air, in seawater, in snow, and soil. We already know that microplastics are present from the heights of Mount Everest to deep ocean trenches. Now there is growing evidence that nanoplastics are more prevalent than larger microplastics in the environment. WHERE THEY COME FROM AND WHERE THEY GO Nanoplastics are created when everyday products such as clothes, food and beverage packaging, home furnishings, plastic bags, toys, and toiletries degrade. This can be caused by environmental factors such as sunlight or wear and tear from mechanical action. Many personal care products, such as scrubs and shampoos, can also release nanoplastics. Like larger plastic particles, nanoplastics can come from a variety of polymer types, including polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and polyvinyl chloride. Because plastic products are widely used, it is hard to avoid nanoplastics in our daily lives. When plastics reach the nanoscale, they present unique questions and challenges because of their tiny size and varying surface properties and composition. Since nanoplastics are small, they can easily penetrate cells and tissues that larger particles cannot. If they accumulate within living organisms, they could potentially cause adverse biological effects. The fate of nanoplastics in the environment is an ongoing research topic. Scientists don’t know yet whether nanoplastics further degrade in various environments into smaller particles, or into polymers, which are their basic building blocks – large molecules made of many small molecules strung together. DETECTING NANOPLASTICS Finding nanoplastics is challenging because they are so tiny and have diverse chemical compositions and structures. Researchers are refining different approaches for detecting nanoplastics, using techniques including Raman spectroscopy, chromatography , and mass spectrometry. These methods can see the shapes and analyze the properties of nanoplastic particles. In a 2024 study, researchers from Columbia University presented a new technology that was able to see and count nanoplastics in bottled water with high sensitivity and specificity. Unlike previous studies that could detect only a limited amount of nanoplastic particles, this study found that each liter of bottled water that was analyzed contained more than 100,000 plastic particles, most of which were nanoplastics. More studies need to be done before scientists can conclude whether all bottled water contains nanoplastics. But this new technique opens the door for further research. ARE NANOPLASTIC PARTICLES TOXIC? The toxicity of nanoplastics is another field of ongoing research. Some studies have suggested that these particles could pose significant risks to ecosystems and human health. One recent study suggested that they may be a risk factor for heart disease. Another concern is that chemical pollutants, heavy metals, and pathogens may stick to nanoplastics and become concentrated in the environment. This process could potentially expose living organisms to high concentrations of these harmful substances. Nanoplastics clearly are a part of modern environments, but scientists need more research and information to understand what kinds of threats they could pose. As toxicologists often say, “The dose makes the poison.” In other words, actual exposure matters a lot. It is difficult to assess toxicity without knowing actual concentrations. It is well known that larger plastic debris can fragment into nanoplastics, but there is much to learn about how these fragments degrade further. Researchers are working to detect and understand environments so that they can develop effective strategies to manage and mitigate these materials’ effects on people and the planet. ■ Courtesy of The Conversation / INSP.ngo nanoplastics across many 10 DENVER VOICE June 2024 NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT COMMUNITY PROFILE DONATE YOUR CAR! Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. PHOTO COURTESY OF VITOLDA KLEIN ON UNSPLASH IMPROVING CHILDHOOD NUTRITION BEGINS WITH PARENTAL MODELING, RESEARCH SUGGESTS BY KELLEY GULLO WIGHT AND PEGGY LIU MOST PARENTS, EDUCATORS, AND POLICYMAKERS agree that children should eat healthy foods. However, our peerreviewed paper suggests that the strategy adults often use to achieve that can sometimes backfire. Fortunately, there is an easy fix. We, along with fellow marketing scholars Lingrui Zhou and Gavan Fitzsimons, conducted five experiments with over 3,800 parents as well as 10 in-depth interviews. We found that parents tend to choose unhealthy foods for themselves after choosing a healthy meal for their young children. This happens because parents are uncertain whether their child will eat their healthy dishes, and so they use their own meal as backup to share to ensure that their child at least eats something. This dynamic is not ideal. It could result in parents eating unhealthier foods, and children may also end up eating unhealthily if they eat mostly from their parent’s plate. Additionally, it does not set a good example of healthy eating. How, then, to change this dynamic? After testing several interventions, one stood out as particularly simple and effective: nudging parents to think of their meals as their own, rather than backup options for their children. We partnered with a nursery school that was interested in promoting healthier eating among children. Parents associated with the school were offered a free family dinner. Parents first chose a meal for their child from a healthy children’s menu. They then chose a meal for themselves from a menu that had a mix of healthy and unhealthy options. Half of the parents – randomly assigned – saw a menu that prompted them to think of their own meal as “for you and only you!” The other half did not see this additional prompt to think of their own meal as only for them. This intervention was successful: by encouraging parents to think of their meal as their own, it made about a third more likely to choose the healthy option for themselves. Our findings suggest that policymakers and schools may want to consider the role that parents – and their food choices – play in efforts to encourage healthy eating among children. As for parents, we suggest nixing the backup plan and ensuring that both you and your children are eating nutritiously. ■ Courtesy of The Conversation / INSP.ngo VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to help with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe. Dr.), as well as event support. If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at program@denvervoice.org. June 2024 DENVER VOICE 11 The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community.
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS HEALING MY BODY BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR I HAVE FINALLY GOTTEN MY SURGERY DONE. After all of the pain I had been in, I know that in a short time, I will feel so much better. It has been hard on my body – the cancer, and the impact of the car wreck I had earlier this year. Then, I had to have surgery, where I was on the operating table for 2.5 hours. They kept me in the hospital for two days. I was finally discharged and sent home. My body has been to hell and back, and it is now on the road to recovery. I can’t wait for that to happen, so I can be around people again. Being a person who loves talking to everyone I meet, the isolation has been hard on me. When I feel I’ve been alone too long, I have to tell myself it won’t be much longer, and all of this will be behind me. LESSONS I WANT TO SHARE Staying still will let you have time for yourself. You must take time for yourself to be your best Self. You must eat right, exercise your mind and body, get the proper amount of sleep, and pay attention to everything you put in your mind and body. When you pamper yourself fully, you will have the energy to live a healthy life. You will want to see others do their best. (You can’t help others if you can’t do it for yourself.) Let go of things that upset you. Let people, who upset you RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: KAREN BEEMAN when you’re around them, walk away. Don’t let anyone steal your joy, happiness, self-worth, self-respect, or peace of mind. Sometimes, letting go is very hard. Just know you will be better off. The enemy will take every chance to see you suffer and put people around you that cause you pain. You can’t allow anyone to have that much power over you, or over time, you’ll lose who you really are! Unhappiness sets in and the longer it stays, the less light you will see! (We must always stay in the light. It is so peaceful there.) So many people ask me how I can be so at peace, and I tell them that if I cry and bitch about life not being fair, or wonder, “Why me?” where would I be? I’d have no peace at all. Everything is temporary. I don’t let negativity grip my mind because that wouldn’t do me any good. Your body cannot heal if all it takes in is negativity. Nothing can grow in darkness. Things grow better in the light. Hope is better than doubt. Believing things will be okay is better than thinking the worst all the time. Staying strong is better than giving up. Loving people around you is better than giving up. Loving people around you when you’re trying to recover is better than having hateful people around you. How you recover is up to you. I choose only good to be around me, to keep a smile on my face rather than pout and complain. If you keep REAL PEACE inside you, everything will be easier than it will be if you worry or are afraid of what’s next! (What has worrying ever done for you? It made you sick or sicker.) Most of the things you worried about or allowed yourself to go crazy over were never as bad as what you thought might happen. You spent that energy on nothing, and you can’t get that time back. ■ CELEBRATING PRIDE ILLUSTRATION BY GIGI GALEN, VOICE VENDOR LOVE BY CHARLES SPRING, VOICE VENDOR Lifetime of you In my dreams You I woo My heart Screams In silence For your love Happiness My mind Cries To be noticed 12 DENVER VOICE June 2024 EVENTS WHEN: June 2, 9, and 23, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. COST: $20, includes a free drink after class. WHERE: Western Sky Bar & Taproom, 4361 S. Broadway INFO: westernskybar.com CITY PARK JAZZ Jazz in the park is back! Enjoy live music, sunsets, food trucks, adorable dogs, and a sense of community at this beloved city event. WHEN: June 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. COST: Free but donations accepted. WHERE: City Park Pavilion, 2001 Steele St. INFO: cityparkjazz.org DENVER GREEK FESTIVAL Opa! Get your Greek on at the 57th annual Denver Greek Festival! Festivalgoers can enjoy food, dancing, live music, a Greek boutique, beer, wine, family-friendly activities, more food, and more dancing. WHEN: June 7 – June 9, times vary. COST: $5, kids are free. WHERE: Theotokos Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 4610 E Alameda Ave. INFO: thegreekfestival.com COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES SUNDAY YOGA Ease into your Sunday with a relaxed, community-minded flow. Please bring your mat and anything else you need to feel comfortable. COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 ACROSS DOWN 1. Moviegoer’s memento 5. Jellied garnish 10. Biblical pronoun 14. Read (over) 15. Struck hard 16. Part of the Corn Belt 17. Icelandic epic 18. Amazon, e.g. 19. On bended ___ 20. Made a plan to thwart another plan WORKOUT IN THE PARK Come hang out with Strength in the City and Travese Fitness for a monthly donaton-based park workout and hang. All proceeds go directly to the Strength in the City Foundation, which brings health and wellness to underserved communities in Denver. WHEN: June 18, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. COST: By donation, register online. WHERE: Washington Park, S. Franklin St. and E. Kentucky Ave. INFO: strengthinthecity.com 23. Bundle 24. Animal house 25. Kind of bar 28. Babycakes 33. Kind of hygiene 34. Wiped out 35. Back muscle, for short 36. Study abroad, e.g. 40. Hotel freebie 41. Was out 42. Handle roughly 43. Certain currents 45. Thinly spread 47. Untilled tract 48. Ogler 49. It may be stuck in a ball of yarn 56. Force on Earth, for short 57. Insect stage 58. “Jurassic Park” menace, briefly 59. Van Halen’s David Lee ___ 60. Pried (into) 61. Muscle quality 62. Door sign 63. Growls 64. Picks 1. On ___ (without a contract) 2. Kind of list 3. Pakistani tongue 4. Stick figure 5. Too 6. Campfire treat 7. Ceremonial splendor 8. Slanted type: Abbr. 9. The current geological era 10. Video-based social media site 11. Fine-tune 12. Was in the red 13. Abu Dhabi’s land, for short 21. Up to, informally 22. Kind of fairy 25. Bulgaria’s capital 26. Early spring blooms 27. Less typical 28. Measures 29. Dismissive call 30. Of an arm bone 31. Sorcerer 32. Commemorative marker 34. From the top 37. Speck in the ocean 38. Bad winner’s response 39. Almond liqueur 44. HBO’s “___ of the Conchords” 45. Church councils 46. ___ Dee River 48. Certain Halloween vandal 49. Fort ___ (gold site) 50. ___ pot (sinuscleaning apparatus) 51. “My turn” 52. Discovery grp. 53. Lozenge 54. Mardi Gras follower 55. Split personalities? 56. Something to pick 7 DENVER PRIDE Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of Denver Pride! Attendees can enjoy the Pride Parade, Pride Fest, 5K, live entertainment, local vendors, and a number of other priderelated activities! WHEN: Jun 22 and Jun 23, times vary. COST: Free + open to the public. WHERE: Civic Center Park, 101 W. 14th Ave. INFO: denverpride.org 8 2 4 8 5 1 4 2 6 June 2024 DENVER VOICE 13 2 6 3 7 6 8 4 1 3 9 9 2 8 5 7 2 7 6 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $10,000+ Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Anonymous Individual Donor Matt and Nikki Seashore Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Cisco Francis Trainer and Trainer Family J. Albrecht Designs Master Goldsmith $5,000 - $9,999 Anschutz Family Foundation Laurie Duncan and Duncan-Mcwethy Foundation Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Alexander Seavall Frederic K Conover Trust Mary Walker & Walker Family Foundation The Christian Foundation Bank of America Charitable Foundation Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation Envestnet $1,000-$4,999 Christopher Boulanger Joshua Kauer Katherine Standiford Jill Haug Donald Weaver Whole Foods Foundation Michael Dino Alex Salva Signs By Tomorrow Rose Community Foundation Russell Peterson SEI Giving Fund Chris and Susan Pappas Julia and David Watson Gaspar Terrana Warren and Betty Kuehner Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Megan Arellano James and Cyndi Lesslie Keyrenter Property Management Denver Mathew Rezek The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Jeremy Anderson and Thomas Stalker Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Elsbeth Williams KO Law Firm Graham Davis Peter Iannuzzi $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson Sheryl Parker Ruth Henderson Fire on the Mountain Craig Solomon Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Stephen Saul WalMart Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity KL&A Engineers and Builders 14 DENVER VOICE June 2024 SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, VETERAN SUPPORT COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ALANON FAMILY GROUPS: al-anon.org; Find a meeting: al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/find-an-al-anon-meeting ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: aa.org; Colorado Service Centers; daccaa.org/central-office/other-central-offices DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER: 777 Bannock St.; denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL: Features information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community; detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA: Addiction hotline 888-479-0446; Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/ treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 112 E. 8th Ave.; 303-572-7800; HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on proper disposal of dirty syringes; M-F 9am-12pm: harmreductionactioncenter.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER: 3800 York St.; Emergency walk-ins 303-296-1767; Dental 303-296-4873; M-F 8am-2pm LIVE ANOTHER DAY: 877-596-6866; Equal access to life-saving mental health and substance abuse resources; 24/7 helpline: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION: 1325 S. Colorado Blvd.; Suite B302; Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered; 800-522-4372, 800-359-9272; info@hepc-connection.org; viventhealth.org NATIONAL AIDS HOTLINE: 800-342-AIDS/800-344-7432 NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: Text or call 988; 988lifeline.org NATIONAL RUNAWAY SAFELINE: 800-RUNAWAY/800-786-2929; 1800runaway.org RAPE ABUSE AND INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK: 800-656-HOPE; rainn.org SALUD CLINIC: 6255 Quebec Pkwy, Commerce City; 303-697-2583, 970-484-0999; saludclinic.org/commerce-city STOUT STREET CLINIC: 2130 Stout St.; 303-293-2220; Clinic Hours: 7am-4pm M/T/Th/F; 9am-6pm Wed; coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUBSTANCE ABUSE REHAB GUIDE: Helpline 888-493-4670; detoxrehabs.net/states/colorado/ URBAN PEAKS REHAB: 490 Lafayette St., #104; 303-599-5131; Medication management and therapy center specializing in opiate addiction; M, T, Th – 9am-12pm, 1 pm-4pm, W – 9am-12pm, 1 pm-7pm; urbanpeaksrehab.com U.S. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: 800-799-7233 (English and Spanish); 800-243-7889 (TDD); thehotline.org CAREER SERVICES BAYAUD ENTERPRISES CW-STEP: (Colorado Works - Subsidized training and employment program); 333 W. Bayaud Ave.; 303-830-6885; Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm; Provides re-entry to the workforce for individuals with TANF eligibility; info@bayaudenterprises.org COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER: Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway; 720-865-1706; M & T - 10am-8pm; Wed., Th &F - 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, WIFI, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments; denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER: Denver Dept of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd.; M-F 7:30am-4:30pm; Employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé prep, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc.; careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center WORKNOW: 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org LGBTQ+ SUPPORT THE TREVOR PROJECT: 866-488-7386: thetrevorproject.org LGBT NATIONAL YOUTH TALKLINE: 800-246-7743: lgbthotline.org/youth-talkline PRIDE INSTITUTE: 800-547-7433 TRUE COLORS UNITE: 212-461-4401 truecolorsunited.org VETERANS & SENIORS DENVER INNER CITY PARISH: 1212 Mariposa St.; 303-322-5733; VOA Dining Center for Seniors, aged 60 and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm; Food Bank, Wed.-Fri.; Tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm; dicp.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES: 846 E. 18th Ave.; For those aged 60 or older; TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, 3 meals, M-F -7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm; seniorsupportservices.org VA MEDICAL CENTER: 1700 N Wheeling St.: Aurora 303-399-8020: va.gov/findlocations/facility/vha_554A5 VETERANS GUIDE: Veterans Disability Calculator veteransguide.org/va-disability-calculator YOUTH SERVICES SOX PLACE: 2017 Larimer St.; 303-296-3412 Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30; Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. T-F - 12-4pm & Sat. 11am-2pm. Instagram: @Soxplace THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK: 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442; Youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, 303-974-2928; Drop-in hours M-F 8-11am urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: 833-931-2484; Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions; sunshinebehavioralhealth.com TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 3080 Broadway, Boulder; 303-447-1207, 303-447-1207; For ages 12-24; Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services; M-Sun, 12:30-5pm; tgthr.org June 2024 DENVER VOICE 15 URBAN PEAK: 730 21st St., Denver; 303-974-2900; Ages14-24; Serving Denver & Colo Springs; Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skill/straining, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing; urbanpeak.org DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777;; Helps with employment, IDs, birth certs, mail services and lockers; M-Th - 10am-2pm; citysquare.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F - 7am-1pm; Private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch, etc.; thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE: 1535 High St.; 303-321-4198; Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals; Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, etc.; M, W, Th, F - 8:30am-5pm, T - 8:30am-1:30pm; tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 231 E. Colfax; 303-572-7800; Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harmreduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes; M-F - 9am-12pm; harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Help with lost IDs and birth certificates; holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM: 1555 Race St.; 303-832-3354; For men and women with HIV; M-F 8am-4pm LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER: 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; Day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services; homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, wifi; M-F 7a-5:30p; odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St; 303-297-1576; 6am-6pm daily; Storage for one bag (when space is available); Satellite Clinic hours- M, T, Th. F - 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm; sfcdenver.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am; capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: mealsforpoor.org CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee M-F. 8:30am; denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES: 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm; christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY: Home-cooked meal, weekly; Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd); christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm; citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church); Hot meals served M, T, Th., F - 11:45-12:15; mealsforpoor.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION: 1130 Park Avenue West; 303-294-0157; 3 meals 7 days/week, 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm; denverrescuemission.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F only: 7am-1pm. 8am breakfast, 11am lunch; havenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY: Food service on second and fourth Thursdays; feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html FOOD NOT BOMBS: Sun. 4 p.m.; 22nd St. Stout St (near Mercury Café); Instagram: @denverfoodnotbombs HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE: 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm; krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: 910 Kalamath St.; Community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, Men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the month, 8-10am, Women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am; hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Sandwiches, M-Sat., 10-10:30am; holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH: 29th and Milwaukee St.; Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm; jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; 303-830-2201; Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm); meal served at 6pm; odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY: 126 W. 2nd Ave.; 303-722-8781 Dinner at 4pm on Tues; Also offers a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available; stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S: Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. (Auraria Campus), 11am 7 days/week; food/coffee; stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month); sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN: 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm; Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon.; saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ: 2023 E. Colfax Ave; 720-530-6853;Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen; Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays; soallmayeat.org URBAN OUTREACH DENVER: 608 26th St., Thurs dinners, 6pm-7pm; lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA: 2877 Lawrence St.; breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun.; food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs.; voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetrofoodnutrition-themission DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13
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DIRECTOR’S NOTE AS I SIT DOWN TO PEN MY FINAL DIRECTOR’S NOTE for this incredible publication, I am filled with a mix of emotions that are difficult to put into words. With a heavy heart and a profound sense of gratitude, as I bid farewell to the role of executive director of the Denver VOICE, I think about how the month of May has always held a special place in my heart. For most of my life, I didn’t have a father figure, but my mother, grandmother, and all of the mothers who claimed me as their own over the years made Mother’s Day a rather important holiday to me. The decision to resign from my role as executive director has not been an easy one. However, in JAMES KAY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR reflecting on my time here, I am reminded of the importance of the motherly figures in my life, who have supported and guided me to this point. Without them, I do not think I could have made it to where I am today. I am incredibly grateful to my maternal influences for showing me kindness, humility, and what it means to be there for another. Continued on page 3 DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS GILES CLASEN is a freelance photojournalist who is a regular contributor to the VOICE. Several of the photos he’s taken for the VOICE have won national and international awards. He also served on the VOICE’s Board of Directors. WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. JAMIE MILLER graduated from the University of Georgia with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and business management. She enjoys exploring the Colorado mountains, reading a good book at a local coffee shop, and doing yoga. JACOB RICHARDS is a community organizer and writer on the western slope of Colorado. His columns have appeared across the West including The Denver Post, Salt Lake City Tribune, and The Daily Sentinel. When not working in the wilderness, he is working on a project called “A People’s History of the Grand Valley.” MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Lanie Lee Cook Aaron Sullivan ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Steve Anson Giles Clasen Gigi Galen Jacob Richards WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. WRITERS Steve Anson Giles Clasen Connie Gaitan Alan Hudson Raelene Johnson Jason Martin Jamie Miller Jacob Richards Jerry Rosen Larmarques Smith Charles Spring Rodney K. Woolfolk BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, President Antonio Diaz, Treasurer Michael Burkley Cassandria Carmouche Robert Davis Muhammad Khan Nikki Lawson Cabal Yarne With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. 2 DENVER VOICE May 2024 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US DIRECTOR’S NOTE Continued from page 2 Throughout our relationship, my fiance, Morgan, and I have spent a lot of time discussing the positive impact our parental figures have had on our lives. Now, Morgan and I have the same opportunity to have a similar impact on her little brother, who lives in Georgia, where he has an established medical team and support network. Having caring individuals in my life has allowed me to connect so much more deeply to the Denver VOICE family and the community we serve. This organization has been more than just a job to me; it has been a journey of the soul. The stories of resilience, hope, and humanity that grace the pages of our street paper, along with the work we do every day have touched a deep part of my being, one that I will never take for granted or forget. I have made lifelong friends with much of this community, including our amazing vendors. As I embark on the next chapter, I carry with me the lessons I’ve learned and the memories of my time with the Denver VOICE, that I will cherish forever. I am eternally grateful to the dedicated staff, volunteers, vendors, and readers including my maternal influences, who have made this experience so meaningful. Though my role may be changing, my commitment to the mission and values of the Denver VOICE will remain the same. I look forward to continuing to support this organization in whatever capacity I can, knowing that its impact extends far beyond the printed page. Thank you, Denver VOICE Community, for allowing me the privilege of serving as your executive director. It has been an honor and a privilege that I will carry with me always. ■ LEFT TO RIGHT: ROBERT DAVIS, ELISABETH MONAGHAN,RAELENE JOHNSON, CONNIE GAITAN, JAMES KAY, ALBERT BLAND. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. May 2024 DENVER VOICE 3
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SPRING WISH LIST Q Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant Chapstick, sunscreen Hand warmers GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables Ball caps, hats Fold-up umbrellas, backpacks VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! A ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. Editor’s Note: to commemorate Mother’s Day, vendor Alyssa Smith submitted this month’s Ask a Vendor question about motherly figures and the impact they’ve had on the vendors’ and staff’s lives. On the following page, you also will see a tribute from VOICE vendor Steve Anson to his mother. Did you have a motherly fi gure or someone who was like a mother to you, and what kind of impact did they have on your life? CONNIE GAITAN, PROGRAM COORDINATOR My mom has made a huge impact in my life. She has taught me how to get through so many of life’s lessons and to never forget to have faith. My mom has always had a special relationship with God and has taught me why prayer is so important. She prays for me all the time, but when I really need her comfort and care, I know that it’s not only coming from her, but also from that special relationship she has with the one above. ALAN HUDSON My mother was the best mom ever. She was a strict mom. She was always telling me to go to school or work. I was just a kid, and she always gave me advice on real life. Man, she was my world! JASON MARTIN My mother passed away on Oct 7, 2011, from a massive heart attack. She was 56, and I was extremely close to her. I haven’t found another woman that comes close to a motherly figure. I really wish I could [find such a person]. JERRY ROSEN I have some friends who could be motherly figures to me, but no one could be a true mother figure the way my mother was. She was really special, and I miss her very much. LARMARQUES SMITH My mother is still very much a part of my life, even though we have a storied relationship. My mom and I are very close. Everywhere she went, I was by her side. When I came out to my parents, my mother was hurt and upset, but over the years, she has learned to live with it. She taught me to treat others the way I wanted to be treated. She still is hopeful that I will give her a grandchild, but I tell her not to hold her breath. LOL. I love Ms. Linda Smith with all my heart! CHARLES SPRING When I moved to Colorado from Louisiana in December of 2023, I was placed at the 48th Ave. Denver Rescue Mission. After about a week, I applied for a case manager, and luckily, I got Julia. She reminded me of my mother, Norine, who passed away on Nov 16, 2018. Julia was caring and able to get me to open up about myself. My mother was also special that way. I also had two sisters that impacted who I’ve become. One made me believe I could do anything, and the other one taught me [how to feel] sympathy. RODNEY K. WOOLFOLK @DenverVOICE Mother Johnson! She let me stay rent-free for so long. She even baked me a cake on my birthday. I call her mom. 4 DENVER VOICE May 2024 IN YOUR OWN WORDS HEY, JEFF BEZOS! BY STEVE ANSON, VOICE VENDOR TODAY, 22 JANUARY 2024, is the 51st anniversary of the case known as Roe v. Wade. In 1957, five years before my birth, my mom was raped, impregnated as a consequence, and forced by the State of Colorado to carry the pregnancy to term. In 1961, my mom was told by her doctor that carrying the pregnancy that produced, well, me, would kill her and me. My mom assented, asking for an abortion, and was denied by the State once again. I want to be clear: my dad , who raised, or sired me — to use a horseman’s phrase — was a good man. I know, firsthand, how much of a financial burden was placed on my parents due to my birth. Speaking from my own ethics, I say the State of Colorado was wrong. To my dear parents’ credit, they did a hell of a good job in raising me. I did not become a good and decent man until about February 2012, when I finally quit drinking, after I lost their house, and after I had lost nearly $400,000 in insurance proceeds, due to my not paying my property tax. Throw in a second DUI, and there you have it. What it took for me to find my decency was not having that house to which I could return. Prior to 2012, I was consciously trying to drink myself to death. I was trying to avoid a future I am now living. In 1999, my dad died. At that time, I decided what I had to do. In 1997, I decided how to deal with the fact that my mom was transitioning from COPD to emphysema, which would, eventually end her physical life. I began to drink cheap-ass bourbon. Lots of it. I knew it pissed off my now ex-wife. I didn’t care. I had seen the future. The way I figured it since I was witnessing my own eventual death — and the life leading to it — why not just speed up the process, avoiding a messy, painful ride? Along the way, I learned that my maternal grandmother died of emphysema. She never smoked a cigarette. My lung condition is genetic. By the time I quit drinking, I was consuming five liters of that poison per week. Much worse than all that damage was the psychological damage — how I hurt my former wife. (Amy, I am sorry for being the drunken jerk I was. I got what I deserved. I’m not a drunk now. Whether I’m a jerk or not, that is for the dozens of folks I deal with every day to decide.) The past informs the present and the future. Who’s to OR LIVING, MINUS FREEDOM OF CHOICE, EQUALS HOPELESSNESS say how time works? I have personally experienced precognitive dreams. I sure would like it if I could use precognitive dreams to choose lottery numbers. Life don’t work that way, blast it. Pretty much everyone knows I am mobility challenged, well, I’ll just say it this way: someone said to me, “This is what I do. I’m a transit cop.” My response was, “And this is what I do. I carry around a chair.” Bouncing back to when I was married. Amy approached me after taking a home pregnancy test. She was quite direct with me, “We need to make an appointment with Planned Parenthood.” I didn’t bother responding in any way. Two weeks later, Amy and I were being harassed before our appointment. Now that I’ve smoked a cigarette, I’ll get back to explaining my other skill… Scribbling. It ticks. It creaks. It breathes. It’s this odd little nightmare called Life. (All apologies to Dr. Who, there.) My dream that I live includes me rolling around in a wheelchair. This means I order lots of stuff from Jeff Bezos’ baby, Amazon. My most recent package was delivered to my neighborhood Whole Foods — also owned but not sired by Mr. Bezos. They opened at 9 a.m. No one was at that desk until 10:45 a.m. Why complain to Amazon? They really don’t give a shit. They just want your money. Listen up, Bezos: When I get to hell, you will know who’s in charge. You will be answering to me. You wasted my time, Asshole. I hold the cards in this game. Read ‘em and weep all you want. When we meet, the only teeth being gnashed shall be yours. I had intended this article to be published in April. That was before I realized that it made more sense to publish this piece and a second one I submitted to the VOICE at the same time. Now that I realize both are to be published in May, I have this to say: Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. ■ A LITTLE OLD ELECTRIC TORTOISE THE ARC BY STEVE ANSON, VOICE VENDOR poked his head out of my blue tennis shoe And looked both ways. Jasper, I inquired, “why do you always look both ways when you rise from your slumber?” “Who’s been sleepin’,” Jasper slyly replied. “Didn’t your mama teach you? Back when you were just a boy she told you you never know what’s to come and to keep your eyes wide. Opportunity is often in the same window you just walked from but walked away so quick that you could not see that the shadow hides the other sources of light and truths denied by those who could not keep more than they could earn and because they could not learn the lesson could not stick. By the way, I’m a tortoise,” Jasper added; ILLUSTRATION BY STEVE ANSON “and justice moves so slow that sometimes we do not see where the sunlight went when it had to go.” ■ May 2024 DENVER VOICE 5
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LOCAL FEATURE “THEY SAID TO COME HERE AND GET SERVICES. BUT NOW THEY’RE FORCING US TO GO, BUT GO WHERE?” VOICE VENDOR DAVID GORDON AKSED. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN UNHOUSED DENVERITES FRUSTRATED WITH CITY’S UNFULFILLED PROMISES BY GILES CLASEN UNHOUSED INDIVIDUALS ARE EXPRESSING FRUSTRATION after recent sweeps of large encampments in Denver. Many moved to the camps under the belief they would receive housing through one of the City of Denver’s encampment resolution programs. Instead, the encampments were swept, with only a few in one camp, and no one in another, receiving offers of temporary shelter or housing. One woman, who asked to be identified by her street name Lady Red, said she moved to the encampment near Havana Street and 45th Ave. because a police officer from District Five told her that those in the camp would be offered housing after the sweep. Three other individuals in the camp also moved to it after being told by an officer that they would receive housing. But there was no housing or shelter offered on the morning of the sweep, April 11, 2024. Denver Police Officer Timothy Scudder said at the Havana St. sweep that he did not believe his officers would give incorrect information about housing options and they had been instructed not to give this type of information during interactions with the unhoused community. He referred all other questions to the communications team. More than a dozen individuals expressed anger and disappointment that the city did not offer housing or shelter at the time of the sweep. “I know one city entity doesn’t know what the other entity is doing, but that’s crap,” Lady Red said. “They can’t make mistakes like this because the consequences are too great for us. Moving all the time is dangerous. Going to a camp where you may not know anyone is dangerous. Chasing housing like this puts us in danger.” Ten individuals at the encampment on Havana St. did receive housing through Denver’s Street to Lease program in the weeks before the sweep according to Andy Phelps, director of encampment response for the City of Denver, the morning of the sweep. More than two dozen individuals, including Lady Red, camped at the site and said they did not receive any housing or shelter. Some joined the camp too late to participate or were away from the camp when city outreach teams visited the site to enroll individuals in the program. Lady Red said the most frustrating aspect of the City’s encampment resolution housing programs is that the unhoused community has no option to actively enroll to receive a housing resource. The Street to Lease program subsidizes 12 months of rent and utilities for those lucky enough to be enrolled at a camp. Individuals cannot sign up to participate in this program, They are only offered by city outreach workers when they choose an encampment to participate said Jose Salas, deputy director of communications for the Denver Mayor’s office. Solas said the Mayor’s strategy is to get housing resources to the unsheltered homeless community by engaging with individuals living in encampments. 6 DENVER VOICE May 2024 LOCAL FEATURE “We have a mission and we believe it’s the right thing to do to go to these encampments and identify folks and provide them with resources like housing. That’s our number one focus,” Solas said. According to Solas, the outreach team tries to match resources with different camp sizes. If the city has five housing units available at different sites, then the outreach team tries to find a similarly sized camp to match the number of resources available. Solas also said Mayor Johnston has prioritized housing for the homeless community more than any previous administration and has housed nearly 1,500 individuals since July 2023. The goal of the “2024 All In Mile High” program is to house 2,000 individuals by the end of the year. However, the Mayor’s approach to offering new All In Mile High housing resources only through street outreach programs may be having unintended consequences. “Unfortunately, the reality is that right now, we have more people than resources,” Solas said. According to Solas, the encampment resolution approach is a “double-edged sword.” The City is housing some of the most vulnerable in the homeless community, but those who want to participate in the new housing programs can’t access them except by being at the right camp at the right time. Lady Red said it is extremely discouraging to hope to get a housing resource this way. “I have been chasing housing and following this outreach team forever,” she said. “I have been trying to be in the right camp since the program started last year, but I have been out of luck every time. I just don’t know where they’re going to go next, and it is crap that the outreach team won’t tell us where they’re going to go.” Another resident of the Havana St. encampment echoed Lady Red’s feelings that those seeking help aren’t able to get the new housing resources unless they are at the right encampment at the right time. “We’re not out here because we’re criminals or because we’re drug addicts,” said Cutter Antz, who asked to be identified by his street name. “The majority of us are out here because of tragedy. Something hit every one of us hard. That led to mental illness, or losing a job, or a conviction, or something that landed us on the street. And once you’re out here you can’t get back on your feet without help.” Cutter Antz said it is difficult to see individuals chasing the help they need only to be rebuffed by a city sweep that upends their lives. One encampment at 8th Ave. and Navajo Street grew significantly because many individuals heard that those in the camp would receive shelter or housing when the camp was swept. “City officials told me to come here. This would be the next camp to get housing, so I came here because they told me to,” said Denver VOICE vendor David Gordon. Gordon explained that he didn’t know exactly who had told him to move to the camp, but the person he spoke with identified themselves as working for the city. Gordon also said he moved to the camp weeks before it was swept on April 16. Once in the camp, his only interaction with city staff was when police officers made daily visits to it. “They shouldn’t go back on their offer,” Gordon said. “They said to come here and get services. But now they’re forcing us to go, but go where?” The Denver VOICE spoke with dozens of individuals who said they too had moved to the camp after hearing from outreach workers, case managers, police officers, or word of mouth that the camp would be receiving a housing resource. The drive for housing among the homeless community is so great that the 8th Ave. encampment ballooned to more than 150 individuals in more than 60 tents and lean-to structures after individuals heard that the camp would be next to receive housing. “THE MAJORITY OF US ARE OUT HERE BECAUSE OF TRAGEDY. SOMETHING HIT EVERY ONE OF US HARD,” SAID CUTTER ANTZ. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN “The city is working to prevent this type of miscommunication or mistakes through consistent training and communication with the city partners,” said Derek Woodbury, interim director of communications and engagement for the Denver Department of Housing Stability. Mayor Mike Johnston acknowledged the desire for housing was one cause for the camp’s growth during a town hall on April 9th. “I’m [at the 8th Ave camp] because I want to get housing and this is what my case manager told me was the best option to stay here,” said Tracie, who asked to be identified by only her first name. Tracie said she doesn’t feel entitled to housing or free rent, but she can’t get off the streets without assistance. It is extremely difficult to get a job when homeless because employers won’t hire an individual who cannot apply for a job online and lacks a shower or clean clothes. According to Tracie, moving into an unknown encampment is traumatizing and dangerous. She has been physically attacked and sexually assaulted during her two years on the street. Sweeps of homeless camps make her life even less stable. Continued on page 8 May 2024 DENVER VOICE 7 “I HAVEN’T SEEN ANY CASE MANAGEMENT OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT OFFERED TO ME,” SAID LAUREN BB. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN
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LOCAL FEATURE Continued from page 7 “I don’t want to kill myself, but I don’t want to keep going anymore, you know?” Tracie said. “I need to get into someplace. I was told to come here and I would be eligible for housing. I did what my case manager told me to do. Instead of housing, I get police telling me to leave or get arrested. I can’t seem to win.” Tracie is willing to walk to anywhere in the city and stand in line for hours or days if she could sign up to receive one of Mayor Johnston’s new housing resources. “I don’t mind working hard and then providing for myself. I’ve done it before, but I just need help to start,” Tracie said. “I find it awful that I can’t work for a home, that I Just have to wait and hope for the City to show up at my camp.” Woodbury said that he would advise individuals living on the streets to participate in case management through the city’s outreach workers or with one of the city’s partners like the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless or the Saint Francis Center. According to Woodbury, that is the best way for an individual to pursue resources to aid folks in moving from the street. Woodbury acknowledged that the only way to receive one of the new housing resources was through the city’s street outreach team. “We’re taking a step-by-step approach, you know, encampment by encampment,” Woodbury said. “You know, we’re not announcing encampments in advance because it’s something that we’re working on every day of the week, and there’s many encampments throughout the city. We are deploying more resources than ever before.” The camp at 8th Ave. was one of the first encampments in months to be swept without the City offering housing or shelter to any of the individuals living at the site. Woodbury said the reason the 8th Ave. site was without any access to housing was because of its size and the threat it posed to public health and safety. According to Woodbury, the Mayor plans to avoid sweeps that do not also offer some housing resolution in the future. “Department of Housing Stability outreach teams have been meeting with individuals in the encampment for some time and connecting to them to offer longer-term case management services,” Woodbury said in a follow-up email with the Denver VOICE. Individuals in the camp claimed they had not interacted with city outreach teams. The night before the sweep. 30 individuals living in the 8th Ave. camp also said they had not had any interactions with outreach workers offering case management or other services. All of the individuals surveyed said the only encounters they had in the weeks prior to the sweep were with police officers, or volunteers and staff with the Harm Reduction Action Center, who offer needle exchange and other harm reduction services. “I believe I have seen the street outreach team out here and they did a count. But I haven’t seen any [case management] or anything like that offered to me,” said Lauren BB. “I am at a loss here. I have been out here for two years now, and I must have missed out. I must not have been at the right place at the right time because I haven’t seen any of this housing that they offer.” To Tracie, the dispersion of new housing resources only through encampment resolution feels more than unfair. “They don’t understand how this is adding more trauma UNHOUSED INDIVIDUALS PACK UP THEIR BELONGINGS, AS THE CITY BEGINS TO SWEEP THEIR CAMP. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN to our lives,” Tracie said. “We get our hopes up that this is all ending, that we’ll get housing by moving to this camp. When they tell us there is no housing, and we have to move or go to jail it hurts. It makes you feel hopeless. It makes you want to quit.” ■ LADY RED MOVED TO AN ENCAMPMENT NEAR HAVANA STREET AND 45TH AVE. BECAUSE SHE WAS TOLD HOSE IN THE CAMP WOULD BE OFFERED HOUSING. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN AS SWEEP TAKES PLACE, AN UNHOUSED INDIVIDUAL LEAVES BEHIND THEIR ARTWORK. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN 8 DENVER VOICE May 2024 COMMUNITY PROFILE FROM THE STREETS WITH LOVE BY JACOB RICHARDS Editor’s note: The author had a small part in finding a home for this collection through his role as president of the Mesa County Historical Society. RECENTLY, A SMALL COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS WAS ARCHIVED at Colorado Mesa University Special Collections and Archives. The documents are not particularly old, nor are they written by or to anyone famous or powerful, but they are rare — because they are almost entirely written by people experiencing homelessness. “Without the records and voices of marginalized groups, the historical record is incomplete,” said Amber D’Ambrosio, the special collections and archives librarian at the University’s Tomlinson Library. “History is written by the victors in large part because the victors can control the records and voices that are preserved,” D’Ambrosio said. “In the last quarter century, a growing effort has been made to find the ‘silences’ in the archives and to actively pursue ways to correct those ‘silences.’” The collection consists largely of letters written to staff and volunteers at the Catholic Outreach Day Center in Grand Junction from 2000-2006. Many of the letters are from jails and prisons and simply ask staff to hold on to their things. “It’s just a small backpack but it’s all I got,” one man wrote. Other letters make bigger requests of the staff, like forwarding mail, cashing checks, and more. “I need my check. I have to keep my trailer. If I lose it, I will be on the streets again,” one writer pleaded. Some of the letters from behind bars are reaching out for human connection in a very lonely world. An artist who said he was painting again wrote, “When you wrote [to] me, it really rekindled hope for me.” On the envelope, the staff had written a note about the man: “He spent a month in the wilderness trying to die, no food, only a gallon of whiskey and his drawing pad…[he] put an hourglass with sand in it in every [picture].” Another man wrote, “Tell them to come visit me. I haven’t gotten one visit since I’ve been here.” Another man wrote, “Tell them to come visit me. I haven’t gotten one visit since I’ve been here.” Some of the writers have a sense of humor. “Tell them … I am accused of being a habitual idiot; not serious but it requires months of rehab,” one man wrote. The same joker RANDY AT AN ENCAMPMENT KNOWN AS “THE POINT” CIRCA 2008. NOTE ON THE BACK OF THE PICTURE READS, “HIM AND HIS GIRLFRIEND WORK MOST OF THE TIME. HE DRINKS SOME BUT MOST OF HIS FRIENDS ARE NOW DEAD NOW FROM THE ‘OLD LIFESTYLE.’” ended his letter, “Say hi to everyone, especially all them good looking catholic babes.” One envelope from prison had a staff note on it saying the man was in prison for a murder he might not have committed. He didn’t know because “They were all drunk.” There are a few letters — too few — from people who had found greener pastures writing proudly to say they had rebuilt their lives. Sometimes just getting to a different city could make all the difference. I earn $25 dollars a week.”Right close to the beach.” “I made it, and the Eugene Mission is really good,” one man wrote, adding: “I work on a truck until 3 p.m. collecting used newspapers to recycle at the mission. I earn 25 dollars a week.” A postcard from Florida reads, “[The] dolphins are a sight to see. Right close to the beach.” More than a few heartbreaking letters with pictures are from family members searching for loved ones swallowed by the anonymity of the streets. There are also numerous death certificates and documents related to end-of-life planning that the Day Center staff took on for people who died without next of kin. The documents taken individually do not say a lot historically, but the totality of the collection speaks volumes to the pain, struggles, humanity, loneliness, and small victories won by those experiencing homelessness. The collection speaks to economic exploitation and the poverty-to-prison pipeline, but it also speaks to the enormous power that simple acts of kindness can have in a sometimes cruel world. While there are just a few notes written by Day Center staff on the backs of envelopes and pictures, their passion and humanity shine through in the words of the people who wrote to them. “This collection offers a rare opportunity to preserve the words and voices of people whose existence might otherwise be forgotten,” D’Ambrosio said. “CMU Special Collections and Archives now has a role to play in helping this collection survive into the future so that these voices and the people they belong to are not forgotten,” she added. ■ COLORADO MESA UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND ARCHIVE SOME OF THE COLLECTION OF LETTERS BY PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS May 2024 DENVER VOICE 9
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LOCAL STORY CASHEW’S ADOPTION DAY AT HUMANE SOCIETY OF FREMONT COUNTY. COURTESY OF DOUG RAE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF HUMANE SOCIETY OF FREMONT COUNTY. UNDAUNTED, ADVOCATES REMAIN COMMITTED TO PASSING COLORADO RESCUE ACT BY JAMIE MILLER LAST YEAR, 11,466 CATS AND DOGS were reported euthanized, dead, or missing/stolen in Colorado’s animal shelter system, according to the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA). Of these 11,466, there is no reported data on the number of healthy animals that were euthanized for shelter space. But Davyd Smith, founder of No Kill Colorado, knows there are thousands of them. “Unfortunately, thousands of shelter pets are needlessly killed each year. This is often justified by arbitrary policies that lack transparency or accountability, resulting in the death of countless animals that, had they been given the chance, could be in a forever home today,” said Smith in a letter to the Colorado General Assembly. Some SARA Coalition (Shelter and Rescue Alliance Colorado) members, like No Kill Colorado, Maxfund Animal Adoption Center, and Humane Society of Fremont County, along with national partner groups like Best Friends Animal Society, are working to shrink the number from several thousand to zero with the Colorado Rescue Act. This legislative initiative is aimed at improving communication by mandating collaboration between animal shelters and licensed rescue organizations in Colorado, focusing on the goal of saving the lives of homeless pets. The bill is KATHY GAINES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MAXFUND ANIMAL ADOPTION CENTER, WITH A RECENTLY ADOPTED BOXER/TERRIER MIX. COURTESY OF MAXFUND ANIMAL ADOPTION CENTER. 10 DENVER VOICE May 2024 sponsored by Colorado House Representatives Mandy Lindsay and Ryan Armagost. On February 29, 2024, the Colorado Rescue Act was rejected by the state of Colorado. It was presided over by Colorado House Representative Karen McCormick. The polarized political climate of animal welfare played a heavy role in the bill’s rejection, according to Bailey Kramer, principal lobbyist at Legacy Consulting. “We knew passing this bill would be particularly difficult with heavy opposition…and as we made concessions to the bill, the goalpost was constantly moved,” said Kramer. The bill would require that shelters communicate what animals are on euthanasia lists, shedding light on which healthy animals are being euthanized. “We believe that it boiled down to the fact that organizations would have to disclose — not publicly but just to other shelters and rescues — that they are euthanizing animals that could otherwise be in loving forever homes today,” said Kramer. Kramer added that there is a divide in the Colorado animal welfare community between two philosophies: no-kill and socially conscious sheltering, which further contributed to the bill’s downfall. “The Colorado Rescue Act was not inherently no-kill and did not require that shelters function as no-kill shelters. The bill only required that all shelters/rescues work together regardless of business model. Even this was a hard no for socially conscious sheltering organizations,” said Kramer. Those who opposed the Colorado Rescue Act include Dumb Friends League, Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) Colorado Voters for Animals (CVA), and more. According to Smith, many shelters opted out of supporting the bill out of fear. “The opposition effectively went to the small rural communities in the state and scared them into thinking this was going to hurt them, somehow cost them more. The only LOCAL STORY instance the mandate takes place is if a healthy or treatable animal is three days away from being euthanized, and other attempts to transfer or adopt out the animal have not worked,” said Smith. Other shelters opted out of supporting the act because of its association with “no-kill.” “There is a risk with being on board with ‘no-kill.’ In Colorado, the large, well-funded shelters are anti-no-kill. If you come out against them, they will oppose you, and it can affect the way [your shelter] performs in the state. So, a lot of rescues don’t [come out against them], especially the little ones. They are afraid to stand up to the well-funded shelters since they could lose their support, even if they do not agree with everything they do,” said Smith. Doug Rae, executive director of the Humane Society of Fremont County (HSFC) and supporter of the Colorado Rescue Act, has maintained one of the highest save rates in the country for the last decade. He has accomplished this despite being an underfunded open-admission shelter, meaning they must admit every stray and/or surrendered animal from within its jurisdiction, in an underserved community. When Rae arrived at HSFC in 2013, the shelter was killing 30% of dogs and 50% of cats. For the past decade since his arrival, they have had a save rate of 97% or higher. His business model is simple: “Treat every animal like it is family.” “People say it can’t be done. People tell me it is not a smart business model to save every animal. Yet here we are, doing it, and running successfully,” said Rae. One of these animals is Cashew, who is the longest resident at Fremont. Cashew had two rear-leg ACL tears when he arrived at Fremont. At many shelters, this would have deemed him untreatable and at risk of being euthanized. Fremont looked beyond the limp and instead saw his tail wag. The shelter spent $6,310 to repair his ACLs in the hopes he would be adopted. The Fremont team shared a bittersweet farewell in 2023, when, after 511 days in the shelter system, Cashew went to his forever home. “People can call it no-kill, social conscious sheltering, or anything else they want. My team would call it an extra special effort for a dog that needed our help, and we gladly gave it to him — no matter how much it cost or how long it took to get him adopted,” said Rae. The Colorado Rescue Act was modeled after legislation in other states, like California, where they passed the Hayden Law, and Texas, where the Austin City Council passed a set of comprehensive laws to meet a 95% live release rate, and surpassed that goal with a 97% live release rate. Both states also have succeeded in collaboration among shelters while mitigating overcrowding, limited resources, and a shortage of veterinarians. Kathy Gaines, executive director at Maxfund Animal Adoption Center — the largest no-kill shelter in Colorado — explained that Colorado shelters work in silos. This often causes Maxfund to fill open kennels with animals imported from out of state instead of taking local animals who otherwise might be euthanized. “We do have open kennels sometimes. It is just monumentally easier to look for animals to import from out of state because shelters in Colorado that are overcrowded are not required to communicate to licensed shelters and rescues here in Colorado, even when they are healthy and treatable pets that are going to be euthanized for space,” Gaines said. “The Colorado Rescue Act was an attempt to require that shelters and rescues work together more in Colorado to make it easier to pull those animals right here where we live.” Smith says that Colorado’s ability to successfully move out-of-state animals through the shelter system represents an opportunity to save all animals within the state while still helping neighboring states. “Colorado does over 100,000 adoptions each year. When we are bringing in 30,000 to 40,000 animals per year from outside states, we should be able to save every animal here, as well. It is very important to realize we have more adopters than we need in Colorado to save every healthy or treatable pet,” said Smith. According to PACFA, Colorado imported 35,991 cats and dogs in 2022. Despite the Colorado Rescue Act’s rejection, efforts to get the bill passed and work toward saving every healthy animal in Colorado are not losing momentum. Gaines explained that the SARA team is strategizing on the next steps and gearing up for next year’s legislative session. “It seems like we all should be working together on this common problem. No part of me thinks anybody wants to be euthanizing animals that are healthy and treatable. If I had my dream, we would get past the transparency issues, the anxieties that surround that, and just be actively promoting a better way of communicating with each other,” said Gaines. The Colorado Rescue Act team is looking for more bill sponsors and encourages the Colorado community to get involved. To read more about the bill and learn how to get involved, visit nokillcolorado.org/colorado-rescue-act. For those interested in helping support No Kill Colorado, Maxfund, and Fremont County Animal Shelter, visit nokillcolorado.org, maxfund.org, and fremonthumance.com to donate and view volunteer and fundraising opportunities. ■ VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to help with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe. Dr.), as well as event support. If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at program@denvervoice.org. DOG AT THE MAXFUND ANIMAL ADOPTION CENTER. COURTESY OF MAXFUND ANIMAL ADOPTION CENTER. May 2024 DENVER VOICE 11 DONATE YOUR CAR! Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community.
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS KEEPING THE FAITH BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR BRINGS MAY FLOWERS BY GIGI GALEN, VOICE VENDOR RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: KAREN BEEMAN SUMMING UP THE FIRST HALF OF THIS YEAR This year has been hard on me, but since four weeks ago, I have been cancer-free. The doctors I have have given me the best treatment ever. I want to give special thanks to all of those doctors, nurses, and all of the others, who give us care. I’m very grateful for that. Now, I get to look forward to surgery, which is two weeks away. Just wish they found out I needed it over a year ago. I can’t believe how fast time is going this year. Hopefully, after my surgery, time will move just as quickly. A little while ago, I came home from seeing the heart doctor. He set me up for more tests in May. He believes the meds from the chemo are messing my heart up. My EKG looked better than the last time they checked my heart. I’m hoping that once all of these tests and treatments are over, my body will go back to normal. Just now, I got a call about my other health issue, and my pre-op appointment for my surgery has been moved up to May 2. I feel like maybe things are looking up for me, I feel like the last half of this year will be my best, and I will enjoy it with all my heart. PLANNING FOR THE SECOND HALF Being a person who loves to put smiles on the faces of others, it has been very hard to not be around anyone. When you deal with cancer and go through chemo and radiation treatments, you have to be very careful so you don’t get sicker from anyone you come into contact with. Boy, I can’t wait to make everyone smile or lift them up! Going months mostly by yourself is very hard. I am lonely because I don’t like being alone. I’m okay by myself, but I prefer being around others. ILLUSTRATION BY GIGI GALEN Once I’m clear of all of my health issues and get the okay to be around everyone, I’m going to look into being a volunteer somewhere to help others. That will be fun for me. When you help others and do it from your heart, you will see how full of happiness your heart will be! When you help others, you will find your troubles no longer seem as bad. Blessings will come back to you tenfold. I’ve learned that no matter what health issues you may be going through, you have to go through it with a positive attitude. Allow no negativity to get trapped in your head. You don’t want negativity around you when you are dealing with your health. Don’t worry about it. Just deal with it. Worrying does nothing good for you, and it won’t change anything. LOVING SELF I learned how to care about me, and I can tell you that taking care of Self starts with Self-love. Self-care, Self-love, and Self-worth are everything. If you make time for them, you will have a blessed life. Never give up on Self. Believe you can do whatever you put your mind to! Don’t give anyone power over you. No one but you should have power over you Always say to Self, “I can, and I will stay strong.” because if you don’t, no one else can do that for you. KEEPING THE FAITH My faith has kept me going. You can’t see your blessings if you don’t have faith that you will receive them. I’m very grateful for my faith. It has helped me get through all of the hard times I’ve been through. It has kept me positive to know I will get through anything that comes my way. I have found out how strong I truly am. ■ 12 DENVER VOICE May 2024 EVENTS WHEN: May 4, doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. COST: Free for general admission WHERE: Levitt Pavilion Denver, 1380 W. Florida Ave. INFO: levittdenver.org SLOAN’S LAKE SPRING BAZAAR This outdoor market will feature 80+ local vendors, DIY crafts, pop-up bars, food trucks, music, and more. Well-behaved dogs are welcome. WHEN: May 11 + 12, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. COST: Free entry WHERE: 1611 Raleigh St. INFO: denverbazaar.com ACROSS WALK WITH CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, MIKE NELSON Walk and talk with Chief Meteorologist, Mike Nelson, from Denver7. Topics will include extreme weather, climate change, and other weather-related phenomena. Meet by the Washington Park Boathouse near the intersection of E. Exposition Avenue and S. Franklin Street. WHEN: May 15, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. COST: Free WHERE: Washington Park, 701 S. Franklin St. INFO: denverlibrary.org/events 1. Camp beds 5. Response to “Are not!” 9. Loud, metallic sound 14. “You said it!” 15. Palindromic title 16. Indian coin 17. Michael of “Arrested Development” THE NARRATORS The Narrators is a live storytelling show and podcast hosted by Ron Doyle and Erin Rollman. Comedians, actors, musicians, writers, and other fascinating folks share true stories from their lives, centered on a monthly theme. This month’s theme is Couples. WHEN: May 15; doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. COST: Name your own price; purchase online in advance. WHERE: Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St. INFO: thenarrators.org 18. Oscar winner Sorvino 19. Reply to a knock 20. Compulsive thief 23. Textbook division 24. “My package arrived!” 28. Greek vowel 29. Salsa and guacamole 32. Hold up 33. Latke ingredient 35. Schools of thought 36. Verses for children 40. Dry Spanish sherry 41. Do over, as a shot 42. Frozen drip 45. Scattered 46. Org. with body scanners 49. Hears again, as a case 51. Until now 53. Jane Austen and George Eliot, e.g. 56. Aired again 59. Reverberate 60. Presidents’ Day event 61. Speechify 62. Letter opener? 63. Jazzy Fitzgerald 64. Pirate’s pal 65. In stitches 66. Neptune’s realm DOWN 1. Witch’s laugh 2. Egg dish 3. Mother ___ 4. Ginger cookies 5. Coiled fossil shell 6. Mangle 7. Poet Teasdale 8. Sultanate citizen 9. Fold 10. One, for some 11. Liable (to) 12. Alumna bio word 13. Plop or plunk preceder 21. Foofaraws 22. “___ be a shame if...” 25. Nonchalance 26. Edges 27. Nav. rank 30. Henry VIII’s last wife 31. Eye sores 33. Reproduce 34. “...___ take arms against a sea of troubles...” 36. “I’m impressed!” 37. Condo division 38. Hedgerow tree 39. “As a matter of fact,” informally 40. Douglas ___ 43. Laura of “Love Actually” 44. Hosp. readout 46. Tex Mex dish that comes wrapped in a husk 47. She got her groove back 48. Lover of Dido, in myth 50. Racing vehicles 52. Medicine amounts 54. Slurpee alternative 55. “Pygmalion” playwright George Bernard ___ 56. Data storage site 57. Memorable time 58. Snitch COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES FREE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES: L.A. WITCH WITH PINK FUZZ Come enjoy a night of free music, featuring L.A. WITCH and Pink Fuzz. Bring your own blanket, chairs, picnic, and/or purchase food from rotating food trucks. Show is rain or shine. COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 TODAY’S TOPICS WITH JOHN NOVOSAD Join John Novosad and his funny friends as they tackle topics ripped from today’s headlines. This show features stand-up, sketch comedy, PowerPoint, and music. WHEN: May 26, 7 p.m. COST: $15 WHERE: Comedy Works – Downtown, 1226 15th St. INFO: comedyworks.com May 2024 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $10,000+ Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Anonymous Individual Donor Matt and Nikki Seashore Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Cisco Francis Trainer and Trainer Family J. Albrecht Designs Master Goldsmith $5,000 - $9,999 Anschutz Family Foundation Laurie Duncan and Duncan-Mcwethy Foundation Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Alexander Seavall Frederic K Conover Trust Mary Walker & Walker Family Foundation The Christian Foundation Bank of America Charitable Foundation Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation Envestnet $1,000-$4,999 Christopher Boulanger Joshua Kauer Katherine Standiford Jill Haug Whole Foods Foundation Michael Dino Alex Salva Signs By Tomorrow Rose Community Foundation Russell Peterson Donald Weaver Chris and Susan Pappas Julia and David Watson Gaspar Terrana SEI Giving Fund Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Megan Arellano Warren and Betty Kuehner Keyrenter Property Management Denver Mathew Rezek The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Jeremy Anderson and Thomas Stalker Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Elsbeth Williams KO Law Firm Graham Davis Peter Iannuzzi $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson Sheryl Parker Ruth Henderson James and Cyndi Lesslie Fire on the Mountain Craig Solomon Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Stephen Saul WalMart Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity KL&A Engineers and Builders 14 DENVER VOICE May 2024 SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, VETERAN SUPPORT COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ALANON FAMILY GROUPS: al-anon.org; Find a meeting: al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/find-an-al-anon-meeting ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: aa.org; Colorado Service Centers; daccaa.org/central-office/other-central-offices DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER: 777 Bannock St.; denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL: Features information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community; detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA: Addiction hotline 888-479-0446; Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/ treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 112 E. 8th Ave.; 303-572-7800; HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on proper disposal of dirty syringes; M-F 9am-12pm: harmreductionactioncenter.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER: 3800 York St.; Emergency walk-ins 303-296-1767; Dental 303-296-4873; M-F 8am-2pm LIVE ANOTHER DAY: 877-596-6866; Equal access to life-saving mental health and substance abuse resources; 24/7 helpline: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION: 1325 S. Colorado Blvd.; Suite B302; Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered; 800-522-4372, 800-359-9272; info@hepc-connection.org; viventhealth.org NATIONAL AIDS HOTLINE: 800-342-AIDS/800-344-7432 NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: Text or call 988; 988lifeline.org NATIONAL RUNAWAY SAFELINE: 800-RUNAWAY/800-786-2929; 1800runaway.org RAPE ABUSE AND INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK: 800-656-HOPE; rainn.org SALUD CLINIC: 6255 Quebec Pkwy, Commerce City; 303-697-2583, 970-484-0999; saludclinic.org/commerce-city STOUT STREET CLINIC: 2130 Stout St.; 303-293-2220; Clinic Hours: 7am-4pm M/T/Th/F; 9am-6pm Wed; coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUBSTANCE ABUSE REHAB GUIDE: Helpline 888-493-4670; detoxrehabs.net/states/colorado/ URBAN PEAKS REHAB: 490 Lafayette St., #104; 303-599-5131; Medication management and therapy center specializing in opiate addiction; M, T, Th – 9am-12pm, 1 pm-4pm, W – 9am-12pm, 1 pm-7pm; urbanpeaksrehab.com U.S. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: 800-799-7233 (English and Spanish); 800-243-7889 (TDD); thehotline.org CAREER SERVICES BAYAUD ENTERPRISES CW-STEP: (Colorado Works - Subsidized training and employment program); 333 W. Bayaud Ave.; 303-830-6885; Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm; Provides re-entry to the workforce for individuals with TANF eligibility; info@bayaudenterprises.org COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER: Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway; 720-865-1706; M & T - 10am-8pm; Wed., Th &F - 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, WIFI, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments; denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER: Denver Dept of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd.; M-F 7:30am-4:30pm; Employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé prep, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc.; careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center WORKNOW: 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org LGBTQ+ SUPPORT THE TREVOR PROJECT: 866-488-7386: thetrevorproject.org LGBT NATIONAL YOUTH TALKLINE: 800-246-7743: lgbthotline.org/youth-talkline PRIDE INSTITUTE: 800-547-7433 TRUE COLORS UNITE: 212-461-4401 truecolorsunited.org VETERANS & SENIORS DENVER INNER CITY PARISH: 1212 Mariposa St.; 303-322-5733; VOA Dining Center for Seniors, aged 60 and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm; Food Bank, Wed.-Fri.; Tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm; dicp.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES: 846 E. 18th Ave.; For those aged 60 or older; TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, 3 meals, M-F -7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm; seniorsupportservices.org VA MEDICAL CENTER: 1700 N Wheeling St.: Aurora 303-399-8020: va.gov/findlocations/facility/vha_554A5 VETERANS GUIDE: Veterans Disability Calculator veteransguide.org/va-disability-calculator YOUTH SERVICES SOX PLACE: 2017 Larimer St.; 303-296-3412 Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30; Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. T-F - 12-4pm & Sat. 11am-2pm. Instagram: @Soxplace THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK: 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442; Youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, 303-974-2928; Drop-in hours M-F 8-11am urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: 833-931-2484; Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions; sunshinebehavioralhealth.com TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 3080 Broadway, Boulder; 303-447-1207, 303-447-1207; For ages 12-24; Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services; M-Sun, 12:30-5pm; tgthr.org May 2024 DENVER VOICE 15 URBAN PEAK: 730 21st St., Denver; 303-974-2900; Ages14-24; Serving Denver & Colo Springs; Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skill/straining, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing; urbanpeak.org DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777;; Helps with employment, IDs, birth certs, mail services and lockers; M-Th - 10am-2pm; citysquare.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F - 7am-1pm; Private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch, etc.; thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE: 1535 High St.; 303-321-4198; Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals; Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, etc.; M, W, Th, F - 8:30am-5pm, T - 8:30am-1:30pm; tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 231 E. Colfax; 303-572-7800; Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harmreduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes; M-F - 9am-12pm; harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Help with lost IDs and birth certificates; holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM: 1555 Race St.; 303-832-3354; For men and women with HIV; M-F 8am-4pm LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER: 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; Day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services; homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, wifi; M-F 7a-5:30p; odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St; 303-297-1576; 6am-6pm daily; Storage for one bag (when space is available); Satellite Clinic hours- M, T, Th. F - 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm; sfcdenver.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am; capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: mealsforpoor.org CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee M-F. 8:30am; denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES: 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm; christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY: Home-cooked meal, weekly; Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd); christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm; citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church); Hot meals served M, T, Th., F - 11:45-12:15; mealsforpoor.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION: 1130 Park Avenue West; 303-294-0157; 3 meals 7 days/week, 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm; denverrescuemission.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F only: 7am-1pm. 8am breakfast, 11am lunch; havenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY: Food service on second and fourth Thursdays; feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html FOOD NOT BOMBS: Sun. 4 p.m.; 22nd St. Stout St (near Mercury Café); Instagram: @denverfoodnotbombs HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE: 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm; krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: 910 Kalamath St.; Community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, Men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the month, 8-10am, Women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am; hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Sandwiches, M-Sat., 10-10:30am; holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH: 29th and Milwaukee St.; Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm; jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; 303-830-2201; Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm); meal served at 6pm; odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY: 126 W. 2nd Ave.; 303-722-8781 Dinner at 4pm on Tues; Also offers a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available; stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S: Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. (Auraria Campus), 11am 7 days/week; food/coffee; stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month); sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN: 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm; Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon.; saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ: 2023 E. Colfax Ave; 720-530-6853;Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen; Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays; soallmayeat.org URBAN OUTREACH DENVER: 608 26th St., Thurs dinners, 6pm-7pm; lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA: 2877 Lawrence St.; breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun.; food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs.; voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetrofoodnutrition-themission DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13

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EDITOR’S NOTE ELISABETH MONAGHAN MANAGING EDITOR BECAUSE APRIL IS NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MONTH, we wanted to acknowledge Clara Patt, the volunteer project manager who oversaw the translation of our marketing materials and orientation videos from English to Spanish. The final product reflects Clara’s exceptional project management skills and her ability to assemble a dedicated team of Spanish-speaking volunteers. Additional volunteers I haven’t acknowledged in a while are the copy editors, who often don’t THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS GILES CLASEN is a freelance photojournalist who is a regular contributor to the VOICE. Several of the photos he’s taken for the VOICE have won national and international awards. He also served on the VOICE’s Board of Directors. ROBERT DAVIS is an awardwinning freelance reporter for the Denver VOICE. His work has also appeared in Colorado Newsline, Business Insider, Westword, the Colorado Sun, and Medium.com. JACOB RICHARDS is a long-time community organizer and writer on the western slope of Colorado. His columns have appeared across the West including The Denver Post, Salt Lake City Tribune, and The Daily Sentinel. When not working in the wilderness, Jacob is working on his project, “A People’s History of the Grand Valley,” which is an effort to research and reframe Grand Junction’s local history to include marginalized narratives and people’s movements for change. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Lanie Lee Cook Aaron Sullivan ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Giles Clasen Gigi Galen Jacob Richards WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. WRITERS Lando Allen Giles Clasen Robert Davis David Gordon Raelene Johnson James Letempt Gabriel Pearce Jacob Richards Jerry Rosen Charles Spring BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, President Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Antonio Diaz, Treasurer Michael Burkley Cassandria Carmouche Robert Davis Muhammad Khan Nikki Lawson Cabal Yarne have too much notice or turnaround time to review articles and get them back to finalize and send to our graphic designer Hannah Bragg to lay out. Aaron Sullivan has served as a volunteer copy editor since late 2019. He takes the time to explain his suggested edits, so the contributor understands why the corrections are necessary. Our other excellent volunteer copy editor, Lanie Lee Cook, has helped out at the Denver VOICE office and several of our fundraising events since 2020. I value the work Lanie Lee and Aaron put into copy editing and am so grateful to have their help. Whatever tasks our volunteers perform, they make it possible for us to provide the training and support VOICE vendors need to succeed. ■ DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. 2 DENVER VOICE April 2024 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S QUESTION WAS SUGGESTED BY DENVER VOICE VENDOR JERRY ROSEN. Q A What are your hobbies? DAVID GORDON My true hobby is following the NBA, NFL, and most sports played at the professional level. I also follow some isolated college teams. I don’t think I would have called this a hobby 20 years ago, but today, with the technology and advanced stats tracking, it’s fun watching and following sports. JAMES LETEMPT I love to draw. I also like to write poems. I love to do those two things. JERRY ROSEN I like to read and to do a lot of walking. I believe walking is very relaxing. You can see quite a lot of things when you walk. GABRIEL PEARCE I love to swim, do martial arts, draw, make friends, and help others. RAELENE JOHNSON My biggest hobby is traveling because I love to go to new places and experience new things. Until I get my car up and running again, my hobby right now is just healing from chemo and being patient with everything else going on. CHARLES SPRING My hobbies are poetry, collecting old coins and zippo lighters, art and painting, collecting Garbage Pail Kids and other stuff from the ‘80s, and walking in the park or just around. I also like to hunt and hope to go hunting soon. HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. April 2024 DENVER VOICE 3
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COMMUNITY PROFILE CREDIT: GILES CLASEN CREDIT: GILES CLASEN MY MOTHER’S KITCHEN BY GILES CLASEN HELPING OTHERS IS SECOND NATURE to Arthur Infante. He can’t imagine sitting by and doing nothing while others struggle. For years, Infante would take his children to help the unhoused community. “I never saw it as a handout,” Infante said. “We would ask people what they needed, give what we had, and ask for a story in return. It was a fair exchange. The individuals may receive clothes or food, or whatever, and me and my kids would get a story.” To Infante this trade was empowering to individuals who had little to give but a lot to offer. When the most recent wave of immigrants began arriving in Denver, Infante wanted to help. He wanted to create something that served the community. First, he volunteered to bring meals to individuals and families living in hotels. The meal trains were important to help people get by. But Infante also heard people asking for self-reliance. “Do you know what these people have been through to get here? They didn’t risk their lives for handouts. They want to work and build a life here. I don’t have a lot of people asking for money. I have people asking me, ‘Do you have a job?’” Infante said. He decided the best thing he could do to help Denver’s new guests was to give them a way to feed themselves. He began volunteering at an encampment under an overpass near N. Pecos Street and I-70. Infante could see that the new immigrants, most of who are in the United States legally and seeking asylum, wanted to take care of themselves. It occurred to him that one of the best things he could do was to build a portable, tent kitchen, so they could cook for themselves. An artist by training, Infante restores antiques. He specializes in rebuilding anything old and destroyed, including a crumbled sculpture of the goddess Nike, which he resurrected. He also has brought back to life many stainedglass windows and other pieces that withered with age. There isn’t a medium that Infante hasn’t dabbled in. To build a stove, Infante turned to scrap metal left over after building his son a go-cart. He cut three holes, attached propane burners, bought some cheap pans and a canopy, and delivered his creation to the camp. It was an immediate hit. The new immigrants, who are mostly from Venezuela, Columbia, and Peru, have their own culinary history. Food is a reminder of the home they love but were forced to leave. Some volunteers brought them Mexican food, but the Venezuelans found it too spicy and not to their liking. With Infante’s kitchen, they could prepare their own food, something that tasted like home. The kitchen was being used, but it wasn’t receiving he loving care he felt it deserved. Infante found it unclean at times, and that frustrated him. He needed to take one more step to get it just right. In an attempt to hold the individuals accountable, he put a picture of his mom on the prep table. “I called it ‘My Mother’s Kitchen’ and told them she was watching over them,” Infante said. When I [displayed] a picture, that meant so much, I saw some people make the sign of the cross... and held the picture and reverence for the space. You know the idea of a place to get together and talk and eat. My mom would be happy with that and think it was beautiful.” Some of the families who use the kitchen live in camps. Others walk miles to use the kitchen and make food before returning to the hotels rented by the City of Denver as temporary housing. Infante has moved the kitchen five times, when the police or park rangers forced a camp to relocate. He understands the draw is more than food. My Mother’s Kitchen is also a place for community. “Growing up, everyone gravitated to our kitchen. Friends, family, and anyone who came to our house would often leave the living room empty and crowd into the kitchen,” Infante said. “My mom made it a place to eat and drink and feel safe with others.” ■ CREDIT: GILES CLASEN CREDIT: GILES CLASEN 4 DENVER VOICE April 2024 VOLUNTEER PROFILE SPRING WISH LIST VOLUNTEER PROFILE: CLARA PATT BY ELISABETH MONAGHAN Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. PHOTO COURTESY OF CLARA PATT TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MONTH, the VOICE has used the April issue to spotlight those whose help has allowed us to better meet the needs of our community. This year is no exception. As we began to see more new immigrants in the community sign up to be Denver VOICE vendors, Executive Director James Kay and Program Coordinator Connie Gaitan put the call out for volunteers to help with translating our marketing materials into Spanish. When she received a volunteer application from Clara Patt, Gaitan asked if she could help us track down Spanish speakers who could dub over our existing orientation videos. Patt who speaks a little Spanish but is not fluent, reached out to friends with whom she grew up while living on the border between Texas and Mexico. Three weeks later, Patt sent Gaitan the links to the fully translated videos that included the voices of five volunteers. Describing what the project has meant to her, Patt explained that it was important to her to do something to give back to the unhoused individuals who were her neighbors while she and her husband lived in Colorado. “For the past two and a half years, we’ve been living out of our RV by choice,” said Patt, who lost her job shortly after arriving in Colorado. According to Patt, her husband’s income as a roofer made it possible for them to get by financially until he was injured on the job. “I was at such a low point then, but our unhoused neighbors were so good to me and so consistently nice that I wanted to repay their kindness.” When she first learned about the Denver VOICE from vendor Rea Brown, Patt said she wanted to volunteer her services as a professional graphic designer or any other skills she could offer. “It was a few weeks after I sent in my application that Connie reached out to see if I could help with translating the VOICE’s program marketing materials into Spanish,” said Patt. To create a transcript for each of the videos, Patt first used a translation website. Next, she contacted several of her bilingual friends to record the Spanish voiceovers. According to Patt, it took about two hours per volunteer to record their parts for the video, while she spent about 10 hours overseeing the project and editing the videos. By the time the first new immigrants signed up to be Denver VOICE vendors, the two orientation videos and promotional materials for the vending program had been RICKY LLAMAS SAM LLAMAS SERGIO NUNEZ April 2024 DENVER VOICE 5 PHOTO COURTESY OF CLARA PATT translated into Spanish. When the first vendors who spoke Spanish as their first language signed up for the vendor program, Gaitan expressed her gratitude for Patt and her crew of fellow volunteers. “Being able to sign up Spanish speakers looking for income opportunities made me so overwhelmed with joy and pride to be part of this new journey,” said Gaitan. “They all did such a tremendous job, and we wouldn’t have been able to do this without Clara’s help.” Recently, Patt her husband, and their cat “Musko” relocated their RV to Bend, Ore. While her husband has gotten a fulltime job as a lighting technician for a theatre company, Patt works as a freelance graphic designer and can be contacted for project work through her website, ClaraPatt.com. The Denver VOICE team extends its heartfelt appreciation to Clara Patt for her stellar work overseeing this project, as well as Rickly Llamas, Sam Llamas, Sofia E Lizarraga, Leonal Hernandez, and Sergio Nunez, who provided the voiceovers. ■ NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant Chapstick, sunscreen Hand warmers GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! @DenverVOICE
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LOCAL STORY MARK DONOVAN OF THE DENVER BASIC INCOME PROJECT SPEAKS AT A RALLY TO SUPPORT BASIC INCOME IN 2023. CREDIT: ARMANDO GENEYRO/DENVER BASIC INCOME PROJECT IT’S BASIC: DENVER BASIC INCOME PROJECT’S MARK DONOVAN TALKS 2024 AND BEYOND BY ROBERT DAVIS IT’S BEEN A LITTLE MORE THAN 18 MONTHS since Mark Donovan launched the Denver Basic Income Project, a pilot program designed to help individuals experiencing homelessness address their basic needs, like accessing housing or medical care. Over that time, the program has delivered impressive results. People enrolled in the program reported feeling more hope about the future and less stress about their financial situation. Moreover, roughly 35% of all participants moved into housing within the first six months of the program, according to DBIP’s interim report. These successes are happening at a time when more than 30 cities, ranging from Atlanta, Georgia to Ithaca, New York, and New Orleans, Louisiana, are piloting their own basic income programs to address poverty and homelessness at the local level. More than two-thirds of the income gained from these programs has been spent on food and clothing, according to data from Stanford University’s Basic Income Lab. For comparison, less than 2% of the income has been spent on things like alcohol and drugs. “I hope that in five years, what we’re doing in Denver is happening in at least 200 cities across the country, so people can have proximity to it, so that they can see it in their own backyards,” Donovan said. Despite these successes, Donovan said there is still a lot of work to do to make basic income programs part of the mainstream. According to Donovan, there are still misconceptions about basic income, especially concerning how participants spend their money. Donovan said he also faces objections over whether the program is a good use of tax dollars. But these objections haven’t stopped Donovan or his small but mighty staff from working to expand the project. MARK DONOVAN OF THE DENVER BASIC INCOME PROJECT AT A STRATEGIC PLANNING WORKSHOP NEXT TO PARTICIPANT MORIAH RODRIGUEZ. CREDIT: ARMANDO GENEYRO/DENVER BASIC INCOME PROJECT “We’re building a playbook to share with other cities,” Donovan said. “We didn’t reinvent the wheel because we built on the successes of other programs like New Leaf and Michael Tubbs’ program in Stockton. But we want to build a playbook that shows how we got here and then support other cities as they stand up their own basic income pilots.” Denver VOICE spoke with Donovan about what he’s learned over the last year of operating the Denver Basic Income Project and where he thinks the program will go in 2024 and beyond. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity. DENVER VOICE: DBIP has already accomplished so much. You’ve distributed nearly $7 million to more than 800 people experiencing homelessness in Denver, and those payments have been proven to reduce the number of days people spend on the streets, in hospitals, and in jail. Tell us a little about your goals for DBIP in 2024 and beyond. What else is left to do? DONOVAN: We had an amazing first year and have seen people accelerating towards safety, housing, and wellness. I’ve talked to people who said [if it weren’t for DBIP] they wouldn’t be alive at this point. Now, they’ve re-enrolled in school or they got a great job. Everyone’s path is different, but we’ve created a really strong community that has hope and optimism about the future. 6 DENVER VOICE April 2024 IN YOUR OWN WORDS What’s left to do is change people’s perceptions about basic income. A lot of people don’t understand it or don’t think it’s a good idea. So, we want to share our success stories and explain that basic income leads to safer, more thriving communities for everyone. It’s a win-win. We also want to expand our reach. Even though we’ve served more than 800 people, that’s a small sliver of the need here in Denver. We need to keep trusting and investing in people. When we do that, the results are exceptional. Are there any personal stories or experiences with participants from DBIP that stick out to you? There are numerous people [who] have told us that they are alive today or sober because of the Denver Basic Income Project and that they feel hope for the future. There was a woman who was fleeing domestic violence who applied and was put into our control group (meaning she received $50 per month). Of course, she was disappointed, but after she engaged with our service partners, she was put into a sober living home. She later came back and asked for help finding employment. Now she works at a job where she makes more money than the case manager who helped her. These kinds of stories are endless. What challenges have you run into while operating DBIP? How have you worked to overcome or solve those problems? The biggest challenge has been public perception. We haven’t had a groundswell of grassroots support and people donating to support this work. So, we have really worked hard to push back against those perceptions of poverty. The beauty of basic income is that it is simple. It’s a simple and efficient way to provide immediate relief and opportunity. We think of it as a preventative medicine for the economy, and cash as the currency of urgency. It’s a simple concept, but the difficult part is getting people to understand it, to believe in it, and to invest their tax dollars in it. Basic income is for everybody, and everybody’s lives improve when we create a more equitable and thriving economy. As you know, April is National Fair Housing Month. Can you tell us a little about how basic income programs like DBIP can improve fair housing outcomes for people in poverty or who are experiencing homelessness? Discrimination was built into our housing system, and so we built the Denver Basic Income Project through a racial equity lens. Our Black neighbors comprise about 10% of the city’s population yet account for between 20% and 25% of the people experiencing homelessness. We want to accelerate their pathways to housing. That is housing justice. Full stop. Why do you think it’s important for Denver, or any other city, to have a basic income program? We are the largest program in the country that is exploring the impact of basic income. I was just at a conference in San Francisco, and I got the sense that people across the country are watching us. Everyone is working on solutions to homelessness, and they’re spending a lot of money to do it. Are things getting better? In some places, they are, but the results haven’t materialized in a lot of other places. We’re also not investing in the programs that work the best. So, it’s important for Denver to invest in basic income because it works and we need to provide immediate relief for people who are suffering and sleeping on the streets. We’re trying to show the country what happens when you believe in people and invest in them. ■ LEAVE AND BECOME YOU AN ILLUSTRATION BY GIGI GALEN, VOICE VENDOR April 2024 DENVER VOICE 7
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SPECIAL FEATURE NEW IMMIGRANTS ADAPT TO SHIFTING DENVER LANDSCAPE BY GILES CLASEN VOICE contributor Giles Clasen shares his latest photo essay on Denver’s new immigrant community. A WOMAN COOKS RICE AT AN IMMIGRANT ENCAMPMENT NEAR DOWNTOWN DENVER. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN IMMIGRANT FAMILIES WALK TO THEIR ENCAMPMENT NEAR DIA. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN 8 DENVER VOICE April 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE MARTHA PERDOMO PREPARES DINNER WITH HENRRI ALVAREZ AND VALENTINA PERDOMO, WHO ARE LIVING IN THEIR CAR, FOR NOW. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN CARMEN ABREU HAS WORRIED ABOUT HOW SHE WOULD HOUSE HER FAMILY, ONCE EVICTED FROM THEIR CITY-FUNDED HOTEL. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN ONE OF DENVER’S NEW GUESTS TRAVELED THOUSANDS OF MILES AND THROUGH 8 COUNTRIES BEFORE ARRIVING IN DENVER TO BUILD A NEW LIFE FOR HER AND HER FAMILY. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN “WE HAVE BROUGHT ON NON-PROFIT PARTNERS who have very successfully case managed and navigated those folks to connect them to work, to housing, to opportunity so we have not seen a significant increase of folks who ended up on the street,” Mayor Mike Johnston said in a press conference on Feb 28, 2024, announcing the closure of hotels used as temporary housing for the new immigrant community. “I heard the city say that [immigrants aren’t becoming homeless after being released from hotels]. It’s funny because every single day we have to add new tents to our encampment for migrants released from hotels,” said Kezia Lozano, who works with a Spanish-speaking BIPOC group called the Migrant Care Coalition that is actively supporting homeless immigrant encampments. Continued on page 10 JEAN CARLOS MONTILLA AND MARIA ANGEL WERE SET TO BE EVICTED FROM A HOTEL FUNDED BY THE CITY OF DENVER ON MARCH 9, 2024. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN April 2024 DENVER VOICE 9
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SPECIAL FEATURE Continued from page 9 “The reality is that these people lack citizenship and work permits. They don’t have the paperwork to get apartments or jobs here in the city, conventionally. So, they’re relying on people doing things under the table for them. This leaves people vulnerable to exploitation,” Kezia Lozano said. “I am here with my son and husband to give my son a better future. Thank God Almighty for allowing me to be here in Denver. Above all I am grateful to the Mayor and Governor for providing for our expenses and giving us a roof over our head,” said Maria Angel, a Venezuelan who was able to secure a 42-day stay at a northeast Denver hotel before being evicted on March 9, 2024. Angel and her spouse have not been able to find work and were unsure where they would go after being released from the hotel. ■ ELIS APONTE, LOUIS DANIEL, CARMEN MUJICA, AND RICHAR RODRIGUEZ KEEP WARM WITH A PROPANE CAMP STOVE AT AN IMMIGRANT ENCAMPMENT. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN DANNYERLIS GUZMAN LAYS IN HER TENT. GUZMAN AND HER FAMILY SPENT TWO NIGHTS IN A TENT AFTER BEING EVICTED FROM A CITY HOTEL. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN MOST IMMIGRANTS LIVING IN TENTS WENT TO SHELTERS DURING THE MAJOR MARCH SNOWSTORM. SOME REFUSED TO LEAVE THEIR CAMPSITE NEAR ELITCH GARDENS FOR FEAR THE CAMP WOULD BE DISMANTLED. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN 10 DENVER VOICE April 2024 LOCAL STORY BRUSH REMOVAL NEAR BROADWAY BRIDGE, FEB. 20, 2024. CREDIT: COURTESY OF CHARLES QUIMBY. FENCE GOING UP AT EMERSON PARK, FEB. 26, 2024. CREDIT: JACOB RICHARDS GRAND JUNCTION: BETWEEN A TENT AND A HARD PLACE BY JACOB RICHARDS “ENDING HOMELESSNESS is something everyone can agree on,” said Tom Gomez, currently in transitional housing. “The problem is nobody agrees on how to make that happen.” Grand Junction is the largest city on Colorado’s western slope. With a population of 65,000, Grand Junction also boasts the highest rate of people experiencing homelessness of any city in Colorado, according to the Common Sense Institute. The city has no easy answers, as the community grapples with an estimated 2300 people experiencing homelessness. In the early morning of Feb. 26, contractors began fencing off Emerson Park near downtown Grand Junction. The park is being developed into a “destination skate park.” This closure was not a surprise, unlike the indefinite closure of Whitman Park in September. The park’s closure means that both downtown public parks are closed to the public. “We didn’t even want to be in this park,” said Jade, while repacking her belongings on the sidewalk across the street from Emerson Park. “We liked Whitman because there wasn’t a playground. We don’t want to bother families.” Jade wasn’t sure where she would relocate to. “They don’t want us to be anywhere but their tents,” she said about the recently opened Resource Center, a city-funded project between United Way of Mesa County and Homeward Bound of the Grand Valley. “But where are we supposed to sleep?” Jade produced three trespassing tickets she had received since December, including one for felony trespass. “They are clearing out all the brush below Broadway Bridge; where are all those people going to go?” The Resource Center was “intended to replace and to improve the options and to give that alternative for somebody who’s spending their day times in the park.” said Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout. But outside of a few weekly events, like Mutual Aid Partners’ Distro Day and Solidarity Not Charity’s (SNC) “Feed,” the sprawling Center is largely underutilized. SNC is a grassroots non-profit that has fed people in parks since 2008, but the organization now feeds folks at the Resource Center. “We are excited to work with the Resource Center and explore its possibilities,” said SNC volunteer David Stuart. “I am so glad I found this place,” said Brandon James Miller. “It’s a lifesaver.” Miller, who is new to the area, said the Resource Center was able to direct him to local resources, including a shelter bed. On Feb. 21, the Grand Junction City Council voted down proposed park rule changes, which included language based on rules passed in Denver and other front range cities that banned setting up tents or structures in public parks. “As soon as we have a place for them to go, you know, I’ll probably support this,” said Grand Junction City Councilmember Scott Beilfuss “Why now?” asked Councilman Jason Nguyen. “If I was sitting as a lay person in the city, with the closure of Whitman, with what’s happening at Emerson—it just feels like we’re consistently on a regular basis trying to push people around,” he said. The “tent ban” was defeated in a 5-2 vote. A surprise to many, including Mayor Stout and Mayor Pro Tem Abe Herman, the only votes in favor of the ban. “We literally just stood up a Resource Center… for people to have an alternative, somewhere they can go… where they can be safe, where they can rest during the day,” said Mayor Stout. “Why did we just do this if that is not meant to be an alternative?” ■ PROTEST SIGN ATTACHED TO THE FENCE AFTER THE CLOSURE OF WHITMAN PARK, SEPT. 14, 2023. CREDIT: COURTESY OF NICOLE INMAN. April 2024 DENVER VOICE 11
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS WHAT’S NEXT? BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR AS MOST OF YOU KNOW, I was in a car accident in February. When it happened, my face hit the airbag, and my car was totaled. (Oh by the way, when the wreck happened, I was on my way to my second chemo treatment.) My adrenaline kicked in, and 1½ hours after the crash, I was getting my treatment. When I went back for my third chemo, I found out that people at the center where I get my treatments had been talking about me. They said they couldn’t believe how strong I was. They couldn’t believe that I was able to walk that well as I went in for my second chemo. No one, not even my doctor, could believe I was able to make that second appointment so quickly after the accident. One minute, I thought, “I got this,” and then, after my third chemo treatment, I discovered I was experiencing negative side effects of the chemo – neuropathy in my left hand, which made it numb, and a blood clot in my right hand. I’m not used to not using my hands. I had to go to the hospital for antibiotics, which they gave me through an IV drip, followed by a week of taking antibiotics at home. (If I’d known about this side effect, I’m not sure I would have started chemo, but it’s too late to be sorry. I just have to deal with it.) Losing my car was hard enough, but my new phone was also destroyed in the wreck, and I had to pay $100 to replace it. I also found out I had to pay $900 to get my belongings out of my car. I didn’t have the money, so I lost everything that was in there. As all of this was going on, I discovered there was a water leak somewhere in my hot water tank. I also found out that my daughter had to have surgery, and even though she doesn’t live far from me, I wasn’t able to be with her because I had no car. Knowing my baby was going through such a painful experience and that I could not be with her hurt. At least she knows I would have been there if I could. Living in the country, where there are no buses or other transportation is hard. Also, because I don’t have a car, I am not able to go out and sell the Denver VOICE. You can’t have anything if you don’t have money, but this is another thing I have to accept and learn to deal with. Another reason I cannot go out is because I am going through chemo. Cancer can make you lonely, but you have to be careful and not be around people. I love talking to people, lifting them up, and putting smiles on their faces, but I’m doing the best I can to keep a smile on my own face. It’s hard on cancer patients when we feel so alone. I can at least say I love myself, so being alone is okay. At least today it is. I have a car again, and I’ll be happy when I can drive it, but first, my right hand has to heal because the car is a manual, and you can’t shift gears with a hand that is numb or swollen. As I write this, I have one more chemo treatment to go, but I don’t know what will happen after that. In mid-April, I will have surgery for my other medical issue, so more time has to go by without me being able to work, and I’ll have to go through too many months without money to help me get through this. Good thing I don’t need much to get me by. Worrying over all of the things that are happening to me will not change anything. All I know is that I will deal with it. I have no other choice. I am grateful for the few friends I have. When you have been alone and without friends, once you get good friends, you make sure you don’t ask much from them, so they don’t feel you are using them. I guess being a giver makes it hard RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: KAREN BEEMAN to receive, at least it is for me because I’m not used to it. I’m still working on knowing I am worth it. If you are reading this and know anyone going through cancer, please check up on them or call them. Ask if there’s anything you can do for them. Even a simple phone call lets them know they are not forgotten. In the meantime, I am grateful for the support so many of you have given me. Please continue keeping me in your prayers. I will keep on fighting. ■ BUILDING A FUTURE BY LANDO ALLEN, VOICE VENDOR OKAY, TODAY, I WANT TO PUT MY THOUGHTS ONTO PAPER. I’ve got to put my plans on paper because I don’t want to fail at the stuff I want to do. I want to tell you who I am. My name is Lando. I am a broken man. I feel like my life has been taken from me, one way or another. I thought I would have gone crazy by now, but it seems like I still got some fight in me. I’ve already told y’all that I want to go to a warm climate, and I mean it. I’ve also told people that I want to build a houseboat. I’ve got to start working on that. Right now, I feel like I need to take my time. There is the LANDO ALLEN. CREDIT: JESSE BORRELL life I want to live, so, I’ve got to save some money for that. I’ve been homeless for 20 years off and on. It’s not because I drink or was on drugs. I don’t do any of those things. A lady gave me some advice a long time ago. She told me to quit looking for a girlfriend and to stay focused on my homeless problem. I didn’t listen. I believed that two people that get together could make each other’s lives better. I was wrong. I thought people who are on the streets were trying to make it. I’m not saying that everybody on the streets is trying to get off the streets. I’m just talking about a few. Sometimes, I wonder what these girls [living on the streets] are thinking. Me! I would be grateful if somebody who is [also trying to get their life together] came into my life. Building a future is something I take seriously. I’ve got to get a new career going. I’m already trying to sell my paintings, and I am starting to do music again. I was in a story on 9News that featured the Denver VOICE and my paintings. I also have a website (lando-paints. squaresite) and have sold 10 paintings already, but I know I’ve got to work harder. I’ve also got to start working on my houseboat. I watch people get old and try to work. I don’t want to be that guy working when I get too old. I still believe in love, but I’ve got to be more careful about who I meet. I want a future when [love] comes into my life. ■ 12 DENVER VOICE April 2024 EVENTS WHEN: Apr 4, 11, 18, and 25, 6 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. COST: $10 in advance; $11 at the door WHERE: RISE Comedy, 1260 22nd St. INFO: risecomedy.com WOMEN+FILM FESTIVAL Women+Film showcases documentaries, narratives, and short films celebrating the best in women-centric programming, both by and about women. These thought-provoking stories from around the world are sure to inspire all audiences. WHEN: Apr 10 – Apr 14, times vary. COST: Both individual tickets and festival passes are available. WHERE: Sie FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. INFO: denverfilm.org ACROSS SOUND BATH - SOUND HEALING THERAPY Whether you’re seeking deep relaxation, stress relief, or a profound spiritual experience, this free event offers a unique opportunity for healing and transformation. WHEN: Apr 16, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, 2401 Welton St. INFO: denverlibrary.org/events PAPER FASHION SHOW Designers create fashions from 90% paper. These fashions are showcased at their grand runway show and voted on by a panel of judges. Prepare to be amazed! WHEN: Apr 18, 5:30 p.m. COST: Tickets start at $35. WHERE: Sports Castle, 1000 Broadway INFO: paperfashionshow.com YOGA + A CONE Try something different for your next happy hour! Skylines Yoga hosts an all-levels yoga class followed by a scoop of Little Man’s signature ice-cream at their West Colfax location. Please bring a yoga mat and water. WHEN: Apr 29, 5:45 p.m. COST: $17, which includes a single scoop after class. WHERE: Little Man Ice Cream Factory, 4411 W Colfax Ave. INFO: skylinesyoga.com Across 1. Some computers 5. Salon supply 9. Astronaut’s insignia 13. “Sometimes you feel like ___, sometimes you don’t” 14. Great Salt Lake’s state 15. Sub-Saharan desert after which a country is named 16. Bear winter like bears 18. Ancient market 19. Author Zola 20. Milliner 22. Puts in a different category than before 25. ___ nitrite (angina treatment) 26. Sports arenas 30. It comes after “uno” 33. Christmas song 36. Rubber hub in Ohio 37. Like March Madness 41. Part of an act 42. Stratagem 43. Big mouth 44. Stuck with, as a 42-Across 46. They rarely come from losing teams 49. Residence for people coming out of prison or rehab 55. Car thief, maybe 58. ‘When ___ said and done” 59. “...___, mean, fightin’ machine!” 60. Some downloaded ditties 63. Lloyd Center and its ilk 64. Mounted on 65. Icicle site 66. Word seg. 67. Actress Olin 68. Odd couple? DOWN 1. “Politically Incorrect” host 2. Genre of “Dragon Ball Z” and “Revolutionary Girl Utena” 3. Like some feet 4. Name Marlon Brando shouts repeatedly in a Tennessee Williams film adaptation 5. Word after “glue” or “staple” 6. Pilot’s announcement, for short 7. Punjabi policeman’s club 8. Paper unit 9. Japanese port city 10. In a frenzy 11. “Your majesty” 12. What rabbis and priests walk into, in a common joke setup 15. Convention handout 17. Paper unit 21. Carol contraction 23. In ___ (harmonious) 24. Fore-and-aftrigged vessel 27. Apothecary’s weight 28. Smidgen 29. From the beginning 30. Frisbee 31. Fairy tale opener 32. Big first for a baby 34. Building add-on 35. South American animal 38. Captivate 39. Preserves 40. A deadly sin 45. Getting on in years 47. Excellent, in 90s slang 48. Performed alone 50. Not domesticated 51. Put pen to paper 52. Armbones 53. It won’t hold water 54. Pluralizers 55. Photocopier problems 56. Skin care brand 57. Scream 61. Prefix with profit 62. 3.0, e.g. COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES INTRO TO IMPROV: DROP-IN CLASS Want to see if improv comedy is right for you? This drop-in class will let you take RISE Comedy’s improv classes for a test drive, in a safe, supportive, and fun environment! All levels are welcome. COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 April 2024 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $10,000+ Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Anonymous Individual Donor Matt and Nikki Seashore Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Cisco Francis Trainer and Trainer Family J. Albrecht Designs Master Goldsmith $5,000 - $9,999 Anschutz Family Foundation Laurie Duncan and Duncan-Mcwethy Foundation Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Alexander Seavall Frederic K Conover Trust The Christian Foundation Bank of America Charitable Foundation Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation Envestnet $1,000-$4,999 Christopher Boulanger Katherine Standiford Jill Haug Joshua Kauer Walker Family Foundation Whole Foods Foundation Michael Dino Alex Salva Signs By Tomorrow Rose Community Foundation Russell Peterson Donald Weaver Chris and Susan Pappas Julia and David Watson Gaspar Terrana SEI Giving Fund Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Megan Arellano Warren and Betty Kuehner Keyrenter Property Management Denver Mathew Rezek The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Elsbeth Williams KO Law Firm Graham Davis Peter Iannuzzi $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson Sheryl Parker Ruth Henderson James and Cyndi Lesslie Fire on the Mountain Craig Solomon Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity KL&A Engineers and Builders 14 DENVER VOICE April 2024 SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, VETERAN SUPPORT COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ALANON FAMILY GROUPS: al-anon.org; Find a meeting: al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/find-an-al-anon-meeting ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: aa.org; Colorado Service Centers; daccaa.org/central-office/other-central-offices DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER: 777 Bannock St.; denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL: Features information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community; detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA: Addiction hotline 888-479-0446; Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/ treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 112 E. 8th Ave.; 303-572-7800; HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on proper disposal of dirty syringes; M-F 9am-12pm: harmreductionactioncenter.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER: 3800 York St.; Emergency walk-ins 303-296-1767; Dental 303-296-4873; M-F 8am-2pm LIVE ANOTHER DAY: 877-596-6866; Equal access to life-saving mental health and substance abuse resources; 24/7 helpline: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION: 1325 S. Colorado Blvd.; Suite B302; Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered; 800-522-4372, 800-359-9272; info@hepc-connection.org; viventhealth.org NATIONAL AIDS HOTLINE: 800-342-AIDS/800-344-7432 NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: Text or call 988; 988lifeline.org NATIONAL RUNAWAY SAFELINE: 800-RUNAWAY/800-786-2929; 1800runaway.org RAPE ABUSE AND INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK: 800-656-HOPE; rainn.org SALUD CLINIC: 6255 Quebec Pkwy, Commerce City; 303-697-2583, 970-484-0999; saludclinic.org/commerce-city STOUT STREET CLINIC: 2130 Stout St.; 303-293-2220; Clinic Hours: 7am-4pm M/T/Th/F; 9am-6pm Wed; coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUBSTANCE ABUSE REHAB GUIDE: Helpline 888-493-4670; detoxrehabs.net/states/colorado/ URBAN PEAKS REHAB: 490 Lafayette St., #104; 303-599-5131; Medication management and therapy center specializing in opiate addiction; M, T, Th – 9am-12pm, 1 pm-4pm, W – 9am-12pm, 1 pm-7pm; urbanpeaksrehab.com U.S. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: 800-799-7233 (English and Spanish); 800-243-7889 (TDD); thehotline.org CAREER SERVICES BAYAUD ENTERPRISES CW-STEP: (Colorado Works - Subsidized training and employment program); 333 W. Bayaud Ave.; 303-830-6885; Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm; Provides re-entry to the workforce for individuals with TANF eligibility; info@bayaudenterprises.org COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER: Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway; 720-865-1706; M & T - 10am-8pm; Wed., Th &F - 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, WIFI, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments; denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER: Denver Dept of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd.; M-F 7:30am-4:30pm; Employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé prep, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc.; careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center WORKNOW: 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org LGBTQ+ SUPPORT THE TREVOR PROJECT: 866-488-7386: thetrevorproject.org LGBT NATIONAL YOUTH TALKLINE: 800-246-7743: lgbthotline.org/youth-talkline PRIDE INSTITUTE: 800-547-7433 TRUE COLORS UNITE: 212-461-4401 truecolorsunited.org VETERANS & SENIORS DENVER INNER CITY PARISH: 1212 Mariposa St.; 303-322-5733; VOA Dining Center for Seniors, aged 60 and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm; Food Bank, Wed.-Fri.; Tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm; dicp.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES: 846 E. 18th Ave.; For those aged 60 or older; TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, 3 meals, M-F -7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm; seniorsupportservices.org VA MEDICAL CENTER: 1700 N Wheeling St.: Aurora 303-399-8020: va.gov/findlocations/facility/vha_554A5 VETERANS GUIDE: Veterans Disability Calculator veteransguide.org/va-disability-calculator YOUTH SERVICES SOX PLACE: 2017 Larimer St.; 303-296-3412 Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30; Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. T-F - 12-4pm & Sat. 11am-2pm. Instagram: @Soxplace THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK: 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442; Youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, 303-974-2928; Drop-in hours M-F 8-11am urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: 833-931-2484; Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions; sunshinebehavioralhealth.com TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 3080 Broadway, Boulder; 303-447-1207, 303-447-1207; For ages 12-24; Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services; M-Sun, 12:30-5pm; tgthr.org April 2024 DENVER VOICE 15 URBAN PEAK: 730 21st St., Denver; 303-974-2900; Ages14-24; Serving Denver & Colo Springs; Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skill/straining, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing; urbanpeak.org DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777;; Helps with employment, IDs, birth certs, mail services and lockers; M-Th - 10am-2pm; citysquare.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F - 7am-1pm; Private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch, etc.; thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE: 1535 High St.; 303-321-4198; Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals; Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, etc.; M, W, Th, F - 8:30am-5pm, T - 8:30am-1:30pm; tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 231 E. Colfax; 303-572-7800; Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harmreduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes; M-F - 9am-12pm; harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Help with lost IDs and birth certificates; holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM: 1555 Race St.; 303-832-3354; For men and women with HIV; M-F 8am-4pm LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER: 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; Day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services; homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, wifi; M-F 7a-5:30p; odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St; 303-297-1576; 6am-6pm daily; Storage for one bag (when space is available); Satellite Clinic hours- M, T, Th. F - 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm; sfcdenver.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am; capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: mealsforpoor.org CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee M-F. 8:30am; denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES: 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm; christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY: Home-cooked meal, weekly; Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd); christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm; citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church); Hot meals served M, T, Th., F - 11:45-12:15; mealsforpoor.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION: 1130 Park Avenue West; 303-294-0157; 3 meals 7 days/week, 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm; denverrescuemission.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F only: 7am-1pm. 8am breakfast, 11am lunch; havenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY: Food service on second and fourth Thursdays; feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html FOOD NOT BOMBS: Sun. 4 p.m.; 22nd St. Stout St (near Mercury Café); Instagram: @denverfoodnotbombs HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE: 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm; krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: 910 Kalamath St.; Community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, Men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the month, 8-10am, Women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am; hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Sandwiches, M-Sat., 10-10:30am; holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH: 29th and Milwaukee St.; Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm; jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; 303-830-2201; Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm); meal served at 6pm; odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY: 126 W. 2nd Ave.; 303-722-8781 Dinner at 4pm on Tues; Also offers a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available; stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S: Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. (Auraria Campus), 11am 7 days/week; food/coffee; stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month); sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN: 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm; Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon.; saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ: 2023 E. Colfax Ave; 720-530-6853;Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen; Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays; soallmayeat.org URBAN OUTREACH DENVER: 608 26th St., Thurs dinners, 6pm-7pm; lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA: 2877 Lawrence St.; breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun.; food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs.; voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetrofoodnutrition-themission DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13
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EDITOR’S NOTE ELISABETH MONAGHAN MANAGING EDITOR IT SEEMS I WAS JUST WISHING FOLKS A HAPPY NEW YEAR, and now, I am writing this column that will wrap up the first quarter of 2024. That’s probably why I appreciate the twopart question Raelene Johnson suggested for this month’s Ask a Vendor, “How is your 2024 going so far? What is something you’re hoping for between now and the end of the year?” For those who set New Year’s seem so resolutions, those goals possible early in the year, but once everything is in motion, it can be difficult to keep up with goals for better health, a more positive outlook on life, or taking up hobbies — especially when we didn’t have much time for these goals before we set them. To anyone who remains committed to meeting their resolutions for 2024, congratulations! To folks who haven’t been able to follow through on their resolutions, give yourself a break. Maybe you can set an easier goal to meet over the remainder of the year. Speaking of Raelene Johnson, if you’ve read the series of Self talks she’s written over the past few years, you’re familiar with her words of encouragement. Based on overcoming drug addiction, finding stable housing, and discovering that her relationship with God and her Self make a difference in how she approaches life, Raelene is an inspiration. As you will read in her latest update, 2024 did not begin well for Raelene. Not only did her rent go up significantly, but she was diagnosed with cancer. She also recently learned that a separate medical issue required surgery, which would interrupt her chemo treatments. Add to that, she totaled her car in early February. Despite these setbacks, Raelene remains hopeful. We miss seeing her at the office, and no doubt, her regular customers miss seeing her vend on the Pearl Street Mall, but until she can return to vending, she will stay in touch through her updates. ■ THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS GILES CLASEN is a freelance photojournalist who regularly contributes his work to the VOICE for editorial projects, fundraisers, and events. He has also served on the VOICE’s Board of Directors. ROBERT DAVIS is an award-winning freelance reporter for the Denver VOICE. His work has also appeared in Colorado Newsline, Business Insider, Westword, the Colorado Sun, and Medium.com. GRACE THORBURN is a journalism student at the University of Colorado Boulder. She hopes that her writing will make a difference in the community by covering social justice issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, homelessness, and racial equity. DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Lanie Lee Cook Aaron Sullivan ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Giles Clasen Gigi Galen WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. WRITERS Lando Allen Giles Clasen Robert Davis Raelene Johnson Jerry Rosen Grace Thorburn BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, President Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Antonio Diaz, Treasurer Michael Burkley Cassandria Carmouche Robert Davis Nikki Lawson Julia Watson Cabal Yarne 2 DENVER VOICE March 2024 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S QUESTION WAS SUGGESTED BY DENVER VOICE VENDOR RAELENE JOHNSON. Q A How is your 2024 going so far? What is something you’re hoping for between now and the end of the year? LANDO ALLEN The beginning of the year has been a nightmare for me. My camper got towed. I tried to get a painting sold but didn’t. I wanted to get some fliers done on my paintings, and I failed at that. I was doing too much. I was working for a friend who cheated me out of money, and the sad thing about it is he knew about all of the stuff I was going through. People! I don’t want to play the victim. My main goal is to get things on track, like doing my music, getting more and better paintings done, and moving out of state. I already did one thing. I bought a camper, and this time, I’m going to pay for parking and not make the same mistake [I did with my old camper]. I will need to finish the rest of the goals I set for this year. RAELENE JOHNSON The first half of the year is going to be dealing with surgery and cancer. In the second half of the year, I hope to have nothing but happiness and good health! JERRY ROSEN 2024 is going very well for me, as I’m accomplishing some of my goals. I have received some miracles so far with finances and a few other things. I hope for better health and better things for the coming year. HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. March 2024 DENVER VOICE 3
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NATIONAL STORY use algorithms to judge whether you are a beer person or a wine person to send you targeted offers. Every online payment transaction is assessed by an AI in real time to decide whether it could be fraudulent. If you’ve ever tried to buy something and ended up triggering an additional security measure – be it a password prompt or request for authentication on a mobile app – your bank’s AI was judging your attempted transaction as abnormal or suspect. Our research shows that abundant AI capacity is available to make judgments on whether people’s behavior is deviant or abnormal. To return to our opening example, in a world where early retirement is not the norm, an early retiree has the scales tipped against them. Such social sorting, carried out by AI-based judgments, could be interpreted as a latent or soft form of majoritarian gerrymandering. Traditional gerrymandering is the unethical practice of redrawing electoral district boundaries to skew electoral outcomes. AI-based social sorting could disenfranchise people for behaving in a way that deviates from the majority. The patterns in the Wisconsin case should have us concerned that voters from ethnic minority backgrounds were systematically being classified as deviating from cultural norms. WHO GETS A VOTE? In an ideal world, the electoral roll would include all eligible voters and exclude all ineligible voters. Clean voter lists are vital for democracy. Having ineligible voters lurking on lists opens the PHOTO COURTESY OF RED DOT HOW AI COULD DISENFRANCHISE VOTERS BY DEEPAK PADMANABHAN, MUIRIS MACCARTHAIGH, AND STANLEY SIMOES IMAGINE: THE YEAR IS 2029. You have been living at the same address for a decade. The postman, who knows you well, smiles as he walks to your door and hands you a bunch of letters. As you sift through them, one card grabs your attention. It says: “Let us know if you are still here.” It’s an election year and the card from the electoral office is asking you to confirm that you are still a resident at the same address. It has a deadline, and you may be purged from the voter list if you don’t respond to it. You read about the government using AI to detect and eliminate electoral fraud through selective querying. Is it the AI pointing fingers at you? A quick check reveals that your neighbors haven’t received any such cards. You feel singled out and insecure. Why have you been asked to prove that you live where you’ve lived for so long? Let’s look under the hood. You received the card because election officials had deployed an AI system that can triangulate evidence to estimate why some voters should be contacted to check whether they are still residents at their address. It profiles voters based on whether they display the behavior of a “typical” resident. In this case, you had taken early retirement and not filed tax returns in the past few years, and you had been on holiday during the previous election in 2024. These actions led the AI to conclude that you could be lingering on the electoral list illegitimately and triggered the system to contact you. This fictional story is more plausible than you might think. In 2017 and 2018, more than 340,000 Wisconsin residents received a letter asking them to confirm if they needed to remain on the voter list. This was at the behest of a US-wide organization called Eric, which had classified these voters as “movers” – those who may have ceased to be residents. Eric used data on voting history to identify movers – but also administrative data such as driving license and post office records. Eric may not have used any sophisticated AI, but the logic it employed is very much the kind of logic that an AI would be expected to apply, only on a much larger scale. The approach seemed highly effective. Only 2% of people responded, suggesting that the vast majority of the people contacted were indeed movers. However, research later showed systematic demographic patterns among Eric’s errors. The people erroneously identified as movers (who ended up showing up to vote) were far more likely to be from ethnic minorities. AI AND “MAJORITARIAN GERRYMANDERING” AI algorithms are used in a variety of real-world settings to make judgments on human users. Supermarkets routinely possibility for spurious voting, skewing the result and damaging electoral integrity. On the other hand, leaving eligible voters off a list disenfranchises them and could result in election results that don’t reflect the true will of the people. Ensuring access to the franchise to every eligible voter is therefore very important, and efforts towards clean voter lists need to spread their focus reasonably between integrity and access. The question, therefore, becomes whether AI is capable of doing this. As it stands today, AI is fundamentally a datadriven technology – one that is adept at looking at existing data and identifying regularities or irregularities. It is much better equipped to spot issues with existing data than to identify instances of missing data. That means that it is good at identifying people who may have moved from their registered address, but not good at identifying new residents who have not registered to vote. In a world of AI-driven electoral cleansing, you are much more likely to receive a “Are you still here?” card than your new neighbor is likely to receive a “Have you considered registering to vote?” card. What this means for using AI to clean up voter lists is stark. It risks skewing the balance towards checking for integrity and away from enabling access. Integrity-focused efforts in essence involve pointing fingers at people and putting the onus on them to confirm that they are legitimate voters. Access-focused efforts are like a welcoming pat on the back – an invitation to be part of the political process. Even if widespread disenfranchisement doesn’t happen, states still risk undermining trust in elections by using AI on a larger scale. It could lead voters to feel that electoral offices are obsessively oriented towards fault-finding and much less interested in democratic inclusion. And at a time when trust in elections is needed more than ever, that perception could be just as damaging as actually cutting people from electoral rolls. ■ Courtesy of The Conversation / INSP.ngo 4 DENVER VOICE March 2024 LOCAL STORY SPRING WISH LIST Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. CREDIT: SIGMUND ON UNSPLASH COLORADO NONPROFITS EXPAND SELF-SUFFICIENCY BENEFITS AS NEED GROWS BY ROBERT DAVIS RESIDENTS AT THREE APARTMENT COMPLEXES with subsidized housing options for people exiting homelessness and those with Section 8 housing vouchers are now able to access additional self-sufficiency benefits just as a majority of renters in the Denver metro area are struggling to afford rent. In early February, Mercy Housing Mountain Plains, a nonprofit that offers affordable housing at 17 properties in Colorado, and the national nonprofit Compass Working Capital entered into a partnership to administer the federal Family Self-Sufficiency program. FSS helps connect those with housing vouchers and public housing residents with employment opportunities that enable them to “achieve economic independence and reduce dependence on welfare assistance and rental subsidies,” according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The benefits will be available for residents of the Decatur Place Apartments at 115 Decatur St. in Denver, the Clare Gardens at 2626 Osceola St. in Denver, and the Holly Park Apartments at 5524 East 60th Ave. in Commerce City. All of the apartment complexes are owned and operated by Mercy Housing. “Through the efforts of our Resident Services teams and with the support of Compass Working Capital, our financial services programming is helping to meet residents where they are in their financial journeys and allowing them to build a solid financial foundation,” Mercy Housing Mountain Plains Resident Shelly Marquez said in a press release. The new partnership was forged at a time when data from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies found that more than 51% of renters in the metro Denver area are “cost-burdened,” meaning they pay at least 30% of their monthly income on rent and utilities. One out of four renters in metro Denver were also described as being “severely cost-burdened” because they pay at least 50% of their income on housing costs. Denver’s median rent for an apartment was more than $1,700 per month as of January 2024, according to ApartmentList.com. This means that renters must earn a minimum annual salary of $68,000—or about $32.69 per hour—to avoid being cost-burdened. However, there are relatively few jobs in the metro area that pay enough for renter households to comfortably afford housing. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the metro area’s median hourly wage is $32.09, which is 15% above the national average of $28.01. But nearly two-thirds of jobs available in the metro area pay less than the average hourly wage and the jobs that do pay enough require specialized education and licensure like software engineering, architecture, and legal professions. Markita Morris-Louis, the chief executive of Compass Working Capital said state data suggests there are about 28,000 people in Colorado who are receiving rental assistance and qualify to receive additional FSS benefits. However, only 800 people participate each year, she said. Morris-Lewis added that the partnership between Compass Working Capital and Mercy Housing Mountain Plains could be a “game changer” for expanding FSS access in Colorado going forward. ■ @DenverVOICE NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant Chapstick, sunscreen Hand warmers GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! March 2024 DENVER VOICE 5
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COMMUNITY PROFILE PHOTO COURTESY OF FEED MEDIA FOR 40 YEARS, DUG HAS HELPED COMMUNITIES GROW AND SHARE FOOD BY GRACE THORBURN BUILDING A GARDEN PLOT FROM THE GROUND UP IN ONE DAY is no easy feat. Fortunately, the community members who showed up to Denver Urban Garden’s 200th plot build were willing to get their hands dirty. DUG, a 40-year-old nonprofit, built its 200th garden at 48th Avenue & Julian Street in Denver on October 13, 2023. Volunteers at the build included DUG community members, leadership from the Denver Parks and Recreation Department, and dedicated volunteers from Love, Tito’s, the vodka brand — who also sponsored the event with food drinks, and music for volunteers. As the largest independent network of food-producing gardens in the United States, DUG’s reinspiring communities to grow and share food. All of DUG’s gardens are community-run. Their mission is to provide access, resources, and skills for communities to grow food in regenerative urban green spaces. According to a 2022 survey, 81% of the food that was harvested by DUG gardeners was donated or shared with others. PHOTO COURTESY OF FEED MEDIA PHOTO COURTESY OF FEED MEDIA 6 DENVER VOICE March 2024 COMMUNITY PROFILE Forty-four new plots were built in 2022, which allowed space for 176 new community gardens. Come spring, 20 plots at the 48th & Julian community garden can be utilized for fresh produce. The plot where DUG’s most recent garden was built is city-owned land that had originally been part of Rocky Mountain Lake Park. It was vacant for about 60 yeaars, due to construction along I-70, which separated the land from the park. “One of the amazing benefits of our partnership that we have with Denver Urban Gardens is the fact that we identify opportunities,” said Chief of Staff at Denver Parks and Recreation Mark Bernstein. “We collectively have that vision for how we can take underutilized spaces like this parcel here and sort of reimagine it to have a much greater purpose that will serve the community.” The Pecos Community Garden was birthed by four Hmong families who immigrated to the United States in the late 1970s and was established as DUG’s first garden in 1978. These families have stuck together since the beginning to maintain the garden as a source of fresh food and to hold onto the ageold tradition of bonding with each other. On May 3, 2023, when the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murphy released an advisory calling attention to the public health crisis of loneliness, isolation, and the lack of connection in the U.S., DUG’s work became more important than ever. Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately half of U.S. adults reported experiencing measurable levels of loneliness. According to Dr. Murphy, loneliness increases our risk of mental health challenges and premature death, amplifying the need for community gardens to regenerate the land and increase community engagement and food access. Community gardens that take the place of grass “capture way more carbon, require a lot less water, and the temperature when you have dense plantings like this [is decreased], so the heat island effect is reduced, and the biodiversity gets increased,” said Linda Appel Lipsius, DUG’s CEO. “There are so many climate benefits, and when you take these times the 200 gardens we have, that’s some serious acreage.” The heat island effect refers to urbanized areas that experience higher temperatures than other outlying areas. DUG supports its gardens in a variety of ways, mainly by providing approved access to land where communities can come together to grow food and by coordinating volunteer groups to help maintain the gardens. “Increasingly, there are fewer opportunities for you to interact with your neighbor, and your neighbor is maybe a different age, PHOTO COURTESY OF FEED MEDIA background, or socioeconomic status,” said Lipsius. “In these gardens, people come together who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to work together, and it’s a thing of beauty. We [DUG] think that community is a lost art or skill, and these [urban community gardens] help bring them back.” “Having more outdoor space instead of just an open lot is awesome,” said Carl Keating, a volunteer at DUG’s 200th garden build, who said he enjoys helping with a community movement that’s fostering more engagement in the community. “People might just figure out they have a green thumb.” ■ To apply for a plot at 48th & Julian in Denver, email i48thandJuliancommunitygarden@dug.org FOOD FORESTS TO ADDRESS FOOD DESERTS ADJACENT TO THE RECENTLY BUILT COMMUNITY GARDEN is DUG’s 19th food forest in the metro Denver area. The freshly planted trees that make up this food forest at 48th Avenue and Julian Street were planted in September as a regenerative food source for the community. So, what are food forests and how do they address food deserts? Food deserts are exactly what they sound like — places where affordable produce is hard to come by. The Etkin Family Food Forest Initiative was launched in the spring of 2022 to plant accessible food forests in small and underutilized areas in both public spaces as well as alongside community gardens. This initiative is one of many DUG programs that benefit residents in underserved communities. DUG’s food forests are shade-producing and are planted with water-conscious dryland techniques and are thus built to thrive in a changing climate. Food forests usually are made up of seven layers: canopy/tall trees, understory, shrub, herb, groundcover, root, and vertical climber. Each food forest in Denver is maintained by at least two “Tree Keepers” who will ensure the survival and establishment of these trees and plants. ■ PHOTO COURTESY OF FEED MEDIA PHOTO COURTESY OF FEED MEDIA March 2024 DENVER VOICE 7
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INTERNATIONAL STORY Suddenly, a muddled thought flashed through my mind: “My vaccinations aren’t valid in Germany. What now?” I stood at the Frankfurt railway station with only €20 in my pocket. I didn’t see anywhere to warm up until the train left. The station’s charitable mission was the only place I could go. The young woman at my table gave me a piece of chocolate cake. I felt like a failure then, just like everyone who walks through those doors. And that’s exactly why I was so grateful to be there. I knew that I had exchanged the false security with my violent husband for freedom – but it didn’t seem to offer me any support. Loneliness, emotional turmoil, feelings of guilt towards the children who themselves had suffered so much from his violence, feelings of guilt towards my entire family. Why did it take so long to open my eyes? And at the same time, I felt an almost inexplicable yearning to be with him, to go back to the old cycle of violence and regret. PHOTO COURTESY OF AIDA L ON UNSPLASH FREEDOM FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: “HOW COULD I LOSE MYSELF LIKE THAT?” BY CHRISTIANE ROSENMUTH I WANTED TO EMIGRATE – to spend my twilight years in my husband’s home country, which had become my second home over the course of our 30 years together. But when the time came, we only managed eight months. Then we separated, at long last. For almost 29 years, our marriage was defined by physical and psychological violence and my husband’s narcissism. I used to be a teacher. Ever since I was signed off from therapy and recovered from an operation on my hip, I have been supporting disabled people and studying social work. I want to help children and young people learn to love themselves, acknowledge their them seriously. feelings, and take WE WERE HITTING EACH OTHER, NO LONGER HOLDING ANYTHING BACK 3 January 2022. It was one of those nights: drunk, stoned, coked up, and full of Bazooka [a dangerous cocaine paste]. My husband had already snorted it all, and I was pumped full of alcohol and coke too – it had become the only way to make it through these nights. But this night, he was more violent than the others; there were so many of them in our marriage. I don’t remember how it happened this time – we were fighting, hitting each other, no longer holding anything back. I hit back. This is something I had “learned” in the last few months: to stop putting up with everything, to stop being scared and silent. I too had crossed the line, and we were about to go over the precipice. Eventually, he fell asleep, and I prayed: “God, if you want all this to end, let me go without waking him up.” I left. My packed bag had been waiting for this moment for months. I grabbed a few more things and headed out into the 8 DENVER VOICE March 2024 dark, with just enough money to pay for the bus to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Our daughter, who was 10,000 kilometers away, stayed on the phone with me the whole time and paid for the first hotel remotely. THE DECISION TO LEAVE It would take another two weeks until I could leave behind my old life of emotional and physical hell. You couldn’t just up sticks and leave like that. There were documents I needed to leave the country, and I had forgotten them. Besides, I couldn’t really let go yet. The few times we met before I finally left him and the country I’d come to know as my second home were filled with last-ditch attempts to save what was no longer savable. There were fears and threats of death and a final embrace with my husband that is burned into my mind. It was perhaps the only embrace in which our souls felt our pain, our sadness, and also the little love we had left for each other, for a few minutes in our 30-year marriage. I was fortunate to have help from some selfless, kind people, without whom I would not have been able to leave. AN UNCERTAIN FREEDOM 19 January 2022. Back in the winter in Germany. From the warm equator to the sub-zero temperatures of Frankfurt. I had my suitcase and a backpack; nothing else was left from those 30 years. I didn’t want anything else. For a long time, the only feelings I had were loneliness, of having uprooted myself: of not belonging anywhere and no longer wanting to belong anywhere. Our children had already given up a long time ago. They couldn’t watch it, couldn’t stand it anymore. Quito – Madrid – Frankfurt – Stuttgart. A 40-hour journey. FINDING YOURSELF AGAIN The next 18 months led to an inner journey that sometimes caused just as much terrible pain as my previous life. Inpatient therapy, facing up to my life, to my failure, to myself. It wasn’t just the hellish years of my marriage that needed to be looked at, but mainly the 30 years that preceded them. I realized that I had drifted through life for 60 years without any self-worth. I hadn’t learned to recognize, appreciate, and take myself and my feelings seriously. Loss How could I lose myself like that? Wasn’t I on the right path? That old fear of not feeling loved Was stronger and was leading me onto a dangerous bridge that broke beneath me Hope and illusion – two powerful drugs – until I fell apart But they carried me through pain and torment The voice saying stop fell on deaf ears I haven’t felt like myself for a long time. STARTING LIFE ANEW 12 September 2023. I have an appointment with a lawyer in a few days. I’m filing for divorce. And I’m trying to forgive myself. The responsibility never lies with just one person. That will never justify his violence, but I also had my reasons for staying and maintaining the relationship for so long, and for not sparing my children the misery much earlier. I am well on my way to coming to terms with my past and becoming a part of society again. But it’s not over yet. I have to slowly nurture a new relationship with my children and rebuild the trust that we destroyed. It will be a long and painful process. But I dream of one day sitting down at a table with them and laughing together warmly, happily. We have a long way to go, but I know that this moment will come. That’s what I’m working for, and it will only happen like this: When I’ve managed To overcome all my fears To find myself and appreciate her To no longer walk in his footsteps But rather follow my heart. When his blood no longer flows in my veins only then will I be free and we can talk again 3 November 2023. I no longer need him to know who I am. ■ Translated from German by Sarah G Robinson Courtesy of Trott-war / INSP.ngo NATIONAL STORY TOLEDO’S JAZZ LEGACY: THE BLACK MUSICIANS WHO SHAPED THE OHIO CITY’S SOUNDSCAPE BY ANGELA JENNINGS ART TATUM. ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF TOLEDO STREETS / INSP.NGO ART TATUM A name synonymous with virtuosic, Art Tatum took jazz pianism by the reigns and flipped it upside down. He took inspiration not only from jazz’s primary melodic aspects, but those that weren’t and still aren’t typically focused on, such as bass lines and percussive elements. He approached musicianship from an innovative different angle and was truly a force to be reckoned with. Local jazz expert Doug Swiatecki highlighted that Tatum’s “unbeatable piano stylings were developed in Toledo,” rather than after his introduction to more mainstream jazz communities in New York and Chicago. “When he left Toledo, he overwhelmed all of the pianists in New York,” added Swiatecki. “Going forward, every jazz pianist in history, no matter how creative they are, stands in the shadow of what Tatum did.” CLAUDE BLACK Although he did not share Tatum’s level of recognition, Claude Black was a true icon among Toledo’s most influential jazz pianists. After leaving Detroit, rather than choosing to move to New York, Black chose Toledo – a testament to his love for the city. According to Swiatecki, he was well respected and liked among his peers, and had a wide range of rich experiences with jazz greats. He was Aretha Franklin’s original keyboard player, and “talked about going to New York and jamming with all these famous guys, and the likes of Billie Holiday.” Kim Buehler of Toledo School for the Arts worked with Black directly and describes him as one of her biggest JEAN HOLDEN. COURTESY OF JEANHOLDEN.COM influences as a young jazz artist. “Claude Black could instruct you with just one eyebrow,” she said. “If you did something that he really liked he would kind of sit up and look at you, and you were like, ‘I did it, he looked at me!’” CLIFFORD MURPHY Clifford Murphy is recognized nationwide for his work as a jazz bassist. Both Swiatecki and Buehler credit the blossoming of Toledo’s jazz scene to the opening of jazz club Murphy’s Place, which he co-ran with his partner Joan Russell, who took charge while he travelled with his band. Murphy “brought a level of jazz musicianship into downtown Toledo that hadn’t been there since the late 40s or 50s,” said Swiatecki. JEAN HOLDEN A truly versatile entertainer, Jean Holden is widely considered one of the most important vocalists in Toledo to this day. “In terms of jazz, she can turn it on with the best jazz vocalist you can name and stand her ground,” said Swiatecki. With her vast knowledge of many other musical genres, such as blues and country, Holden has also worked as a vocal coach, and “the list and the names of people that have come out of her vocal studio is kind of staggering,” Swiatecki added. JON HENDRICKS Having grown up just down the street from Art Tatum, Jon Hendricks was destined to make an impact not only on a CLAUDE BLACK. COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO RAMONA COLLINS. COURTESY OF RAMONACOLLINS.COM March 2024 DENVER VOICE 9 RAMONA COLLINS Widely known as “Toledo’s hardest working vocalist,” Ramona Collins paved the way for the area’s female performers and vocalists. Buehler is one of the many young women who Collins mentored throughout her career. She described Collins as “a great mentor to her about how to be a woman in the industry. To this day, I still gig with her, and she does not take a break.” “I don’t think she suffers fools, and that’s refreshing,” Swiatecki added. “I’ve watched her adapt to the most professional orchestras and the most inexperienced players. She is such a vibrant person and a great advocate for all things jazz in Toledo.” ■ Courtesy of Toledo Streets / INSP.ngo local but on an international scale. With his invention of Vocalese, a style of jazz involving writing lyrics to songs or compositions that are typically instrumental, Hendricks made groundbreaking strides in his career. For four semesters, Buehler was Hendricks’ teaching assistant at the University of Toledo, which gifted her the opportunity to tour and perform with him in Europe. She described him as possessing great kindness. “Whether it was a person on a corner, a person passing him in the airport, the garbage man, or somebody really famous, he treated everybody the same,” she said. “He treated every person as if they were a king.” “I’m certain that Jon was truly one of the titans in the American jazz pantheon,” said Swiatecki.
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SPECIAL FEATURE ON WARMER DAYS FAMILIES GATHER IN PARKING LOTS IN FRONT OF THEIR HOTELS. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN NEW MIGRANTS REMAIN HOPEFUL DESPITE CHALLENGES BY GILES CLASEN THE CITY OF DENVER has served nearly 40,000 new immigrants often by offering shelter in hotels. New immigrant families were allowed to spend up to 42 days in a hotel before being released, while single men and women were often housed for up to 14 days. Denver sheltered 5,205 individuals at the peak of service on January 11, 2024. Since then, the number of individuals sheltered in hotels has decreased significantly. The long wait for a work permit has left many struggling to earn a living. Those who are unable to work have often turned to living in homeless encampments once they lose the city’s shelter. Since I began volunteering at new immigrant camps around Denver, there are three things I’ve noticed among most of the new immigrant communities: 1. Most of the new immigrants I have met participated in CBPOne [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] appointments before entering the United States. ONE ENCAMPMENT WAS FORCED TO RELOCATE MULTIPLE TIMES AFTER POLICE WARNED OF EMINENT SWEEPS. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN 10 DENVER VOICE March 2024 ONE ENCAMPMENT WAS FORCED TO RELOCATE MULTIPLE TIMES AFTER POLICE WARNED OF EMINENT SWEEPS. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN SPECIAL FEATURE NEW MIGRANTS FEEL A MIX OF EXHAUSTION AND HOPE AS THEY END UP LIVING ON THE STREETS. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN VOLUNTEERS AND NEW IMMIGRANTS MOVE A CAMP LATE INTO THE NIGHT BEFORE A SWEEP. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN THOUSANDS OF OF NEW MIGRANTS ARE RELEASED FROM HOTELS, INCLUDING CHILDREN. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN NEW MIGRANTS MOVE INTO ENCAMPMENT SWEPT EARLIER IN THE WEEK. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN They crossed the border legally and are scheduled for immigration hearings, which in time, will determine their eligibility to remain in the U.S. 2. Almost everyone I’ve spoken with wants to work. Every day, I receive several texts and messages from new immigrants through WhatsApp, asking how they can find jobs. 3. Despite living on the streets and in tents, the majority of the new migrants are thrilled to be in the U.S. One person told me that even though they live in a tent, they are in a better situation than when they were in Venezuela. In Venezuela, they had they had little opportunity and no hope that their circumstances would change. In Denver, individuals and families are looking past their short-term struggles and are hopeful for future opportunities and success for themselves and their families. ■ VOLUNTEERS AND NEW IMMIGRANTS MOVE A CAMP LATE INTO THE NIGHT BEFORE A SWEEP. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN NEW MIGRANTS FEEL A MIX OF EXHAUSTION AND HOPE AS THEY END UP LIVING ON THE STREETS. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN March 2024 DENVER VOICE 11
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS GOING THROUGH CANCER BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR ACCEPTING MY BALDNESS Today, I had to come to terms with losing my hair. The first few days after chemo treatment was hard. Then, 10 days later, my hair started to fall out. I couldn’t watch it fall out slowly. It hurt my heart. I had to come to terms with losing my hair. ALL OF MY HAIR. I had grown my hair to about 10 inches long. From that to no hair was hard to take. People put a high value on hair, but cancer said, “Surprise! You will go into this New Year BALD!” I found out that Great Cuts in Lafayette would cut my hair for free. They do that for cancer patients to give them peace of mind over hair loss on their terms. When I went into Great Cuts to have them shave my head, the gentleman who took me said he had never done a head shave. This was a first for both of us, so we comforted each other through the process. When I got up to leave, we gave each other a big emotional hug. So why should I cry about this? In time, my hair will grow back. So it’s okay, I will overcome this new bump in the road. I have to keep telling myself, “Sit, wait, hope, and pray.” I have to keep my mind strong to deal with all of the pain and discomfort. PAUSING CHEMO TO DEAL WITH AN ADDITIONAL MEDICAL ISSUE I found out that I have to have surgery for another healthrelated issue. Sooner, rather than later. They tell me before I can have the surgery, I have to stop chemo. Then, after the surgery, I have to wait four to six weeks to get back on my chemo treatment, so my recovery will be longer than first thought. I was in pain (not related to my cancer) for nine months before they found out what was wrong, and now the pain has gotten worse, and it’s harder for me to use my mind to keep the pain at bay. It takes a lot of mind power to keep up with the pain I’m in. I just wish the doctors or hospital had really listened to me. Maybe I wouldn’t be in so much pain for this long. When you’re going through medical problems, you sometimes have to remind yourself it has to get worse before it gets better. It’s scary when they tell you they don’t know how bad it is and that they will probably have to do reconstructive surgery while I’m still in the operating room. You never know how strong you really are until you are in it! CARING FOR MY DOGS Last night, my friend and sister Missy said that she and her husband will keep my babies until I can walk and bend down. That is the biggest help to me while I recover from surgery. It is a big deal for someone to take care of my dogs for a long time. RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: KAREN BEEMAN I just got back from Denver, where I went to give Missy my babies to keep until I heal. I know she will take good care of them. She has done it before. I feel blessed to have real friends who will be with me through the hell yet to come to my body. GOING FORWARD When this is finally behind me, my life will get back to the way it was before all of this stopped me. I know I will feel better when this is over. Then, I have to start the chemo treatment again. Not looking forward to doing that again, but it is what it is. I thank God today that I’m strong enough to get through all of these medical issues. I believe in the power of prayer and hope you will consider keeping me in yours. ■ COLORING PAGE BY GIGI GALEN 12 DENVER VOICE March 2024 EVENTS GUIDED MEDITATION A regular meditation practice can help you cultivate kindness and inner peace—two things we desperately need in stressful times. Each class will include instruction on mindfulness themes, followed by 30 minutes of practice. All are welcome! WHEN: Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. COST: Free but registration is required. WHERE: Online INFO: denverlibrary.org/events SOUTH SOUTH BROADWAY VARIETY SHOW Every Thursday, enjoy a free night of stand-up comedy and live music down on South Broadway. WHEN: Mar 7, 14, 21, and 28, 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Western Sky Bar & Taproom, 4361 S. Broadway INFO: westernskybar.com COLORADO DRAGON BOAT FILM FESTIVAL Founded in 2016, this four-day festival will feature in-person film screenings, community conversations, and special events celebrating the power of filmmaking within Asian communities. WHEN: Mar 14 – Mar 17 COST: Prices vary; see website for details. WHERE: Sie FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax INFO: denverfilm.org ACROSS Across 1. Loud 7. Annoyance 13. Apple juice brand 14. Evoking strong feeling 16. They hold your horses 17. Tackle or guard 18. Literally three 19. Give way, as to pedestrians TATTERED COVER WRITERS’ CLUB Join fellow writers once a month to discuss processes, goals, publishing logistics, and techniques. This event is held the last Monday of every month. WHEN: Mar 25, 6 p.m. COST: $5 WHERE: Tattered Cover, 2526 E. Colfax Ave. INFO: tatteredcover.com 21. Smart-alecky 22. Paper covering the NYSE 23. Inc. relative 24. Game with matchsticks 25. Bucket of bolts 27. Spanish “Enough!” 29. ___ voom 30. Crew member 32. Scuffles 34. Picnic pest 35. “Who, me?” 36. South American river in an Enya song title 40. Drooping 44. Rip apart 45. The fourth letter in “circle,” but not the first 47. Final Four org. 48. World finance org. 49. Center X or O 50. Sixth sense, for short 51. Standard 53. Attack ad, maybe 55. Confront 56. Band follower 58. Salon treatment 60. “Evil Ways” band 61. Muffles 62. Unsaturated alcohol (anagram of OSTLER) 63. Least ingenuous DOWN 1. Shrinking Asian lake 2. Glass cover on a Sylvia Plath novel 3. Response to “Shall we?” 4. Had a meal 5. One of the titular Gilmore girls 6. Greek letter 7. Patsy Walker’s comics alter ego 8. In the center of 9. Prince, to a king 10. Fret 11. In-between 12. Slippery 13. “Tommy” rockers 15. Colonic treatments 20. “A Nightmare on ___ Street” 26. Mind your ___ q’s 27. “Obvi!” 28. Poison plant 29. Churchill’s gesture 31. 6 on a phone 33. Saturate, in dialect 36. Rubber gaskets 37. Shark-riding fish 38. Ahead (of) 39. Breakfast staple 40. External memory holders for digital cameras 41. Mountain climbing tools 42. In the beginning stages 43. Rubberneckers 46. Carly ___ Jepsen 52. Setting you might turn on and off throughout a videoconference 53. ___-Japanese War 54. Fishing rod attachment 55. Grow dim 57. Golfer’s goal 59. Set (down) COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 NERD NITE If you’re a fan of TED talks, the Discovery Channel, and/or Wikipedia binges, Nerd Nite is the show for you! Three experts will present on three different topics, while the audience drinks and thinks along the way. Be there and be square! WHEN: Mar 29, doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. COST: $10 in advance, $15 at the door WHERE: Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St. INFO: bugtheatre.org March 2024 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $10,000+ Anonymous Individual Donor Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Matt and Nikki Seashore Cisco Francis Trainer and Trainer Family $5,000 - $9,999 Anschutz Family Foundation Laurie Duncan and Duncan-Mcwethy Foundation Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Frederic K Conover Trust The Christian Foundation Bank of America Charitable Foundation Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation Envestnet $1,000-$4,999 Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Katherine Standiford Jill Haug Joshua Kauer Walker Family Foundation Alexander Seavall Whole Foods Foundation Michael Dino Alex Salva Signs By Tomorrow Rose Community Foundation Russell Peterson Donald Weaver Chris and Susan Pappas Julia and David Watson Gaspar Terrana SEI Giving Fund Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Megan Arellano Lisa Wagner Warren and Betty Kuehner Keyrenter Property Management Denver Mathew Rezek The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Elsbeth Williams Christopher Boulanger KO Law Firm Graham Davis Peter Iannuzzi $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson Ruth Henderson James and Cyndi Lesslie Fire on the Mountain Craig Solomon Christopher Stewart Sheryl Parker Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity KL&A Engineers and Builders 14 DENVER VOICE March 2024 ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, VETERAN SUPPORT COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ALANON FAMILY GROUPS: al-anon.org; Find a meeting: al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/find-an-al-anon-meeting ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: aa.org; Colorado Service Centers; daccaa.org/central-office/other-central-offices DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER: 777 Bannock St.; denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL: Features information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community; detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA: Addiction hotline 888-479-0446; Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/ treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 112 E. 8th Ave.; 303-572-7800; HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on proper disposal of dirty syringes; M-F 9am-12pm: harmreductionactioncenter.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER: 3800 York St.; Emergency walk-ins 303-296-1767; Dental 303-296-4873; M-F 8am-2pm LIVE ANOTHER DAY: 877-596-6866; Equal access to life-saving mental health and substance abuse resources; 24/7 helpline: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION: 1325 S. Colorado Blvd.; Suite B302; Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered; 800-522-4372, 800-359-9272; info@hepc-connection.org; viventhealth.org NATIONAL AIDS HOTLINE: 800-342-AIDS/800-344-7432 NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: Text or call 988; 988lifeline.org NATIONAL RUNAWAY SAFELINE: 800-RUNAWAY/800-786-2929; 1800runaway.org RAPE ABUSE AND INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK: 800-656-HOPE; rainn.org SALUD CLINIC: 6255 Quebec Pkwy, Commerce City; 303-697-2583, 970-484-0999; saludclinic.org/commerce-city STOUT STREET CLINIC: 2130 Stout St.; 303-293-2220; Clinic Hours: 7am-4pm M/T/Th/F; 9am-6pm Wed; coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUBSTANCE ABUSE REHAB GUIDE: Helpline 888-493-4670; detoxrehabs.net/states/colorado/ URBAN PEAKS REHAB: 490 Lafayette St., #104; 303-599-5131; Medication management and therapy center specializing in opiate addiction; M, T, Th – 9am-12pm, 1 pm-4pm, W – 9am-12pm, 1 pm-7pm; urbanpeaksrehab.com U.S. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: 800-799-7233 (English and Spanish); 800-243-7889 (TDD); thehotline.org CAREER SERVICES BAYAUD ENTERPRISES CW-STEP: (Colorado Works - Subsidized training and employment program); 333 W. Bayaud Ave.; 303-830-6885; Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm; Provides re-entry to the workforce for individuals with TANF eligibility; info@bayaudenterprises.org COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER: Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway; 720-865-1706; M & T - 10am-8pm; Wed., Th &F - 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, WIFI, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments; denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER: Denver Dept of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd.; M-F 7:30am-4:30pm; Employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé prep, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc.; careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center WORKNOW: 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org LGBTQ+ SUPPORT THE TREVOR PROJECT: 866-488-7386: thetrevorproject.org LGBT NATIONAL YOUTH TALKLINE: 800-246-7743: lgbthotline.org/youth-talkline PRIDE INSTITUTE: 800-547-7433 TRUE COLORS UNITE: 212-461-4401 truecolorsunited.org VETERANS & SENIORS DENVER INNER CITY PARISH: 1212 Mariposa St.; 303-322-5733; VOA Dining Center for Seniors, aged 60 and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm; Food Bank, Wed.-Fri.; Tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm; dicp.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES: 846 E. 18th Ave.; For those aged 60 or older; TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, 3 meals, M-F -7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm; seniorsupportservices.org VA MEDICAL CENTER: 1700 N Wheeling St.: Aurora 303-399-8020: va.gov/findlocations/facility/vha_554A5 VETERANS GUIDE: Veterans Disability Calculator veteransguide.org/va-disability-calculator YOUTH SERVICES SOX PLACE: 2017 Larimer St.; 303-296-3412 Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30; Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. T-F - 12-4pm & Sat. 11am-2pm. Instagram: @Soxplace THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK: 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442; Youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, 303-974-2928; Drop-in hours M-F 8-11am urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: 833-931-2484; Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions; sunshinebehavioralhealth.com TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 3080 Broadway, Boulder; 303-447-1207, 303-447-1207; For ages 12-24; Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services; M-Sun, 12:30-5pm; tgthr.org March 2024 DENVER VOICE 15 URBAN PEAK: 730 21st St., Denver; 303-974-2900; Ages14-24; Serving Denver & Colo Springs; Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skill/straining, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing; urbanpeak.org DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777;; Helps with employment, IDs, birth certs, mail services and lockers; M-Th - 10am-2pm; citysquare.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F - 7am-1pm; Private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch, etc.; thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE: 1535 High St.; 303-321-4198; Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals; Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, etc.; M, W, Th, F - 8:30am-5pm, T - 8:30am-1:30pm; tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 231 E. Colfax; 303-572-7800; Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harmreduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes; M-F - 9am-12pm; harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Help with lost IDs and birth certificates; holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM: 1555 Race St.; 303-832-3354; For men and women with HIV; M-F 8am-4pm LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER: 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; Day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services; homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, wifi; M-F 7a-5:30p; odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St; 303-297-1576; 6am-6pm daily; Storage for one bag (when space is available); Satellite Clinic hours- M, T, Th. F - 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm; sfcdenver.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am; capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: mealsforpoor.org CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee M-F. 8:30am; denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES: 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm; christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY: Home-cooked meal, weekly; Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd); christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm; citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church); Hot meals served M, T, Th., F - 11:45-12:15; mealsforpoor.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION: 1130 Park Avenue West; 303-294-0157; 3 meals 7 days/week, 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm; denverrescuemission.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F only: 7am-1pm. 8am breakfast, 11am lunch; havenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY: Food service on second and fourth Thursdays; feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html FOOD NOT BOMBS: Sun. 4 p.m.; 22nd St. Stout St (near Mercury Café); Instagram: @denverfoodnotbombs HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE: 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm; krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: 910 Kalamath St.; Community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, Men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the month, 8-10am, Women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am; hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Sandwiches, M-Sat., 10-10:30am; holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH: 29th and Milwaukee St.; Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm; jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; 303-830-2201; Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm); meal served at 6pm; odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY: 126 W. 2nd Ave.; 303-722-8781 Dinner at 4pm on Tues; Also offers a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available; stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S: Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. (Auraria Campus), 11am 7 days/week; food/coffee; stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month); sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN: 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm; Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon.; saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ: 2023 E. Colfax Ave; 720-530-6853;Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen; Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays; soallmayeat.org URBAN OUTREACH DENVER: 608 26th St., Thurs dinners, 6pm-7pm; lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA: 2877 Lawrence St.; breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun.; food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs.; voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetrofoodnutrition-themission DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13
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EDITOR’S NOTE TO QUOTE THE INTRODUCTION ROBERT DAVIS SO ELOQUENTLY WROTE for our “Love on the Streets” profiles in this issue, “It is challenging enough to face homelessness, when laws exist that criminalize basic actions ELISABETH MONAGHAN MANAGING EDITOR like sleeping or sharing food in public places. When the people who are spending their nights in shelters or public spaces have no room for private conversations or intimate moments, it makes it next to impossible for them to pursue or maintain a romantic relationship.” By sharing the stories of Tim and Alyssa, and Jason and Larmarques, we hope to remind our readers that the desire to give and receive love is universal. While many of us glance at encampments as we drive or walk past them, it is too easy to see only the tents. But each of those tents represents at least one person who spends their nights there. And like the rest of us, the people staying in those tents dream of finding love or enjoying the loving relationships they have. Demonstrating love for another is more than giving sentimental cards, flowers, or candy on Valentine’s Day. When we love someone else, we don’t feel that emotion just during commercial holidays. And when we know we are loved by others it makes the good times even better and the bad times less daunting. So, not just on Valentine’s Day but every day – may we all share and experience the gift of genuine love, and may we also make it a habit to let those we care about know they matter. ■ EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS ROBERT DAVIS is an award-winning freelance reporter for the Denver VOICE. His work has also appeared in Colorado Newsline, Business Insider, Westword, the Colorado Sun, and Medium.com. GRACE THORBURN is a journalism student at the University of Colorado Boulder. She hopes that her writing will make a difference in the community by covering social justice issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, homelessness, and racial equity. WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Lanie Lee Cook Aaron Sullivan ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Giles Clasen Gigi Galen WRITERS Lando Allen Robert Davis Raelene Johnson Jason Martin Larmarques Smith Grace Thorburn DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, President Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Antonio Diaz, Treasurer Michael Burkley Cassandria Carmouche Robert Davis Nikki Lawson Julia Watson Cabal Yarne 2 DENVER VOICE February 2024 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S QUESTION WAS SUGGESTED BY DENVER VOICE VENDOR LANDO ALLEN. Q A If you don’t like your situation (where you live/sleep, your relationship, your health, etc.) , what can YOU do to improve that situation? LANDO ALLEN When I got to Denver, I came across a situation, where a guy was mad at me for snoring while I was sleeping at the shelter. I listened to my voice and got a car and camper to get out of the shelter because they took my stuff. I never looked back. But it’s not easy because I am looking at the city that has tried to take my camper. I’m trying to do the right thing and fix up my camper so it drives better. RAELENE JOHNSON The very first thing to do is ask for help (and want to receive that help). Only when you’re ready to make a change will you start taking chances on yourself and helping yourself get where you need to go by asking for help. When you ask for help and are told what to do, don’t complain. If you complain all the time then you really don’t want the help. In Colorado, there is all kinds of help available if you really want it. JASON MARTIN My health has been on my mind a lot lately, I was diagnosed with Hep C back in 2014, and I didn’t meet the criteria to receive the cure for it. Now, I can receive the cure for free, and I don’t have to meet any criteria, so I’m going to care of it. LARMARQUES SMITH One might think, “Just leave the situation,” but that is easier said than done. Most people grow complacent and choose to stay in an uncomfortable, yet familiar place, rather move to someplace that is unfamiliar. I would research options for other places and make an educated decision on where I should go, based on what needs I have and what resources are available to me. Only I can improve my current situation. HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. February 2024 DENVER VOICE 3
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INTERNATIONAL FEATURE STATE OF WORLD POPULATION 2023: ENSURING RIGHTS AND CHOICES KEY TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT BY UNFPA BRAZIL THE WORLD POPULATION HAS REACHED 8 BILLION PEOPLE. This is a milestone to be celebrated: it represents longer and healthier lives, with more rights and choices than ever in humanity’s history. But for some groups, the understanding of the scenario was different: headlines warn of a world heading towards overpopulation, or of countries and even entire regions aging into obsolescence. Such representations represent birth rates as both a problem and a solution but do not recognize the autonomy of the people who give birth. Expanding and guaranteeing human rights, especially of women and girls, should be the central concern. Additionally, migration, often addressed with a tone of alarm, must be considered as part of the solution: in countries of origin, it can reduce unemployment and underemployment and contribute to reducing poverty and promoting wider economic and social development, while meeting workforce demands in destination countries. The new data published by The State of World Population 2023, “8 Billion Lives, Infinite Possibilities: In defense of rights and choices”, from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), shows that it is possible to reach higher levels of development, progress, and equality. But only if governments and the media work together to guarantee access to rights, as well as the information for conscious choices, abandoning the narrative of increasing or decreasing populations and of an alleged ideal number of children. History has shown that fertility policies created to increase or decrease birth rates are frequently ineffective and tend to harm women’s rights. Several countries have implemented programs to create larger families, offering financial incentives and rewards ILLUSTRATED BY TIAGO PALMA Instead of asking how quickly people are reproducing, political leaders should ask if individuals, especially women, are able to freely make their own reproductive choices – a question to which the answer is, very frequently, no. “The quest for fertility goals and the attempt to influence to women and their families, but continue to see birth rates below two children per woman. Meanwhile, there are efforts to slow down population increase through forced sterilization and coercive contraception – a severe violation of human rights. Women’s bodies and access to prevention possibilities and unintended pregnancies cannot be factors controlled by population policies. Demography cannot be synonymous with a reduction in rights. women’s reproductive decision-making will only result in failure,” says Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA. “History has established that those policies are rarely effective and harm women’s rights. Investing in people and in their potential is the safest way to prosperity and peace.” A staggering 44% of women and girls in 68 countries do not have the right to make informed decisions about their bodies when it comes to having sex, using contraceptives, and seeking medical care, and it is estimated that 257 million women worldwide have an unmet need for safe and reliable contraceptives. Family planning should not be used as a tool to reach fertility goals – in fact, it should be used as a tool to give people greater possibilities. Women should be able to choose if, when, and how often they would like to have children, without coercion from so-called experts and authorities. The report emphatically recommends that governments establish policies with gender equality and rights at their core, such as parental license programs, child tax credits, policies that promote gender equality in the workplace, universal access to healthcare, and sexual and reproductive rights. These policies offer a proven formula that will reap economic dividends and lead to resilient societies that are capable of thriving, regardless of population changes. Only with organized policies will we be able to guarantee that people make well-informed and protected choices regarding reproduction. ■ Courtesy of UNFPA Brazil / INSP.ngo 4 DENVER VOICE February 2024 INTERNATIONAL STORY THE FIGHT TO END MATERNAL MORTALITY BY UNFPA BRASIL FROM 2015 TO 2020, approximately 8,000 women in Latin America and the Caribbean died each year due to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum complications. In 2020, the number of maternal deaths in the region increased by 9% from 2019. It is estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic set regional maternal health indicators back by 20 years. While all women are at risk of experiencing pregnancyrelated complications, there is a clear relationship between socioeconomic status and increased risk of maternal illness and death. These deaths continue to reflect gender inequality, ethnicity, place of residence, and education – factors associated with socioeconomic level. The most common causes are high blood pressure during pregnancy, bleeding, and complications from unsafe abortion. However, nine out of 10 of these deaths are avoidable with quality healthcare, access to contraception, and reduced inequality in access to care. The Inter-Agency Working Group to Reduce Maternal Mortality (IWG), part of the United Nations Population Fund, launched a campaign “Zero Maternal Deaths. Avoid the Avoidable” – a joint declaration addressed to the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean, civil society, the private sector, and the media to increase political and financial commitment and prioritize maternal health. As a member of the IWG, the UNFPA appeals to governments to increase political and financial commitment and prioritize maternal health; donors to contribute financial resources; technical agencies to provide the necessary assistance; and the media to highlight this critical issue. Without this joint effort, progress in eradicating preventable maternal deaths will stall, and the basic human rights to health and life will continue to be threatened. “Maternal morbidity and mortality is not just a health problem, it is also a social and political problem,” said Florbela Fernandes, UNFPA representative in Brazil. “It has health and economic implications for families and communities, given the important role that women play in family life, the community and countries’ social and economic development.” ■ Courtesy of Traços / INSP.ngo DONATE YOUR CAR! Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to support our program coordination by helping with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe Dr.) from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. ILLUSTRATED BY TIAGO PALMA If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at: program@denvervoice.org February 2024 DENVER VOICE 5
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COMMUNITY PROFILE CREDIT: GILES CLASEN JUSTICE NECESSARY: ADDRESSING PERIOD POVERTY IN COLORADO BY GRACE THORBURN DIANE CUSHMAN NEAL WAS ADMITTED into a Denver hospital with cystic fibrosis and after several weeks, came out of it with the news the condition had damaged her lungs. She would need a double lung transplant to survive. This was in March 2020, just a few days before COVID-19 began sweeping the country. “The world stopped,” she recalled in an interview with Denver VOICE. “So, I came home and said, ‘How are we going to do this during a respiratory pandemic?’” Cushman Neal said that she thought about her situation and realized that instead of worrying, she should put her talents into advocating for positive change and helping others rather than focusing on her problems. With that, she decided to take action. This is not an unusual approach for Cushman Neal, who said her family describes her as having relentless determination and a knack for generating ideas, which has motivated her to take on various philanthropic projects throughout her life. Cushman Neal’s initial passion for change-making in the community was sparked as a youth when she volunteered at food pantries, and since then, her desire to help others has continued to blossom. As Denver and other cities locked down during the peak of the pandemic, news stories reported that newly out-ofwork families were rushing to food pantries. It occurred to Cushman Neal that if kids weren’t in school, due to the pandemic, it meant they weren’t getting free lunches or breakfasts, and families were going hungry. When Cushman Neal offered to help her local pantry, she learned about an even bigger issue. Not only was lack of food a problem, but as the pantry workers explained, feminine hygiene products were scarce. According to the pantry staff, when a woman came in looking for period products, there was only a small supply of tampons or pads. Cushman Neal said this made her wonder if feminine hygiene was overlooked, how were menstruating girls and women going to cope? Cushman Neal recognized that when a mother faces challenges accessing period products, that need often extends to difficulties in obtaining diapers for their children. That situation can lead parents to prioritize their children’s needs over their own. “[I] made this pact in my head that I was going to get [the pantry] a year’s worth of products anonymously and help them get through the pandemic,” Cushman Neal said. “In doing so, I had this epiphany that if someone doesn’t have PHOTO COURTESY OF JUSTICENECESSARY.ORG 6 DENVER VOICE February 2024 COMMUNITY PROFILE CREDIT: GILES CLASEN period products, that also means they don’t have diapers, and they’ll sacrifice period products for diapers.” This flash-of-lightening inspiration led to a significant change for Cushman Neal. She contacted the Jewish Family Service’s food program and suggested that they host a drive for food and hygiene products. She explained to them that she would help, but she would have to work in isolation, as she couldn’t risk exposure to others due to her cystic fibrosis and delicate lungs. JFS food program’s annual fall food drive in 2020 was held virtually due to COVID-19. Cushman Neal had been working with an organic, eco-friendly period company. She’d negotiated favorable pricing for the period products, and her goal was to secure a similar pricing arrangement with a diaper company to maximize the funds raised. The drive ran parallel with the JFS annual food drive for 30 days raising the equivalent of 6,000 months of period products and 80,000 diapers. Pleased with the result, Cushman Neal thanked the pantry staff and suggested they do it again next year. In response, they said, “Oh no, your work is not finished at all, you need to keep going.” So, she did, and along the way, Justice Necessary was born. Today, Cushman Neal is building on that success in the wake of external circumstances that continue to force too many into choosing to go without period products and diapers so that they can feed their families. A report published in 2022 by Justice Necessary found that 47% of Colorado women experience period poverty. Period poverty refers to the struggle women face when trying to afford menstrual products. To address this struggle Justice Necessary is delivering personal hygiene products to schools, food pantries, and outreach organizations to meet immediate hygiene needs in Colorado communities. A few of their partners include CU Denver, The Salvation Army, Jeffco Public Schools, and the Period Menstrual Movement. “People aren’t paying attention to this issue [of period poverty],” said Kate Swindell, a team member for the organization PERIOD – a nonprofit working to eradicate period poverty globally. “It’s a think globally, act locally type of movement right now.” According to Swindell, PERIOD was established through the passion of 16-year-old Nadya Okamata from Portland, Oregon, who gave a name and face to the problem of period poverty. PERIOD, which is made up of 10 women, strives to eradicate period poverty and stigma through advocacy such as their worldwide Period Action Day. Swindell said that “Giving people language and helping people feel comfortable with their bodies and their biological processes,” is the most rewarding part of her work with PERIOD. “Getting comfortable with the word [period] and talking about menstruation has been the coolest thing to see. People say it, own it, and use it.” Assistance programs in Colorado, such as Women, Infants, and Children and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, don’t cover the costs of diapers, baby wipes, or feminine hygiene products. What’s more, the FDA’s decision in February 2023 to cut extra funding to government programs like SNAP, and months of unusually high inflation, have battered many struggling families and reduced their buying power by magnitudes. “So, when that happened, people in Colorado lost an average of $90 per person [per month] in their household…,” said Cushman Neal. “A family of four that was receiving food benefits through SNAP would lose a total of $360 [per month] in the ability to buy groceries. For a senior receiving $212 [per month] it went down to $23 [per month]. [When] you think about that and then you reflect that back on your grocery bill, hygiene becomes one of the last things.” According to Cushnman Neal, because SNAP and WIC benefits don’t cover hygiene product expenses, food pantries are stretched to their limits, and most are in dire need of hygiene products, specifically feminine hygiene products, diapers, and baby wipes. Cushman Neal said that in just one month, Justice Necessary’s partner agencies experienced a 467% increase in requests for period products. “If you don’t have to go out without your hygiene products, you quite often don’t put yourself in the shoes of someone who might,” said Wendy Z, who asked that her last name be withheld for privacy. According to Wendy Z, without Justice Necessary’s work to ensure that basic hygiene products are available at food pantries, she would not have been able to get the necessary products she needed. “If everyone had access to period products it would be a miracle,” she said. Period poverty impacts menstruators physically, medically, emotionally, and socially. In 2022, Justice Necessary surveyed 1,256 Coloradans who identified as female between the ages of 18-40 about their access to period products in the past 12 months and how that impacted their daily lives. Sixty-seven percent of women felt uncomfortable and stressed out when they didn’t have adequate access to period products. Fortyone percent of respondents used period products longer than recommended, and 38% of women missed personal activities due to period poverty. By using hygiene products longer than recommended, menstruators are at risk for bacterial infections, skin irritations, and a slew of other health problems caused by a lack of access to clean and hygienic products. Continued on page 8 February 2024 DENVER VOICE 7
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COMMUNITY PROFILE Continued from page 7 “When you think about how easy it is on a medical level and then formaldehyde [a harmful, potentially cancer-causing chemical which is found in many menstrual products] goes into or on a menstruator’s body, you think about what does that do long term?” said Cushman Neal. Cushman Neal said that by providing the community with hygiene products that are free of harmful chemicals and environmentally responsible, they’re avoiding boomeranging these women back into a system where they will need medical help in the long term due to these harmful chemicals entering their bodies. For someone with a motto of “dream it, plan it, do it,” connecting with nearly 1,000 pantries and organizations in Colorado that provide personal hygiene products to menstruators in the Colorado community is just the starting point of Cushman Neal’s work. Justice Necessary will soon launch “Find Your Pantry,” a program to help community members find their nearest pantry for food, period products, hygiene products, and more. “By doing this, it allows us to tell people in Colorado where to go so that you don’t have somebody traveling across town with their children to find out they can’t get diapers, they can’t get period products,” said Cushman Neal. “There’s so many people that are so generous that can work on a community level to support each other.” At the heart of Cushman Neal’s work at Justice Necessary CREDIT: GILES CLASEN Justice Necessary forges connections and educates policymakers about this hidden crisis to build a community where everyone has access to hygiene basics. Thus far, Justice Necessary has donated at least 3.1 million organic period products, 82,216 and counting eco-friendly diapers and wipes, and 190,348 other basic hygiene essentials. The organization also played a key role in advocating for policy change. The collaboration with the HB22-1055 Stakeholder Group to raise awareness about period poverty and diaper needs ultimately led to the removal of the Colorado state sales tax on essential products such as period products, diapers, and incontinence products. Justice Necessary was also successful in securing an official proclamation from the State of Colorado and Governor Polis for Diaper Need Awareness Week in September 2023. Currently, Justice Necessary is running legislation in the 2024 legislative session to ensure access to period products for middle and high school students in Colorado. Affordability, access, and awareness are the three driving factors of the period poverty crisis. According to Cushman Neal, Coloradans who live 20 to 50 miles away from stores that are already on the smaller side may be forced to buy personal hygiene products at a higher price. Beyond the issue of access to period products and their affordability, Justice Necessary is also committed to people with serious illnesses. Speaking from her experience, Cushman Neal said that individuals with cystic fibrosis are recommended to consume 4,000 calories a day. “When you think about a family raising a kid with cystic fibrosis needing to buy 4,000 calories of food per day, that’s another reason hygiene gets put on the back burner because you have to make that choice in the checkout line,” Cushman Neal said. “But the reality is, if you have a serious illness, hygiene can be the difference, I’m not being overdramatic but literally, it is life and death, because when you are immunosuppressed or struggling the difference of an infection is the difference of if you are going in the hospital or if you’re going to be able to continue to live a normal life.” Justice Necessary’s commitment to a cleaner environment has allowed the organization to address two pressing societal FACTSHEET COURTESY OF JUSTICE NECESSARY issues simultaneously: protecting the planet and providing feminine hygiene products that are free of harmful chemicals. Cushman Neal pointed out that a common misconception is people automatically assume eco-friendly products that are good for our bodies and the environment are expensive and are not within reach. Period products that contain formaldehyde and known carcinogens easily transit these chemicals into the bodies of menstruators. “Medically we’ve been able to create vaginal creams that allow medication to be delivered through that method as they go very easily into the bloodstream,” said Cushman Neal. is helping the next person in need, month after month, by increasing outreach to connect with further organizations and food pantries to ideally fulfill the needs of all 64 counties in Colorado. According to Cushman Neal, when someone calls to express how access to personal hygiene products has enabled them to resume their daily routines – like going to work, spending time with their families, or going to school – she knows Justice Necessary is making a difference. She also knows her work has just begun. “What’s hard for me, honestly, is I then worry that we’ve only done this amount, but I want to do more.” ■ To learn more about Justice Necessary, visit justicenecessary.org. 8 DENVER VOICE February 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE of melt away when he hugs me. His hugs make me feel safe. I didn’t feel that way often when I was growing up in Missouri. Tim is the first person in my life that has made me feel safe like that. TIM: Alyssa makes me feel loved. I can tell her all my secrets. If I share something I’m passionate about, she’ll nurture it. My ex never did that in the 14 years we were together. Alyssa makes me feel complete in ways that I’ve never felt before. It’s kind of scary when you love someone enough to get hit by a car or take a bullet for them. When and where did you two share your first kiss? What did it feel like? TIM: She told me her mom was going to put her out on the street because they couldn’t get along, and I didn’t want that for her. I drove out to pick her up, and I don’t know what came over me. After I saw her, I kind of ran over and gave her a big hug and kissed her. She pulled away at first because she knew about my ex-wife. I told her that we had separated before I drove out to get her, and we just kissed. Where was your first date? TIM: Burger King in Arkansas! TIM (L) AND ALYSSA (R). CREDIT: GILES CLASEN ALYSSA: I still have the crown I got that day. I keep it in the glove compartment of our car. LOVE ON THE STREETS: Tim & Alyssa BY ROBERT DAVIS EVERYONE FALLS IN LOVE, but homelessness can make it much more difficult to do so. There is no such thing as “privacy” when you’re living outside, much less anything that resembles a safe place to call home. Laws that criminalize basic human actions like sleeping, sitting, lying down, or sharing food in public spaces make romantic courtship much riskier for people targeted by these laws as well. Add to that the trauma and stress of unsheltered homelessness itself and falling in love seems impossible. For Alyssa Will and Tim Jones, who have been dating since August 2023, falling in love has been one wild ride. Early on, they rode the highways back and forth through Arkansas and Missouri together before they embarked on a journey to Colorado. But their car broke down shortly after they got to Denver and even though they work odd jobs every day except for Sunday, Tim says, their income isn’t enough to afford rent, food, and a hefty mechanic bill altogether. But those challenges haven’t stopped Alyssa and Tim from building a romantic relationship together. It’s hard work, but necessary nonetheless, Alyssa said. “Whenever we get our time together, we go outside for a walk and hold hands like a new couple,” Alyssa said. Denver VOICE spoke with Alyssa and Tim about how their relationship started and what it takes to fall in love while experiencing homelessness. This interview has been lovingly edited for length and clarity. DENVER VOICE: First, I have to say I love how you two smile every time you look at each other. How did you first meet? TIM: I was living in Arkansas at the time with my ex-wife and kids. My ex and I had a lot of issues that ended up tearing us apart. So, I moved out and started staying with a friend. That’s when I met Alyssa the first time. I think we played Mario Party that night, She ended up moving back to Missouri shortly after we met and I didn’t get to see her for a while after that. ALYSSA: We stayed in contact while I was in Missouri. We talked about life and whatever was on our mind. I was staying with my mom at the time, and I ended up leaving her house because of a disagreement. I got arrested and put in a holding cell for a couple of days. Tim didn’t hear from me while I was locked up and he didn’t like that. He was the first person I called when they let me out and I got back to my mom’s place. I told him all I wanted to do was see him and play Mario. So, he drove out to come get me and we’ve been together ever since. What do you like about your significant other? Do you have a favorite body part, or a favorite part of their personality? ALYSSA: Tim is so funny. There have been times when he’s told a joke and I almost cry because it’s so funny. He also gives the best hugs. I could be having a panic attack and all he has to do is hug me and I’ll be okay. My pain and frustrations kind What happens if you get into a disagreement? How do you resolve it? TIM: We’ve had our ups and downs. A lot of downs. But we keep working through it. Whenever we get into a big fight, we usually take some space for ourselves. I’ll go one way and she goes another, but we keep talking. We talk on the phone instead of texting because we want to hear each other’s tone. Talking about your feelings is a big part of being in a relationship. If you can’t talk about them, then the relationship isn’t going to work. How do you keep the romance alive in your relationship? ALYSSA: It can be hard to be romantic or intimate when you’re sleeping in a car or living at someone else’s house temporarily. We sometimes stay with Tim’s brother, but there really isn’t space for us to be romantic there. There are people walking around all the time and there’s no privacy. TIM: She calls me handsome, and I tell her she’s beautiful every day. I know some people don’t like public affection, but we don’t care. I’ll hold her hand or kiss her. The only thing we don’t really get to do is be intimate in that “special” way. What does the word “love” mean to you? ALYSSA: Love is putting someone else before yourself for whatever reason. It’s about focusing all your energy on someone else to the point that they feel warm. I have had a hard time showing people that I love them in the past, but it’s easy to love Tim. I show him love through words of affirmation and physical touch, even when I’m feeling lazy. TIM: Love means everything. It’s sacrifice; it’s change; it’s about doing things for someone else that you wouldn’t do for yourself. ■ February 2024 DENVER VOICE 9
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SPECIAL FEATURE What do you love about each other? JASON: Larmarques accepts me for who I am. I’ve had a lot of trust issues. My life could be a couple of novels from what I’ve been through. Now, I have somebody who actually cares about me. And it’s been a while since I’ve had that. I feel human again. Before, I didn’t. I was lied to from an early age about who my father was, so I had identity issues and always kept people at bay. But when you find somebody that really cares, it’s a good thing. I like having that feeling. LARMARQUES: Jason is intriguing. He is so different from the person that you see, or the front that he puts on. He puts on this really masculine, “I don’t give a fuck about the world,” persona, but he’s actually a big soft teddy bear, cuddling thing. He’s just as romantic and soft and caring as I am. He just doesn’t show it to others. In past issues of the Denver VOICE, you both have written about walks you’ve taken or places you’ve gone together. Can you tell me about one of your most memorable adventures? LARMARQUES (L) AND JASON (R). CREDIT: LARMARQUES SMITH LOVE ON THE STREETS: Larmarques & Jason BY ELISABETH MONAGHAN IN THE THREE YEARS since they first became a couple, Larmarques Smith and Jason Martin have lived together in an apartment, stayed at the same shelter, or spent their nights tucked away on the streets of Denver. Recently, they were part of a sweep, where city officials transported several individuals from an encampment to a nearby hotel that has been converted into a temporary shelter. Larmarques and Jason met at a party, and neither could deny the spark between them. Upon learning Jason was visiting from Wyoming and not exactly thrilled at the thought of returning, Larmarques suggested that Jason stay with him. What started as an instant attraction three years ago has grown into a loving and supportive partnership. For the second our Valentine’s Day-themed “Love on the Streets” profile, Denver VOICE spoke to Larmarques and Jason about how their relationship has grown while looking for places they can shelter together. Denver VOICE: How would you describe your relationship? JASON: Larmarques is my partner. We do everything together. Talk about how you met. JASON: I came to Denver with a guy from Wyoming. I’m a city boy, and I had been living in Wyoming for three or four months. When Larmarques presented an opportunity for me to move here, I took it. LARMARQUES: I understood why Jason wouldn’t want to go back to Wyoming. I jokingly commented that Wyoming is so exciting and a such great metropolis, that everybody loves to not go back there. I also let him know he was welcome to stay with me. How has your relationship changed since you first got together? JASON: We’ve gotten closer. We’ve gotten into a couple of big fights, but I respect him, and he respects me. Larmarques, you’ve been a vendor since 2016 and have spent most of that time without stable housing. What is the difference between living on your own, and now, with Jason as your partner? LARMARQUIS: I have a little more sense of security. I know that there is actually somebody who has my back no matter what. Sometimes, when you’re living on the streets, you miss out on that because as much as you want to, you can’t trust everybody. So, I’m thankful for him being there. Just having a second pair of eyes. I have his back, and he has my mine. I can see a situation totally differently than he can, so it’s nice to have his take on things. LARMARQUES: Mike Johnston had just become the new mayor, so when the city started sweeping encampments in Denver, they also started putting the people up in hotels. The buses had been free, so it was easy to go back and forth, but when RTD started charging again, we decided we should probably go back [to Denver]. It’s actually more convenient for us to be here because our methadone clinic, my doctor’s office, and all of our things are in Denver. JASON: It was more viable that way. Other than going on adventures, are there any routines you have or rituals you do together? LARMARQUES: We like to have coffee together. When I got back from traveling for Christmas, I bought a kettle and a French press so we could have coffee together in our hotel room. JASON: Larmarques makes great coffee – which reminds me of another reason I fell in love with him. He can cook. He cooks very well. Do you find people are less accepting of you as a gay couple or as individuals experiencing homelessness? LARMARQUES: Denver’s usually pretty good about accepting people who have different types of relationships. I don’t think we’ve had any issues with that part. As far as LARMARQUES: This past summer, we were staying in one of the local shelters. In the middle of the night, Jason got up to use the bathroom and was kicked out of the shelter for having a lighter in his hand. He wasn’t smoking, but they saw it and said “You’re outta here. He didn’t do anything, but he got kicked out. I left the shelter, too then, because I’m not going to let my partner go out there alone, and I’m going to stay with him in solidarity. We ended up staying outside, under the stars, and it was nice. JASON: After that night, we decided to take the bus up to Boulder to check out the shelter situation there. We probably stayed in Boulder for a month or so, and we went back and forth for a while. So, what brought you back to Denver? 10 DENVER VOICE February 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE homelessness, we have had issues with people. For example, if you have a backpack on, people automatically assume that means you’re homeless. JASON: I did have a guy throw the “f” word at me when I was walking with a girl and two guys along Colfax. Larmarques wasn’t with me, but the guy called me a faggot, and I beat the shit out of him. The people I was with pulled me off of him because they worried I could’ve killed him. They pulled me off, and then we left. But that was just the guy’s ignorance. When people have a problem with us being gay, it’s few and far between. For the most part, people look down on us for being homeless, but not because we’re gay. Before you moved to the hotel, how did you find time for intimacy? JASON: We didn’t have any. LARMARQUES: We could have soft moments anywhere, but as far as like, being intimate, it was really hard. We just didn’t. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to…. It’s hard to “get down in a tent.” There’s not enough legroom. There were times when we were invited to someone’s home, and we would have privacy there. I am really glad we have a place now. Now that you are in a place, how is it different? JASON: It’s normal now. I’m a creature of society, but it’s nice to have a place that is our space, where we can be alone. LARMARQUES: It does feel normal. We can take a shower together. He can wash my back, I can wash his. How do you work through any tension between you? LARMARQUES. We argue and then, we just move on to the next thing. We might mention it later, but it’s not a “hold this over the other person’s head” thing. We say what it is that bothers us and then we just move on,” We just have to talk about it first. JASON: It’s good to have someone who can tell you stuff they’re upset about, and you don’t get mad. It’s more of realizing, “Okay, I guess I’ll take a look at myself.” How do you guys support each other emotionally,? JASON: We just know what each other wants. How do you make your relationship work? LARMARQUES: It’s important to always have a sense of wonder. Just be open to suggestions and don’t be afraid to be open to or consider other ways of doing things, or else you’ll be stagnant. It’s nice to be able to be with someone who’s just as openminded to other ways of doing things about things as I am because I can say something completely off the wall to Jason, and he can take it. It’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. JASON: We realize that everybody needs to be more openminded. Be open to suggestions and not so quick to judge somebody because when you do that you might lose out on a lot of meaningful experiences. I don’t judge anybody because I’m trying to learn something new. There is no religious book or doctrine that says you can’t make life better for yourself. That’s what we’re doing. Making life better for ourselves and each other. ■ VALENTINE BY GIGI GALEN February 2024 DENVER VOICE 11
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS GOING THROUGH CANCER BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR AS I WRITE THIS, it is five days before I have my first chemo treatment, and by the time you read this, I will have one treatment under my belt! I’m hoping to have very few side effects, but I have made up my mind that I will deal with it. I still find myself spacing out and losing sense of time, but I don’t feel bad yet. When I start chemo, all bets are off. I know my time is coming to be sick. I have gotten my house clean and ready for winter. I have stocked up on food and other supplies I will need for what is to come. I still find it hard to believe I have cancer. I know how lucky I am, having whoever read my scan find the tumor as early as they did. I appreciate that I wasn’t told how big it could have grown or how fast it could have moved before it was found. The doctors I have are the best. They care deeply for all of the patients they see every day. If you need anything or have a problem, they do everything they can to help you out. No one knows how they will react to having cancer until the time comes. Don’t listen to people who tell you about what their family member or friend who had cancer went through during their treatment. Don’t listen if they tell you they know someone who had this or that happen, and that you should prepare for what’s coming. Let me tell you something. I have found that everyone’s treatment is different, depending on their cancer and how they react to the treatment. There are so many kinds of cancer, so from the beginning of my treatment, I didn’t listen to anyone but my doctor! I thank God for putting the right people in place to care for me and help me during this time. Don’t put off getting your things in order if you are about to start chemo. If you have a dog who needs walks, line up people before the time comes. Find someone who will help you shop or will shop for you or someone who will pick up your mail from the mailbox for you. I thank God my primary doctor set me up with the best docs to treat me! I thank God even if I’m in pain because a lot of people are in worse pain or didn’t get a chance to wake up at all. I am grateful I can feel anything at all. I thank Him for making it possible to change my life, s so I can write my stories or poems and help others with my writing. I thank God for everyone who will help me during the time I cannot vend the Denver VOICE. I thank God for the Denver VOICE staff, who have become my family because they care so much about me and the other vendors. When you donate to the Denver VOICE or send money via Venmo to your favorite vendors during the winter, it helps them find shelter, so they don’t have to struggle with harsh winter weather. RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: KAREN BEEMAN I always thank God for everyone who helps me and other VOICE vendors out when we aren’t able to work. I pray that God will bless everyone who is reading our paper. I will close for now. Monday, I start chemo, and I will keep sharing my story so it may help someone just starting their journey on the road to cancer treatment and recovery. ■ WINTER WISH LIST Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. NEW ITEMS NEEDED: • Socks • Toiletries (individual or travel-size) • Toothpaste, deodorant • Chapstick, sunscreen • Hand warmers GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: • Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) • Men’s jackets (sizes L, XL, XXL) • Women’s jackets (sizes M, L, XL) • Backpacks, carrier bags • USB-C charging cables VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! @DenverVOICE 12 DENVER VOICE February 2024 EVENTS WHEN: Feb 3, Feb 10, Feb 17, Feb 24, 7:30 a.m. COST: Free WHERE: Urban Sanctuary, 2745 Welton St. INFO: urbansanctuary.love ANTI-VALENTINE’S DAY PARTY At this teen event, attendees will make duct-tape roses, a sarcastic beaded bracelet, the ultimate emo playlist, and more! Black, goth, and emo clothing is encouraged. WHEN: Feb 11, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library, 1498 N. Irving St. INFO: denverlibrary.org/events FREE DAY AT THE DENVER ART MUSEUM Enjoy a free day at the museum! Advance ticket reservations are encouraged. WHEN: Feb 13, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy. INFO: denverartmuseum.org WINTER OF READING USED BOOK POP-UP SALE Pick up some gently used books to cuddle up with this winter. WHEN: Feb 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Ross-University Hills Branch Library, 3654 Navajo St. INFO: denverlibrary.org/events FREAK TRAIN Held the last Monday of each month, Freak Train has remained Denver’s most unique live entertainment experience for more than 20 years. The first 12 people to sign-up get 5 minutes to do anything they want on stage (well, just about anything). It might be the best 5 minutes of your life; it might be the worst. Either way, there’s free beer! WHEN: Feb 26, 7 p.m. doors; 8 p.m. show COST: $5 WHERE: Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St. INFO: bugtheatre.org COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES QUEER COMMUNITY YOGA These classes are specifically designed to nurture inclusivity, overcome inner blocks, and to release societal pressures. COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 ACROSS DOWN 1. Computer key above Caps Lock 4. Like chili peppers 9. Breakfast chain 13. Carte start? 14. Small boat 15. Construction site sight 16. Crucial components 18. She had “the face that launched a thousand ships” 19. Get gold or silver 20. Red Sea peninsula 22. Back muscle, familiarly 23. Not impressed 25. Popular pop 27. Family room 28. Vim 30. Listening to Muzak, maybe 31. Compass reading 33. When doubled, a dance 35. Versatile vehicle, for short 36. Oysters or chocolate, according to some 40. “So ___ me!” 41. Giant slugger Mel 42. Receptionist on “The Office” 44. Savory Indian turnover 47. Comedian Notaro 49. Satisfied 51. Approval 54. O’Neill play “The Iceman ___” 56. Disencumber 57. Fable writer 59. “La ___ Vita” 60. Poplar variety 62. Roughhousing 64. Descriptor for Al Yankovic 65. Run off to the chapel 66. Neighbor of Ind. 67. Palm reader, e.g. 68. Chart anew 69. C.I.O.’s partner 1. Rabbi’s text 2. Property recipient, at law 3. Kerchief: Var. 4. Lug 5. Drivel 6. “Last one ___ a rotten egg!” 7. Shaped like a volcano 8. Kind of question with two possible responses 9. Anger 10. Call to the hounds on a hunt 11. Low tie 12. Group of five 15. Italian wine mentioned in “The Silence of the Lambs” 17. Crow cry 21. Unplugged 24. Go down 26. Not spendy at all 29. Vietnamese soup 32. ___ salts 34. “Much ___ About Nothing” 37. Union member, of a sort 38. Addams family member 39. Alabama’s state flower 43. Laurie of “Roseanne” 44. Drinking tubes 45. “It all makes sense now” 46. Child’s makebelieve dessert 48. Try for a long pass 50. “___ never see it coming!” 52. Theater worker 53. First Pulitzer Prize novelist 55. Swabber 58. Occasion for a corsage 61. Goof up 63. Health resort February 2024 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $10,000+ Anonymous Individual Donor Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Matt and Nikki Seashore Cisco Francis Trainer and Trainer Family $5,000 - $9,999 Anschutz Family Foundation Laurie Duncan and Duncan-Mcwethy Foundation Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Frederic K Conover Trust The Christian Foundation Bank of America Charitable Foundation Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation Envestnet $1,000-$4,999 Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Katherine Standiford Jill Haug Joshua Kauer Walker Family Foundation Alexander Seavall Whole Foods Foundation Michael Dino Alex Salva Signs By Tomorrow Rose Community Foundation Russell Peterson Donald Weaver Chris and Susan Pappas Julia and David Watson Gaspar Terrana SEI Giving Fund Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Megan Arellano Lisa Wagner Warren and Betty Kuehner Keyrenter Property Management Denver Mathew Rezek The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Elsbeth Williams Christopher Boulanger KO Law Firm Graham Davis Peter Iannuzzi $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson Ruth Henderson James and Cyndi Lesslie Fire on the Mountain Craig Solomon Christopher Stewart Sheryl Parker Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity KL&A Engineers and Builders 14 DENVER VOICE February 2024 ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, VETERAN SUPPORT COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ACS COMMUNITY LIFT: 5045 W. 1st Ave., Denver; rentassistance.org DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER: 777 Bannock St.; denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL: Features information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community; detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA: Addiction hotline 888-479-0446; Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/ treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 112 E. 8th Ave.; 303-572-7800; HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on proper disposal of dirty syringes; M-F 9am-12pm: harmreductionactioncenter.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER: 3800 York St.; Emergency walk-ins 303-296-1767; Dental 303-296-4873; M-F 8am-2pm LIVE ANOTHER DAY: 877-596-6866; Equal access to life-saving mental health and substance abuse resources; 24/7 helpline: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION: 1325 S. Colorado Blvd.; Suite B302; Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered; 800-522-4372, 800-359-9272; info@hepc-connection.org; viventhealth.org NATIONAL AIDS HOTLINE: 800-342-AIDS/800-344-7432 NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: Text or call 988; 988lifeline.org NATIONAL RUNAWAY SAFELINE: 800-RUNAWAY/800-786-2929; 1800runaway.org RAPE ABUSE AND INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK: 800-656-HOPE; rainn.org SALUD CLINIC: 6255 Quebec Pkwy, Commerce City; 303-697-2583, 970-484-0999; saludclinic.org/commerce-city STOUT STREET CLINIC: 2130 Stout St.; 303-293-2220; Clinic Hours: 7am-4pm M/T/Th/F; 9am-6pm Wed; coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUBSTANCE ABUSE REHAB GUIDE: Helpline 888-493-4670; detoxrehabs.net/states/colorado/ U.S. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: 800-799-7233 (English and Spanish); 800-243-7889 (TDD); thehotline.org CAREER SERVICES BAYAUD ENTERPRISES CW-STEP: (Colorado Works - Subsidized training and employment program); 333 W. Bayaud Ave.; 303-830-6885; Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm; Provides re-entry to the workforce for individuals with TANF eligibility; info@bayaudenterprises.org COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER: Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway; 720-865-1706; M & T - 10am-8pm; Wed., Th &F - 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, WIFI, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments; denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER: Denver Dept of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd.; M-F 7:30am-4:30pm; Employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé prep, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc.; careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center WORKNOW: 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org LGBTQ+ SUPPORT THE TREVOR PROJECT: 866-488-7386: thetrevorproject.org LGBT NATIONAL YOUTH TALKLINE: 800-246-7743: lgbthotline.org/youth-talkline PRIDE INSTITUTE: 800-547-7433 TRUE COLORS UNITE: 212-461-4401 truecolorsunited.org VETERANS & SENIORS DENVER INNER CITY PARISH: 1212 Mariposa St.; 303-322-5733; VOA Dining Center for Seniors, aged 60 and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm; Food Bank, Wed.-Fri.; Tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm; dicp.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES: 846 E. 18th Ave.; For those aged 60 or older; TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, 3 meals, M-F -7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm; seniorsupportservices.org VA MEDICAL CENTER: 1700 N Wheeling St.: Aurora 303-399-8020: va.gov/findlocations/facility/vha_554A5 VETERANS GUIDE: Veterans Disability Calculator veteransguide.org/va-disability-calculator YOUTH SERVICES SOX PLACE: 2017 Larimer St.; 303-296-3412 Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30; Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. T-F - 12-4pm & Sat. 11am-2pm. Instagram: @Soxplace THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK: 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442; Youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, 303-974-2928; Drop-in hours M-F 8-11am urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: 833-931-2484; Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions; sunshinebehavioralhealth.com TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 3080 Broadway, Boulder; 303-447-1207, 303-447-1207; For ages 12-24; Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services; M-Sun, 12:30-5pm; tgthr.org URBAN PEAK: 730 21st St., Denver; 303-974-2900; Ages14-24; Serving Denver & Colo Springs; Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skill/straining, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing; urbanpeak.org February 2024 DENVER VOICE 15 DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777;; Helps with employment, IDs, birth certs, mail services and lockers; M-Th - 10am-2pm; citysquare.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F - 7am-1pm; Private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch, etc.; thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE: 1535 High St.; 303-321-4198; Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals; Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, etc.; M, W, Th, F - 8:30am-5pm, T - 8:30am-1:30pm; tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 231 E. Colfax; 303-572-7800; Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harmreduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes; M-F - 9am-12pm; harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Help with lost IDs and birth certificates; holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM: 1555 Race St.; 303-832-3354; For men and women with HIV; M-F 8am-4pm LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER: 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; Day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services; homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, wifi; M-F 7a-5:30p; odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St; 303-297-1576; 6am-6pm daily; Storage for one bag (when space is available); Satellite Clinic hours- M, T, Th. F - 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm; sfcdenver.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am; capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: mealsforpoor.org CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee M-F. 8:30am; denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES: 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm; christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY: Home-cooked meal, weekly; Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd); christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm; citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church); Hot meals served M, T, Th., F - 11:45-12:15; mealsforpoor.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION: 1130 Park Avenue West; 303-294-0157; 3 meals 7 days/week, 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm; denverrescuemission.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F only: 7am-1pm. 8am breakfast, 11am lunch; havenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY: Food service on second and fourth Thursdays; feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html FOOD NOT BOMBS: Sun. 4 p.m.; 22nd St. Stout St (near Mercury Café); Instagram: @denverfoodnotbombs HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE: 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm; krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: 910 Kalamath St.; Community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, Men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the month, 8-10am, Women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am; hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Sandwiches, M-Sat., 10-10:30am; holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH: 29th and Milwaukee St.; Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm; jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; 303-830-2201; Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm); meal served at 6pm; odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY: 126 W. 2nd Ave.; 303-722-8781 Dinner at 4pm on Tues; Also offers a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available; stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S: Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. (Auraria Campus), 11am 7 days/week; food/coffee; stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month); sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN: 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm; Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon.; saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ: 2023 E. Colfax Ave; 720-530-6853;Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen; Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays; soallmayeat.org URBAN OUTREACH DENVER: 608 26th St., Thurs dinners, 6pm-7pm; lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA: 2877 Lawrence St.; breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun.; food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs.; voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetrofoodnutrition-themission T A B S P I C Y S I N A I I H O P A L A C A N O E C R A N E L I N C H P I N S H E L E N M E D A L L A T U N A W E D C O C A C O L A D E N P E P E N E C H A U T E A P H R O D I S I A C S U E O T T S A M O S A P A M T I G M E T T H U M B S U P C O M E T H R I D A E S O P D O L C E A S P E N H O R S E P L A Y W E I R D E L O P E S E E R R E M A P I L L A F L DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13 O N H O L D

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EDITOR’S NOTE IF YOU’RE READING THIS, it means you survived 2023. The way we survive varies from one person to the next, but to make it past any challenge, we all need an abundance of selfconfidence, mental and physical fortitude, and most of all, faith in a higher power. In this issue of the Denver ELISABETH MONAGHAN MANAGING EDITOR VOICE, you’ll read about Patrick Balerio, a Denver VOICE vendor, who died in November 2023. It may seem contradictory to talk about death when I’m hoping to make a point about survival, but the memories of Patrick’s contributions as a vendor and the love he shared with his friends and family will live on, bringing at least some comfort to everyone whose lives he touched. On page 10 of this issue, Denver VOICE vendors Steve Anson and Rea Brown each commemorate the one-year anniversary of Brian Augustine’s death. Rea’s piece is the final installation of Back on the Streets. This was the column Brian started writing when he discovered he could no longer afford his rent. In both Steve and Rea’s tributes, they mention the challenges that they’ve either encountered or witnessed others deal with when it comes to surviving housing instability. Also in this issue, you’ll see that Raelene Johnson, who usually writes “Self-Talk” poems for our In Your Own Words section, has written about her recent cancer diagnosis and the steps she is taking mentally and physically to overcome her self-doubt and survive radiation, chemotherapy and regular checkups that are part of her treatment. No one knows what’s in store for 2024. No doubt, there will be difficult days ahead, but during the darkest moments, it may help to remember the wisdom of Denver VOICE vendors. The way vendors have overcome so many challenges and continue to muster the confidence, inner strength, and faith in a power greater than themselves is the perfect inspiration for surviving the worst. ■ DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS GILES CLASEN is a freelance photojournalist who regularly contributes his work to the VOICE for editorial projects, fundraisers, and events. He has also served on the VOICE’s Board of Directors. ROBERT DAVIS is an award-winning freelance reporter for the Denver VOICE. His work has also appeared in Colorado Newsline, Business Insider, Westword, the Colorado Sun, and Medium.com. WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Lanie Lee Cook Aaron Sullivan ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Giles Clasen Gigi Galen WRITERS Lando Allen Steve Anson Rea Brown Giles Clasen Robert Davis Connie Gaitan Raelene Johnson Jason Martin Jerry Rosen Larmarques Smith Alyssa Will BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nikki Lawson, President Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, Treasurer Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Michael Burkley Cassandria Carmouche Antonio Diaz Julia Watson Cabal Yarne With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. 2 DENVER VOICE January 2024 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S QUESTION WAS SUGGESTED BY DENVER VOICE VENDOR JASON MARTIN. Q A What is your most memorable moment of 2023? LANDO ALLEN The most memorable thing that happened to me was the illness that put me in the hospital. It made me think about everything I was doing. I felt helpless and I needed help to get things done. I couldn’t even sell the VOICE. I’m glad I got better. That illness showed me that I need to work harder, push for my goals, and get better. It showed me that I [need] to do more stuff. CONNIE GAITAN (DENVER VOICE PROGRAM COORDINATOR) The most memorable moment in the year 2023 for me was the day my great nephew Cyore Smith was born. I had been waiting & anticipating all night and day to finally meet and hold my precious boy. When I walked into the hospital room to greet my family, the nurse walked in with Cyore, and I cried. Writing this now, I get emotional thinking of all the worry I had for my baby boy to be healthy and strong - and then, there he was in my arms. He just melted my entire heart, and I knew at that moment he was going to be the most precious little “Sir Squishams” in my life and that I would do anything for him! JASON MARTIN My most memorable moment without a doubt is that on August 3rd, Ivy Jade Vincent was born into the Martin Family. She also looks identical to my daughter Meghan. This gives me more motivation to do the right thing and be a loving, knowledgeable grandfather to this wonderful child. JERRY ROSEN The most memorable moment was selling the Denver VOICE paper. I really enjoy working with the VOICE. LARMARQUES SMITH (“MISHA”) It was a very hot uneventful Saturday afternoon. Jason and I had just left the Aurora Day Resource Center and decided to go on a walk. This was not out of the ordinary for us. We were walking down Colfax Avenue when something caught our eye. I found a pack of cigarettes, but Jason found what would make our day… more than $800 cash on the side of the road. There was no one around, so we got to keep the money, free and clear. Needless to say, we used that money to improve our situation. Also, we each got new phones! ALYSSA WILL My most memorable moments of 2023 was seeing all of the beautiful parts of Denver for the first time, like Washington Park (which was my favorite), the river, the trails, and now, the Christmas lights! HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. January 2024 DENVER VOICE 3
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SAYING GOODBYE TO PATRICK BALERIO BY ELISABETH MONAGHAN IN EARLY NOVEMBER, we learned that Denver VOICE vendor Patrick Balerio passed away. When I first came to the VOICE in July 2019, Patrick stopped by the office regularly to purchase papers. Then, the pandemic hit, and the last time I saw Patrick was in 2021. B time, foot traffic in Downtown Denv had slowed down significantly Although regular customers had grown used to not seeing y. VOICE vendors in the area, I heard comments from several readers about how much they missed seeing Patrick’s smile or hearing his warm greetings. Even though he didn’t return to vending the VOICE PATRICK BALERIO’S DESIGN FOR THE 2016 WRAPPING PAPER ISSUE ver after 2021, Patrick remained a part of the Denver VOICE community. Those who were fortunate to know him remember Patrick as a kind and caring person with a passion for learning. He also was a wonderful ler whose stories our w resonated readers. Patrick always ove to better himself and the world around him. While he is perhaps the only one who could gauge how successful he was at bettering himself, anyone who knew and loved him can say with certainty that Patrick Balerio made the world a much better and brighter place. ■ 4 DENVER VOICE January 2024 COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHT WINTER WISH LIST Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. PHOTO BY KEVIN LIANG ON UNSPLASH COLORADO PILOTS GUARANTEED INCOME PROGRAM FOR NEW MOMS BY ROBERT DAVIS NEW MOTHERS over the age of 18 who are experiencing economic hardship could qualify for a new guaranteed income program aimed at supporting maternal and infant health. The program is called the Healthy Beginnings Project, and it will provide 20 new moms with $750 monthly payments for 15 months. Payments are made biweekly, and the first payments were distributed via debit cards on Nov. 30, 2023. Participants can receive an additional $600 in cash incentives for attending medical appointments as well. A company called Goldbug, which makes infant and children’s accessories, is leading the initiative in partnership with national nonprofits such as Income Movement and Impact Charitable, both of which have partnered with other Colorado-based guaranteed income programs like Elevate Boulder and the Denver Basic Income Project. “The maternal health crisis is sadly nothing new, but meaningful solutions to it are,” Goldbug CEO Katherine Gold said in a press release. “My hope is that this program can help us build toward a future in which new moms and their babies have the peace of mind and proven benefits of financial stability, not just in Colorado, but across the country.” Maternal and infant health has become a growing concern in Colorado, and across the U.S. since the pandemic began. A report from the Government Accountability Office found that pregnant women became more susceptible to medical complications from COVID-19, including severe illness and death because the virus impacted their already weakened cardiovascular and immune systems. In turn, the maternal death rate for Black women grew from 44 per 100,000 live births to 68.9 per 100,000 between 2019 and 2021, an increase of 56.5%, the GAO found. The maternal death rate for white and Latinx women also increased by 53% and 44%, respectively. Federal programs like the expanded Child Tax Credit in 2021 were designed to help these households afford necessary costs like medical care, but few recipients spent their benefits on these items. Instead, data from the Niskanen Center found that CTC recipients spent 58% of their benefits on housing and food. Less than 5% of the benefits were spent on health care costs. These figures were even higher for families on the lowest end of the income spectrum. Recent research from Columbia University suggests that providing cash benefits to expectant mothers in lowincome earning households can improve health outcomes for mothers and infants alike. First, cash benefits can give expectant mothers resources to access health care and stable housing. The benefit can also reduce stressors that contribute to unhealthy births, according to the research. “As a result, the presence (or absence) of more (or less) income in the pregnancy period may enhance (or jeopardize) birth and infant outcomes,” the research states. “And these resources and deficits can impact health, development, and well-being throughout the life course.” ■ @DenverVOICE NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant Chapstick, sunscreen Hand warmers GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! January 2024 DENVER VOICE 5
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COMMUNITY PROFILE LIVED EXPERIENCE FUELS COMPASSIONATE RECOVERY CARE BY GILES CLASEN SALLY GIBBENS REMEMBERS HER MOST FRIGHTENING OVERDOSE. She had been using heroin and other drugs for years and overdosed a handful of times. Unmoved by those experiences, she refused to change the trajectory of her life. But that changed in 2015. Gibbens had just picked up her friend Natalie and parked in a bowling alley parking lot in downtown Duluth, Minnesota. Gibbens felt sick. It had been nearly a day and a half since she last scored her drug of choice. Now she was in the earliest phases of heroin withdrawal. Natalie shot up first. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head, and she slumped moments after pushing the drug into her vein. Then, her breathing slowed. Gibbens recognized immediately that Natalie had overdosed, and her friend’s only chance of surviving was to get to a hospital as quickly as possible. But she delayed making the trip to the hospital. She needed to get high first. According to Gibbens, she thought to herself, “I’m too sick to drive. I’m going to do less than what Natalie did.” Gibbens needed the hit. Then, she would be able to drive Natalie to the ER . “At the time, it was more important to me to get that fix than to take my friend to the emergency room,” Gibbens said. Gibbens found a vein and coerced the needle in. She pushed the plunger. Once Gibbens felt the comfort of her high, she drove off, blood dripping down her arm. She turned right from the parking lot down a steep hill. Everything went dark within seconds. Gibbens woke up in an ambulance screaming a wretched, desperate wail. She could see her car smashed into the Duluth library and paramedics trying to revive Natalie. “I just knew there were going to be a lot of repercussions for my actions,” Gibbens said. DISCOVERING URBAN PEAKS Today, Gibbens works as the office administrator for Urban Peaks Rehab. The small medical office, near Colfax and Park Avenues, specializes in offering medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, for opioid use disorder. What sets Urban Peaks Rehab apart from other addiction treatment programs is that most of the small staff have faced opiate or opioid addiction. They understand what it is like to crave the drugs. They also know what it means to go through withdrawal and what life after drug use can look like. Urban Peaks Rehab’s founder and medical director, Dr. Chad Johnston, shifted his practice to addiction treatment after his own fight with opioids and opiates. He started using tramadol while working in the intensive care unit, just before his medical residency. “I was working in the ICU, and we had this guy collect the meds and usually dispose of them,” Johnston said. “There was often some stuff left in there, and I started stealing the leftover pills.” Johnston didn’t realize it at the time, but he was depressed. Throughout life, his father pushed him to succeed. The ERIKA GONZALES DOESN’T BELIEVE SHE WOULD BE SOBER WITHOUT THE PERSONAL CONNECTION SHE BUILT WITH URBAN PEAKS REHAB STAFF. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN 6 DENVER VOICE January 2024 COMMUNITY PROFILE pressure made everything in Johnston’s life black and white, win or lose. Everything was a competition. Johnston had made most of his decisions to win his father’s affection. In 1999, determined to please his father, Johnston upended his life to start medical school. He was 30 years old and one of the oldest in his class. It took him years to acknowledge that his behavior was a problem. “It was about two years or three years ago that I realized,” Johnston said. “The depression was out of control because nothing I did was enough. That pressure builds until you find a release. For me, sadly, my release was tramadol first, and later, morphine.” When Johnston first took the tramadol, he thought it was a risk-free high. It was marketed as a synthetic opioid that worked differently on the brain than traditional prescription pain medications. This led researchers and the Food and Drug Administration to deem it a safe alternative to stronger painkillers like Percocet or Oxycontin. With time, it became clear that tramadol came with its own baggage, and it proved to be addictive and destructive, too. In 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration labeled tramadol a Schedule IV controlled substance. “I can’t believe I didn’t know more about opiates,” Johnston said. “We had no training in medical school at all. I thought [tramadol] was safe, or at least safer.” Johnston abused tramadol throughout his residency in 2003. He would prescribe too many pills for patients and pocket the extra. In a pinch, he ordered them online. When Johnston began his fellowship in hospice care, he moved from tramadol to liquid morphine. It was easy to steal the bottles from patients’ rooms, often after they died. “I really enjoyed helping people at the end of their life, but it got me all sideways, all those drugs around,” Johnston said. “I was so selfish then. That’s what the drugs do. They make you so fucking selfish. It’s a selfishness that you can’t even describe.” In 2010, Johnston decided he needed to get sober. “That’s when my wife at the time came to me and said, ‘You know, we’re in a small town. Here’s the newspaper. Look at the front page. You’re going to be right there, and it’s going to say you’re a drug addict,’” Johnston said. Johnston checked himself into a Florida rehab facility the following week. He doesn’t remember the exact cost of the facility but thought he spent in the neighborhood of $50,000$80,000. Johnston said he knows he was lucky to be able to pay such high costs when so many others can’t. “[My wife] knew I was that vain and that shallow,” Johnston said. “She knew what card to play to motivate me, and I applaud her for it. It was such a wonderful move because it saved my life, even if she did leave me later. Rightly so, probably.” CREATING A PATIENT-FIRST MODEL In rehab, Johnston began taking Suboxone to prevent drug cravings and avoid withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone was one of the first new MATs for opiate and opioid addiction. It is a daily treatment that can be prescribed by a doctor and taken at home. It differs from methadone, another MAT, because of its ease of use. One must generally go to a methadone treatment center daily to receive their dose. This inconvenience with methadone treatment can lead to failure and relapse, while Suboxone can be taken safely outside of medical supervision. For Johnston, Suboxone was a game changer. It helped him become and stay sober. But addiction had torn his life apart. He didn’t work for a year, and then, he tried returning to hospice care. It didn’t work for him. Then, the clinic treating his addiction offered him a job. He changed the focus of his life to serving individuals who battled addiction like him. DR. CHAD JOHNSTON WANTS EVERYONE TO KNOW THAT THE TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE TO ALMOST ANYONE SEEKING RECOVERY. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN January 2024 DENVER VOICE 7 URBAN PEAKS PATIENTS POST PERSONAL NOTES OF THINGS THEY ARE GRATEFUL FOR. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN Lured by Colorado’s beauty, Johnston moved to Denver. He founded Urban Peaks Rehab in 2018, with a vision to create a new patient-first model for addiction treatment. Johnston appreciated what rehab had done for him, but after working in an addiction treatment clinic, he also saw how rehab was big business. According to Johnston, higher revenues in the industry were too heavily motivated by dollars rather than care. Johnston realized that for many individuals, it was difficult to receive life-saving MAT treatment because of the costs and stigma. He heard stories about doctors putting up burdens to receive treatment. Many told Johnston that when they sought help, several medical professionals shamed them. Johnston even heard stories about patients being refused treatment because some doctors believed that if an individual got themselves into drug addiction, they had to pull themselves up by their bootstraps to get out of addiction. “It makes no sense to me that providers would shame anyone who ever came into their office, but it happens all the time,” Johnston said. “We have these amazing treatments that make recovery easier and less painful than in the past and individuals struggle to find someone to prescribe [MATs] because of [the common conceptions] of who and addict is and what they deserve — which is nothing.” Continued on page 8
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COMMUNITY PROFILE SALLY GIBBENS SHOWS HER TATTOO OF SINGER AMY WINEHOUSE, WHO STRUGGLED WITH ADDICTION TO DRUGS AND ALCOHOL. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN WITH SUBLOCADE, MANY CAN END TREATMENT AFTER SIX MONTHS WITHOUT EXPERIENCING FURTHER CRAVINGS. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN Continued from page 7 Johnston started a six-month treatment of Sublocade in 2023. Sublocade is a next-generation MAT treatment. Approved by the FDA in 2017, Sublocade is a monthly shot in the abdomen that slowly releases buprenorphine, the same active ingredient in Suboxone. Johnston noted that the biggest difference between Sublocade and Suboxone is that Suboxone is a daily treatment taken in perpetuity. But with Sublocade, many can end treatment after six months without experiencing further cravings. Medicaid and many insurance plans cover both treatments in Colorado, and the manufacturer has copay assistance programs. Outpatient MAT is an affordable treatment option compared to lengthy in-treatment programs. Johnston knows that most can’t afford the type of rehab he utilized because of the cost. He wants everyone to know that the treatment is available to almost anyone seeking recovery. Johnston also believes MAT isn’t enough to help someone truly overcome their addiction. He has brought a counselor onto his team to help offer more extensive support and services to his patients. He and Gibbens want Urban Peaks Rehab to provide patients with a greater chance at overcoming addiction. The clinic has helped more than 20 people complete the Sublocade regime. Today, those individuals are living successfully in recovery, unassisted by medication. Many more patients are actively in treatment and not using drugs. “I see the system fail clients almost every day,” Gibbens said. “We have individuals who come in without a thing and don’t know how to navigate Medicaid or anything else. They just know they need help and want to be sober. So, I guess I am proud that I can now help anyone apply for Medicaid and begin treatment. [Applying for Medicaid] wasn’t a skill I ever thought I would need or develop. But if I can take down a barrier [to treatment], then I am excited I have the know-how.” TAKING THE NEXT STEP Gibbens ultimately made it to recovery through MAT treatment at Urban Peaks Rehab. She started working at the clinic as a medical tech. Today, she manages all aspects of the “WE HAVE INDIVIDUALS WHO COME IN WITHOUT A THING AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO NAVIGATE… THEY JUST KNOW THEY NEED HELP AND WANT TO BE SOBER.” CREDIT: GILES CLASEN office, whether marketing, providing emotional support for the patients, or billing insurance and Medicaid. Taking the next step in her recovery, Gibbens recently started therapy. She is processing a lot, like the abuse she suffered as a child, experiencing homelessness off and on, and the ghosts of her years as an addict, including that day in the parking lot with her friend Natalie. That is one of the ghosts she cannot leave behind. Natalie didn’t die that day in Duluth. Paramedics revived her with naloxone, a drug to treat overdoses. But Natalie didn’t seek treatment, and her luck ran out about a year later when she passed away from an overdose. It would be impossible to describe Gibbens as selfish today. She doesn’t spend much time thinking about herself. Her focus is on giving second, third, and fourth chances to people who need help. She spends each day encouraging each patient as they go through treatment. Gibbens also helps clients find housing, or sober living if they need it. The staff at Urban Peaks Rehab recognizes that many patients need more than medical treatment to become sober and move forward. ■ To seek help for addiction or learn more about Urban Peaks Rehab, visit urbanpeaksrehab.com. 8 DENVER VOICE January 2024 COMMUNITY PROFILE ERICA’S STORY ERICA GONZALES finished her Sublocade treatment last March. Today, she works for Urban Peaks Rehab as a medical technician. Gonzales said she began abusing drugs and alcohol because she wanted to feel numb. According to Gonzales, her family was unsupportive when she told them she was a lesbian at age 12. Gonzales’s dad died from suicide not long after. “Dad was always around, he was just an alcoholic. He was a drug addict. And so, I’ve always seen that drug addiction side of life,” Gonzales said. She blames herself for his death. Her parents had split up, and her father asked her if she believed there was a chance that her mom would take him back. Gonzales said no and watched him deflate. The next day, he took his life. Gonzales understands that a 12-year-old isn’t responsible for taking care of their parents, but she can’t shake the thought that she hurt him. “You can’t take that back. Words are powerful. So. I have to live with that,” she said. Gonzales began drinking heavily around that time. She began using Percocet when she was in her early teens, stealing it from her mom’s purse and medicine cabinets. By age 14, Gonzales was taking Percocet daily. “Percs were the comfort I’d been looking for,” Gonzales said. “I no longer felt guilty [about being a lesbian and my father’s death] when I was high. I felt no shame, guilt, nothing. That’s just something I continued to chase until it became a living hell.” Gonzales switched to oxycodone when it was too difficult to find Percocet. Then she smoked heroin when the pills became too expensive. At age 15, she injected heroin for the first time. “I knew I shouldn’t have done that,” Gonzales said. “I could tell that black cloud was going to follow me, and that shadow followed me everywhere. After the [first] hit, I remember waking up wanting to do more. I just thought, ‘Is this what it’s like? Is this what heroin addicts feel? Am I one now?’” After being expelled from high school for dealing drugs, and being hit with multiple arrests for shoplifting, Gonzales entered rehab. After three weeks, Gonzales had her dealer pick her up. She tried MAT at another clinic but felt the doctors didn’t care about her. They rushed her out of the office with a prescription but no support. “It was a bad experience because you’d sit there for an hour and see the doctor for like five minutes,” Gonzales said. You could tell they didn’t give a shit. They just saw you as an addict and nothing more.” Gonzales eventually stumbled into Urban Peaks Rehab and began Suboxone treatment. But she didn’t stop using. Instead, Gonzales timed her heroin use around the Suboxone. It was Sally Gibbens, along with former Urban Peaks Rehab staff member Brittany Kitchens, who helped Gonzales commit to her treatment and stop using. And when the office needed a new medical technician, Gonzales applied. “I don’t think Doc [Johnston] was sure about hiring me,” Gonzales said. “I think he was the most skeptical because he knew me. I was just a shitshow when I started here. But once I was given the opportunity, it gave me something I didn’t have… something I needed.” Gonzales said she knows the most important part of her job is being available to help others as they go through treatment. She doesn’t believe she would be sober without the personal connection she built with Urban Peaks Rehab staff. “As much as Sally and Brittany were there for me, that’s what I’m trying to be to [current patients],” Gonzales said. “A lot of the people just feel abandoned. Like they don’t matter in this world. That’s how addicts feel. You can get to where you feel like, ‘What’s the point? It’s easier to die than get better.’ People are tired of trying. I just try to be here for addicts when they feel that way. I get on their level with them and I tell them I was an addict too. It gets better.” While Gonzales is still building her life, she said she is content that she has a home and a job. She has security that she had never experienced before and worked hard to get this far. ■ DONATE YOUR CAR! Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to support our program coordination by helping with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe Dr.) from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at: program@denvervoice.org AN URBAN PEAKS STAFF MEMBER PROVIDES COMFORT TO A PATIENT. THE URBAN PEAKS TEAM VIEWS SUPPORTING AND INTERACTING WITH PATIENTS AS THEIR PRIMARY JOB. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN January 2024 DENVER VOICE 9
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS OUR BACK ON THE STREETS COLUMN was the brainchild of longtime Denver VOICE vendor Brian Augustine, who passed away on January 5, 2023. When he died, Brian was writing a monthly column about what it was like to return to living on the streets, after realizing he could no longer afford his rent. In honor of Brian’s legacy, various vendors decided that through the remainder of 2023, they would continue sharing stories of life on the streets that they either experienced or observed. Rea Brown wrote this final installment of Back on the Streets to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Brian’s passing. Additionally, Denver VOICE vendor Steve Anson wrote about the influence Brian’s life and death have had on him. BACK ON THE STREETS The final column BY REA BROWN, VOICE VENDOR INFLUENCE A tribute to Brian, one year after his passing BY STEVE ANSON, VOICE VENDOR REA BROWN. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN IF THERE IS ONE THING some people haven’t noticed – primarily because of the nightlife on the 16th Street Mall has been greatly aborted due to construction – is the number of homeless sleepers that used to mark the entrance of many of the closed stores with partially sheltered doors. Of such was Denver VOICE vendor Brian Augustine, when he had to choose a safe place to rest for the night. With the Mall having security 24 hours, seven days a week, it’s no wonder some of the peaceful homeless population gravitated to it. Of all the years I’ve worked vending the VOICE on the Mall, I can’t remember a time, when a regular Mall sleeper trashed a storefront. However, I do remember a situation with my buddy Bob*, who slept in the same spot, on the same street, at the same time for years. One night, as I sat about half a block away from the spot, where Bob rested, I watched intently as a group of young men (who were clearly not homeless) approached Bob. Looking around as if they didn’t want to be noticed – apparently, in their mischievous desire to harass an old Native, whom they possibly deemed as a freeloader of society – the young men seemed to consider whether they should actually approach Bob as he slept. Then, as they stepped closer and closer, it was clear that something bad might be about to happen. 10 DENVER VOICE January 2024 Of course, you may be wondering why I just didn’t run over and do/say something, and the truth is that this was not a movie, this was happening in real-time, which means a matter of seconds. They got as close to Bob as they could get before they had to make their final decision. And, by the grace of God, they looked at each other, and if I remember correctly, they laughed and then kept walking. That was a close call, but every story doesn’t have a happy ending, just like every story is not always the contributors vs. the freeloaders. I recall a story I heard from a woman, where two homeless guys thought a poor guy got a lot of money from somewhere, so they tried to rob him and accidentally killed him. Or another time, was when one of my Chess-playing friends got housing, but he had to live by a certain set of rules which included no drinking. It is believed that this friend died from drinking Listerine. I guess the lesson of this final Back on the Streets segment is that every year, almost 200 people die from homelessness. So, most of the homeless people have to come to accept there are at least two things that are certain “Death and Change.” R.I.P Brian Augustine. ■ *JSUK: A few months later Bob got his housing and has been off the streets for years. Even at that early hour, Brian would smile, never forcing his face; whereas my case manager was at best, glib, with a smile that I can only describe as “a gymnast who just failed her routine.” (In college, she was a gymnast, so she was wellpracticed at that forced grin.) We all influence each other. Indeed, we directly and indirectly affect how our society acts and is perceived by the world at large. For example, the media is sometimes referred to as “the fourth estate in American Democracy,” because of how it informs and educates the public. It is a part of the system of checks and balances, a delicate, fragile system essential to keeping our leaders from attempting to plunge us into authoritarianism. I am but a tiny part of this beautiful experiment in governance. As a contributor to the VOICE, Brian was part of that media, too. This morning as I was vending the VOICE, I allowed my memory to drift back to December 1979, when I was fortunate enough to attend a Bob Marley and the Wailers concert at the University of Denver. That memory came back to me as lyrics from Marley’s song, “Slave Driver,” played in my head. “Today, they say that we are free / only to be chained in poverty…” And suddenly, I was here. Now. A generous passer-by let me know she did not want a paper, but she handed me two dollars and said, “This is for you. Your great attitude every morning really helps me.” I breathed a sigh of relief, for that two dollars was enough to cover the monthly payment to maintain my website. I was in quite the financial pinch when I chose to begin vending again. In November 2022, I became very familiar with the consequences of a bleeding ulcer. At first, I mistook the blood I vomited for coffee. (I love a good cuppa, especially the Sumatra blend I now drink.) I finished vomiting and hobbled back to bed. Early the following morning, I had to vomit again. This time, I grabbed my phone before not quite making it to the toilet. When paramedics showed up at my door, I was disconnected from reality, and when I returned, I was in a bed in Denver Health’s ICU. When I returned to the here and now, I was informed that I had lost seven liters of blood and had nearly died. During the next five days, I had ample opportunity to meditate, which is something that is not easy to do in a hospital bed. The form of meditation I practice approximates REM sleep, so one gets a chance to dream while fully conscious. As I meditated, one of my dominant thoughts was of my STEVE ANSON. CREDIT: JAMES KAY ABOUT 10 DAYS AGO, I got tossed about in time. Perhaps this event is a consequence of aging. A generous donor had just handed me a five-dollar bill, told me he was a former Denver VOICE vendor, got his paper, then . . . gone. Fast forward to this morning, when I got a friendly shove back into “the ever-present now.” A man jogged past me at my usual post. He greeted me with, “Good morning, Steve Anson,” and from that greeting, I knew he was a careful reader of the VOICE. Nine or so years ago, I was on my way to an appointment with my neurologist. Though it was close to the end of the month, I had an extra five bucks. At the same corner where I now vend, I approached Brian Augustine who, until he passed away a year ago, occupied that spot. I handed Brian the five dollars, and he handed me a copy of the VOICE. I explained I was in a rush. He said, “Thank you,” and I hobbled onward with my walker. On my bus ride to the doc, I puzzled over Brian and his style of vending. I kept thinking – because of my dealing with my then case manager where I live – of Brian’s sincerity when greeting folks at 7 a.m. apartment and my expectation that my rent would probably be increased when I got back to it. No such notification ever reached me (though the rent had been increased); nor was I made aware of this increase for several months afterward. By the time all this was resolved, I was $160 in arrears to an organization that has consistently treated me with so much disrespect that when I would approach the front door of the building, I would say to myself, sometimes aloud, “Welcome back to Hell.” A couple of months after my release from the hospital, I saw in my Google Chrome feed on my phone, that Brian Augustine had died. Around that same time, Christine McVie died, as well. (She was, in my snobbish view, far too overlooked in Fleetwood Mac.) After that discovery, I was saddened every time I passed the corner, where Brian had vended, and McVie’s “Songbird” would occasionally play in my mind. So, Brian, these may be McVie’s words, but as I think of them, they are for you. “And I love you, I love you, I love you / Like never before, like never before / Like never before. ■ Slave Driver lyrics © Fifty Six Hope Road Music Ltd., Blackwell Fuller Music Publishing LLC. Songbird lyrics © Universal Music - Careers, Kuzu Music. IN YOUR OWN WORDS THE BIG C BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR FIRST, I WANT TO THANK everyone who has been there for me – especially those customers who have become friends over the years. In October, I was told I had cancer, and for the next five days, things went fast. I am grateful the cancer was found so early, but with all of this, I felt numb. I felt shut down. On Halloween afternoon, I had surgery, and so far, everything has continued to go quickly. Radiation is not so bad. I will be done with it in three days. Chemo starts in January. I thank my higher power for [inspiring] all of the self-talk poems I have written. When you have to go through hard times, if you allow negativity in, you will call bad things to you. The universe will give you what you want. I choose to stay positive. Always! My self-talk poems have given me the strength and positivity I need to get through my cancer treatment. I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster of emotion – from not believing I have cancer to wondering what’s next, scans happening quickly to find it, surgery to test it, radiation and chemo to stop it. I think chemo will be the hardest to go through. I know I have a good team to take care of me. My primary doctor had cancer, so when she learned that I had it, she made sure I had access to her team of doctors to treat me. When I found that out, I felt blessed. I know I am in great hands! Most days, I’m okay, but there are bad days. On the days I feel sad, I catch myself and say, “It’s okay. You will be okay. It was found so very early. Stay positive. It is just a bump on the road of life. Just one more fight to win.” So now, my memories are of life before cancer and soon, life after cancer. Once I get through chemo, I will go for a check-up every six months to keep an eye on my body and make sure the cancer doesn’t come back. I just ask for your prayers. The best thing to come out of this is that I didn’t pass the cancer gene on to my children. I have told them, “If you get cancer, you can’t blame it on me.” I think of how bad it would be to pass that on. ■ RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: CORTNEY TABERNA “ICE SCULPTURE” BY GIGI GALEN January 2024 DENVER VOICE 11
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INTERNATIONAL STORY from longer-term shifts that force them to go further for daily chores such as collecting water. At the COP28 summit, the host nation, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), backed by more than 60 countries, on 4 December launched an initiative aimed at achieving “gender-responsive just transitions” and giving women more economic power so that they do not lose out as societies shift to a lower-carbon model. The UAE said that the new COP28 partnership will produce better-quality data to support decision-making, target finance flows to the regions most impacted by climate change, and strengthen education and skills, with a focus on women who are already suffering disproportionately as the planet warms. Fijian gender minister Lynda Tabuya told an event on the sidelines of COP28 that in her Pacific island nation, more powerful cyclones, intense heatwaves, and rising seas are affecting women by fuelling poverty, migration, health risks, and their care burden. “These issues deeply affect the safety and the wellbeing of our children, and women and girls,” she said. Climate finance needs to be accessible and beneficial for women, she added, calling for more data on the challenges they face and recognition of their unpaid care work, as well as climate finance that supports green skills training and women-led businesses. PHOTO BY GYAN SHAHANE ON UNSPLASH SHOW US THE CLIMATE MONEY, WOMEN LEADERS AND ACTIVISTS TELL COP28 BY MEGAN ROWLING WHEN STEPHANIE AKRUMAH founded the Centre for Green Growth, a Ghanaian organization that trains women in the country on how to adapt to climate change, she used her own money, convinced that she was doing the right thing. Then she received a small amount of funding from the international aid agency CARE to carry out training in communities. Now the young activist is on the hunt for new sources of finance to expand the education that she says is crucial for Ghanaian women to respond to impacts like flash floods on their farms. But in several months of trying, it has proved “extremely difficult” to find, due to onerous processes and requirements for accessing international funding. That is effectively freezing out local women’s groups working on climate change, she and others have said. On Monday 4 December, as the COP28 UN climate conference in Dubai focused on finance and gender equity, new figures from CARE showed that women’s rights organizations received less than 0.2% of Britain’s climate finance in 2022 – and less than 1% of that aid specifically targeted gender equality. “There has to be another way,” said Akrumah, calling for easier, simpler access for women-led groups to obtain money from wealthy governments and global funds. CARE pointed to unequal gender representation at the climate negotiations as another barrier for women seeking to gain more access to climate finance. Women make up only 38% of registered COP28 delegates, according to UK-based climate website Carbon Brief. That is an increase of just 1% compared to COP27 – although the share has risen steadily over the years. JUSTICE AND EFFICIENCY Nicholas Stern, a leading British economist who co-chairs an independent high-level expert group on climate finance, told Context that ensuring women get the funding they need to respond to climate change and develop their societies at the same time is a question both of justice and efficiency. When it comes to efforts to boost agriculture, health, or education, “if you have more women involved, it all works better,” he noted, adding that the evidence of that has become stronger over the past two decades. One effective way to get money to women is through direct cash transfers, he said, citing India’s digital identification program as a channel to target women with payments that can help to build their resilience to threats including climate change. “The most difficult thing and the most unjust thing for women would be not to do much,” he said, noting that women suffer most both when weather disasters hit and also NO GENDER-SPECIFIC TARGETS A lack of comprehensive data on how climate change is affecting women specifically, and on the funding available to them, has hampered efforts aimed at helping them to adapt by planting resilient crops or using solar energy instead of dirty diesel generators. A new paper from the UK-based thinktank Overseas Institute noted that there are no genderDevelopment equality-specific targets for climate finance, but governments at UN climate talks had committed to increasing “gender-responsiveness”. The researchers found that in 2021, out of a total of $28 billion in adaptation funding from developed countries, $12.2 billion had gender equality as an objective, according to donors. But 40% was not screened for gender equality when reported, leaving “great uncertainty” over how much adaptation finance has that goal, ODI said. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said that to help women, it is first important to get more climate finance flowing for vulnerable island states and developing countries at the global level by addressing the barriers preventing them from accessing money from development banks and the private sector. “The reality is that most of the things we are trying to do are taking too long to benefit the people it’s intended to benefit,” she told journalists. For example, women are staying behind to look after families and homes as climate change pushes men to seek work elsewhere, she said, arguing that the best way to help them is to ease debt burdens in their countries, freeing up national funds that could then help people “on the frontline”, she said. Getting women on board with the transformations needed for less-polluting lifestyles also is essential, she added. “If we’re going to change how we live and how we move and how we farm, we’re going to have to do it at the level of families – which means that women’s acceptance of the necessity for change is pivotal in order to be able to get that success,” she said. ■ Courtesy of Context / INSP.ngo. Context is powered by the Thomson Reuters Foundation Newsroom. 12 DENVER VOICE January 2024 EVENTS POETRY SLAM This weekly poetry slam has been around since 1997! Come listen to the battle or sign-up to compete for the $50 weekly prize. WHEN: Sundays, sign-ups at 7:30 p.m., event at 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St. INFO: mercurycafe.com FREE WEEKLY BREATHWORK CLASS You are invited every Wednesday to experience the benefits of breathwork. Learn how to breathe fully with this simple and effective method. Start your journey towards greater health, peace, and vitality today. WHEN: Wednesdays, 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. COST: Free but you must register online. WHERE: Online INFO: souldimension.org PALLET CITY COMEDY: OPEN MIC We all need a laugh after the holidays. Come check out this weekly open mic to either listen to some jokes or try your hand at stand-up. WHEN: Thursdays, sign-ups at 7 p.m., event at 7:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Monkey Barrel, 4401 Tejon St. INFO: facebook.com/Palletcitycomedy COOKING ON-DEMAND Whether you’re looking to make empanadas, pierogies, fondue, quiche, or tapas, this online library of cooking classes will make your tummy growl. In-person classes available as well. WHEN: Anytime COST: $35 WHERE: Online INFO: theseasonedchef.com/cooking-on-demand ULLRGRASS MUSIC & BEER FESTIVAL Come celebrate 10 eyars of UllGrass! Festival-goers dress in Viking regalia and celebrate community, live music, performing arts, and craft beer. WHEN: Jan 26 – Jan 28, times vary COST: $10 and up WHERE: Parfet Park, 725 10th St. INFO: ullrgrass.com COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 ACROSS DOWN Across 1. Attempt 5. French clerics 10. Fuzz 14. ___ Bell 15. Kind of fund 16. Grander than grand 17. Beehive, e.g. 18. Brawl 19. Emulated Pinocchio 20. Opinionated passenger 23. Dermatologist’s concern 24. “Ugh, keep that to yourself!” 25. Book after Job 28. Clicked on the paper clip icon, say 33. Beige 34. Inside info 35. Mariner’s dir. 36. Accountant’s bread and butter 40. Blood-typing letters 41. Committee head 42. Lago contents 43. Archaic term for the left side of a boat (which rhymes with the current term for the right side) 45. “I want my baby back” chain 47. Austrian peak 48. God with a hammer 49. Bad quality in a confidant 56. Brainchild 57. Shade of green 58. Red sign in a movie theater 59. Enormous birds of myth 60. Really liked something, in slang 61. Prefix with phone and vision 62. The “E” of BPOE 63. Kind of question with two options 64. Glasgow native 1. Ticket memento 2. Spanish appetizer 3. Flexible, electrically 4. Oprah has one 5. Size up 6. Goat sound 7. Something a goat might do with its head (not its rear) 8. Cornerstone abbr. 9. 2000 pounds, precisely 10. ___ floor exercises 11. Mayberry kid 12. Take a long walk off a short ___ 13. Anxious condition, for short 21. Prefix with phony and pathetic 22. Apple ad phrase 25. Prison-related 26. Diver’s gear 27. Knight’s protection 28. Bitter 29. ___ de force 30. Katherine of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “27 Dresses” 31. Boredom 32. “Ballet Rehearsal” artist Edgar 34. Leave a lasting mark on 37. Dangerous bacteria 38. “Bohemian ___” 39. Lunch ladies’ headgear 44. Totally awesome 45. Snack that might turn your fingers orange 46. All the rage 48. “Can We Talk” singer Campbell 49. Favorite 50. Make out 51. Sleuth’s find 52. Fixes, in a way 53. Corporate VIP 54. Fodder holder 55. Leave in, to an editor 56. Anger January 2024 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $10,000+ Anonymous Individual Donor Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Matt and Nikki Seashore Cisco Francis Trainer and Trainer Family $5,000 - $9,999 Anschutz Family Foundation Laurie Duncan and Duncan-Mcwethy Foundation Colorado Housing and Finance Authority J. Albrecht Designs Master Goldsmiths Frederic K Conover Trust The Christian Foundation Bank of America Charitable Foundation Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation Envestnet $1,000-$4,999 Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Katherine Standiford Jill Haug Joshua Kauer Walker Family Foundation Alexander Seavall Whole Foods Foundation Michael Dino Alex Salva Signs By Tomorrow Rose Community Foundation Russell Peterson Donald Weaver Chris and Susan Pappas Julia and David Watson Gaspar Terrana SEI Giving Fund Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Megan Arellano Warren and Betty Kuehner Keyrenter Property Management Denver Mathew Rezek The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Elsbeth Williams Christopher Boulanger KO Law Firm Graham Davis Peter Iannuzzi $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson Ruth Henderson James and Cyndi Lesslie Fire on the Mountain Craig Solomon Sheryl Parker Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity KL&A Engineers and Builders 14 DENVER VOICE January 2024 ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, VETERAN SUPPORT COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ACS COMMUNITY LIFT: 5045 W. 1st Ave., Denver; rentassistance.org DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER: 777 Bannock St.; denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL: Features information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community; detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA: Addiction hotline 888-479-0446; Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/ treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 112 E. 8th Ave.; 303-572-7800; HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on proper disposal of dirty syringes; M-F 9am-12pm: harmreductionactioncenter.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER: 3800 York St.; Emergency walk-ins 303-296-1767; Dental 303-296-4873; M-F 8am-2pm LIVE ANOTHER DAY: 877-596-6866; Equal access to life-saving mental health and substance abuse resources; 24/7 helpline: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION: 1325 S. Colorado Blvd.; Suite B302; Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered; 800-522-4372, 800-359-9272; info@hepc-connection.org; viventhealth.org NATIONAL AIDS HOTLINE: 800-342-AIDS/800-344-7432 NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: Text or call 988; 988lifeline.org NATIONAL RUNAWAY SAFELINE: 800-RUNAWAY/800-786-2929; 1800runaway.org RAPE ABUSE AND INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK: 800-656-HOPE; rainn.org SALUD CLINIC: 6255 Quebec Pkwy, Commerce City; 303-697-2583, 970-484-0999; saludclinic.org/commerce-city STOUT STREET CLINIC: 2130 Stout St.; 303-293-2220; Clinic Hours: 7am-4pm M/T/Th/F; 9am-6pm Wed; coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUBSTANCE ABUSE REHAB GUIDE: Helpline 888-493-4670; detoxrehabs.net/states/colorado/ U.S. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: 800-799-7233 (English and Spanish); 800-243-7889 (TDD); thehotline.org CAREER SERVICES BAYAUD ENTERPRISES CW-STEP: (Colorado Works - Subsidized training and employment program); 333 W. Bayaud Ave.; 303-830-6885; Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm; Provides re-entry to the workforce for individuals with TANF eligibility; info@bayaudenterprises.org COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER: Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway; 720-865-1706; M & T - 10am-8pm; Wed., Th &F - 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, WIFI, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments; denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER: Denver Dept of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd.; M-F 7:30am-4:30pm; Employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé prep, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc.; careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center WORKNOW: 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org LGBTQ+ SUPPORT THE TREVOR PROJECT: 866-488-7386: thetrevorproject.org LGBT NATIONAL YOUTH TALKLINE: 800-246-7743: lgbthotline.org/youth-talkline PRIDE INSTITUTE: 800-547-7433 TRUE COLORS UNITE: 212-461-4401 truecolorsunited.org VETERANS & SENIORS DENVER INNER CITY PARISH: 1212 Mariposa St.; 303-322-5733; VOA Dining Center for Seniors, aged 60 and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm; Food Bank, Wed.-Fri.; Tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm; dicp.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES: 846 E. 18th Ave.; For those aged 60 or older; TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, 3 meals, M-F -7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm; seniorsupportservices.org VA MEDICAL CENTER: 1700 N Wheeling St.: Aurora 303-399-8020: va.gov/findlocations/facility/vha_554A5 VETERANS GUIDE: Veterans Disability Calculator veteransguide.org/va-disability-calculator YOUTH SERVICES SOX PLACE: 2017 Larimer St.; 303-296-3412 Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30; Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. T-F - 12-4pm & Sat. 11am-2pm. Instagram: @Soxplace THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK: 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442; Youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, 303-974-2928; Drop-in hours M-F 8-11am urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: 833-931-2484; Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions; sunshinebehavioralhealth.com TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 3080 Broadway, Boulder; 303-447-1207, 303-447-1207; For ages 12-24; Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services; M-Sun, 12:30-5pm; tgthr.org URBAN PEAK: 730 21st St., Denver; 303-974-2900; Ages14-24; Serving Denver & Colo Springs; Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skill/straining, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing; urbanpeak.org January 2024 DENVER VOICE 15 DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777;; Helps with employment, IDs, birth certs, mail services and lockers; M-Th - 10am-2pm; citysquare.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F - 7am-1pm; Private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch, etc.; thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE: 1535 High St.; 303-321-4198; Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals; Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, etc.; M, W, Th, F - 8:30am-5pm, T - 8:30am-1:30pm; tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 231 E. Colfax; 303-572-7800; Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harmreduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes; M-F - 9am-12pm; harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Help with lost IDs and birth certificates; holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM: 1555 Race St.; 303-832-3354; For men and women with HIV; M-F 8am-4pm LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER: 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; Day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services; homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, wifi; M-F 7a-5:30p; odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St; 303-297-1576; 6am-6pm daily; Storage for one bag (when space is available); Satellite Clinic hours- M, T, Th. F - 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm; sfcdenver.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am; capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: mealsforpoor.org CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee M-F. 8:30am; denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES: 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm; christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY: Home-cooked meal, weekly; Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd); christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm; citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church); Hot meals served M, T, Th., F - 11:45-12:15; mealsforpoor.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION: 1130 Park Avenue West; 303-294-0157; 3 meals 7 days/week, 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm; denverrescuemission.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F only: 7am-1pm. 8am breakfast, 11am lunch; havenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY: Food service on second and fourth Thursdays; feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html FOOD NOT BOMBS: Sun. 4 p.m.; 22nd St. Stout St (near Mercury Café); Instagram: @denverfoodnotbombs HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE: 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm; krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: 910 Kalamath St.; Community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, Men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the month, 8-10am, Women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am; hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Sandwiches, M-Sat., 10-10:30am; holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH: 29th and Milwaukee St.; Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm; jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; 303-830-2201; Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm); meal served at 6pm; odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY: 126 W. 2nd Ave.; 303-722-8781 Dinner at 4pm on Tues; Also offers a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available; stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S: Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. (Auraria Campus), 11am 7 days/week; food/coffee; stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month); sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN: 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm; Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon.; saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ: 2023 E. Colfax Ave; 720-530-6853;Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen; Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays; soallmayeat.org URBAN OUTREACH DENVER: 608 26th St., Thurs dinners, 6pm-7pm; lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA: 2877 Lawrence St.; breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun.; food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs.; voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetrofoodnutrition-themission DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13

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DIRECTOR’S NOTE AS WE COME TO THE CLOSE OF AN EVENTFUL YEAR, I want to reflect on the incredible journey we’ve shared. 2023 has been nothing short of inspiring, but it has also come with challenges. This past year has been pivotal— JAMES KAY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR not just for Denver VOICE, but for the unhoused individuals we are dedicated to serving. We’ve witnessed remarkable transformations within our community, with our vendors finding their voices, seizing economic opportunities, and embracing a renewed sense of purpose. Each step forward is a testament to the resilience and determination of those we aim to support. It’s been profoundly inspiring to see vendors not only surviving but thriving, embodying the essence of what Denver VOICE stands for. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the complexities we’ve faced. The challenges of homelessness, poverty, and social disparities are deeply entrenched, and our work is far from complete. This year has shown us that while progress is attainable, it demands unwavering commitment, unity, and creative solutions. Despite the obstacles our community has faced, I believe this is the moment for organizations, administrations, and the community to come together in a way we haven’t before. It’s a time to provide the comprehensive, wraparound services that are needed for long-term impact. Housing alone is not enough. It’s the integration of services, advocacy, economic empowerment, and healthcare along with reintegration into society that will create lasting change. Next month, both Giving Tuesday and Colorado Gives Day present opportunities for our community to show their commitment to empowering the unhoused, fostering community engagement, and advocating for systemic change. Thank you for playing an integral part in helping us meet our mission, and thank you for your support. ■ THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS ROBERT DAVIS is an award-winning freelance reporter for the Denver VOICE. His work has also appeared in Colorado Newsline, Business Insider, Westword, and Medium.com. ASHTON SCHNEIDER graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in convergent journalism and a minor in cinema studies. She and her husband currently live with their two cats in Lakewood. GRACE THORBURN is a journalism student at the University of Colorado Boulder. She hopes that her writing will make a difference in the community by covering social justice issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, homelessness, and racial equity. DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Lanie Lee Cook Aaron Sullivan ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Robert Davis Gigi Galen WRITERS Rea Brown Michael Burkley WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. Cassandria Caramouch Robert Davis Raelene Johnson Jason Martin Jerry Rosen Ashton Schneider LarMarques “Misha” Smith Grace Thorburn Allysa Will BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nikki Lawson, President Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, Treasurer Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Michael Burkley Antonio Diaz Julia Watson Cabal Yarne With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. 2 DENVER VOICE November 2023 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S QUESTION WAS SUGGESTED BY DENVER VOICE VENDOR RAELENE JOHNSON. Q A In honor of Thanksgiving, what person, event, or experience are you most grateful for? CASSANDRIA CARMOUCHE One of the greatest gifts that has been placed in my life is the Denver VOICE. I have been given the opportunity to be a vendor, a writer, an advocate, a volunteer, and best of all, a chance to have my voice heard. The entire staff, board members, as well as other vendors have become family to me. There is so much love, honor, and respect from everyone. My heart smiles every day with the thought of just being a part of such an amazing organization that truly cares for the ones that sometimes slip through the cracks in today’s world. RALENE JOHNSON I have had many blessings this past year, and I have also had some health challenges. I am grateful that I have good and supportive medical care, but I am most grateful for my daughter, who is moving to Colorado to help me get through the latest health issues I am facing. JASON MARTIN On August 3, 2023, Ivy Jade Vincent was born into the Martin family. Meghan (my daughter) was very excited about becoming a mother. So, Meghan was prepared for this adventure they’re embarking on. And seeing all of this unfold has made me the most grateful man on Planet Earth. Ivy looks a lot like my daughter, as well. So at the end of the day, remember to give thanks and be GRATEFUL FOR EVERYTHING you do or are a part of. ALYSSA WILL This year, I’m grateful for more things than I’ve been grateful for any other year. On the first day of being 19, I became stuck, and furthermore, homeless, due to the economy and how expensive everything is now. I’m grateful for the churches and organizations like the VOICE and supporters of the VOICE that help those of us who struggle. But most of all, I’m grateful for the person who has been my rock the whole time, Timothy Jones, who has shown me that love is stronger than any tide. MICHAEL BURKLEY I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with James Kay, our executive director for the Denver VOICE. He has really helped a lot of our vendors, including myself. Mr. Kay is a testament to all that is good in the world. JERRY ROSEN I am so thankful for knowing God. I’m thankful for so many wonderful things. I am also grateful because I lost a few things [that were important to me], and I found them. LARMARQUES “MISHA” SMITH Most organizations geared towards helping the homeless, only operate from Monday-Friday, 9-5. It can vary, but generally, these places are closed on the weekends. Needless to say, the weekend has become the part of the week I least look forward to. Until I discovered Café 180. Café 180 is a restaurant in Englewood, and much like the Same Café on Colfax, Café 180 allows its patrons to perform a task or chore as payment for a meal. You pay what you can afford, or you complete the task for an entrée, a side, and a dessert. Café 180 has become part of my weekend routine. So now, on Saturdays, my partner and I venture down to Café 180 for a nice Saturday afternoon lunch. HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. November 2023 DENVER VOICE 3
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COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHT CREDIT: ROBERT DAVIS ROBINSON PLACE IN LAKEWOOD OPENS 67 AFFORDABLE UNITS FOR UNHOUSED SENIORS AND VETERANS BY ROBERT DAVIS CREDIT: ROBERT DAVIS A NEW LOW-RISE APARTMENT COMPLEX IN LAKEWOOD could help some low-income earning seniors find stable housing at a time when high housing costs are forcing a number of elderly people across the metro area onto the streets. The complex, which is called Robinson Place, is located at 2275 Wadsworth Blvd. It was named after Robb Lapp, who helped found the faith-based nonprofit housing developer of the complex, Archway Communities, in 1994. Robinson Place includes a total of 67 affordable units for seniors who earn up to 50% of the area’s median income, or $41,000 annually. Altogether, there are 59 one-bedroom apartments and eight two-bedroom units at Robinson Place. Fifteen of the units are also supported by HUD-VASH housing vouchers, a federal program that helps connect homeless military veterans with housing, case management, and wraparound services. The complex also has its own supportive service coordinator for residents who did not serve in the military and is close to multiple bus stops and restaurants to help residents lead an active lifestyle during their golden years. “This work doesn’t stop once someone gets a home,” Lee CREDIT: ROBERT DAVIS Bird, one of Archway’s board members, said at the grand opening ceremony on October 5. “You have to care for the whole person after they move in.” Each unit at Robinson Place is furnished with amenities such as a range, dishwasher, microwave, and refrigerator. The community also includes 24/7 maintenance, on-site laundry, and a community center. According to the Metro Denver CREDIT: ARCHWAY COMMUNITIES Homeless Initiative’s latest Point in Time count, there was a total of 854 people experiencing homelessness in Jefferson County, where Robinson Place is located. People aged 55 and over represent nearly 15% of that total, the data shows. 4 DENVER VOICE November 2023 CREDIT: ROBERT DAVIS Across the seven-county metro area, seniors make up about one-in-five people experiencing homelessness on a given night. That figure has stayed roughly the same since 2017, according to the Metro Denver Homeless initiative. But many seniors still face plenty of risks to their housing stability. Some of which include rising home prices and rents, rising interest rates, and stubborn inflation, all of which can eat away at a low-income earning seniors’ monthly budget. Currently, all 67 units at Robinson Place are occupied. However, Archway is still collecting a waitlist for people who are interested. To get on the waitlist, individuals can call Robinson Place at 720-821-3285, or email the property staff at robinsonplace@archwaycommunities.org. ■ CREDIT: ROBERT DAVIS CREDIT: ROBERT DAVIS COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHT CREDIT: ARCHWAY COMMUNITIES CREDIT: ARCHWAY COMMUNITIES ARVADA TOWNHOMES PART OF NATION’S FIRST PROFIT SHARING MODEL FOR RENTERS BY ROBERT DAVIS A NEW WEALTH-GENERATION PILOT PROGRAM called the Renter Wealth Creation Fund launched at a pair of Arvada townhome complexes in September and is one of the first attempts in the U.S. to help renters build wealth by paying rent. The idea was formulated by Enterprise Community Partners, a national housing advocacy nonprofit. The fund aims to help renters build wealth by offering a 2.5% monthly cash-back incentive for on-time rent payments and an opportunity to share in a property’s appreciation if it is sold or refinanced after four years of residency. Enterprise’s Chief Investment Officer Chris Herrmann told Denver VOICE that these benefits will be made available to both current and future residents at the Sheridan Ridge and Willow Green Townhomes—located at 275 W. 66th Ave. and 6985 Sheridan Blvd., respectively—which the organization purchased in August 2023 as part of the fund. The properties will be managed by Archway Communities, a social services nonprofit based in Lakewood. Archway offers employment support, case management, citizenship classes, and many other supportive services to more than 1,500 renters at 10 properties across the state, according to the organization’s website. The two complexes include a total of 125 homes available for renters earning between 30% and 60% of Denver’s median income, or up to $74,460 for a family of four. A news release from Archway explains that Enterprise spent approximately $1.7 million to upgrade the buildings, which included adding new floors, roof upgrades, and improvements to the security features. “Resident services and support are central to our work at Archway Communities, and this fund provides a new approach to fund these critical services and support our residents on their path to a more stable future,” Archway CEO Sebastian Corradino said in a press release. Denverite reported that investors who funded the renovations will be compensated through enterprise bonds, also known as corporate bonds, issued by Enterprise. The operation also includes a philanthropic grant from the New York Life Foundation. “The New York Life Foundation is focused on fostering generational wealth-building solutions for traditionally underserved communities,” New York Life Foundation President Heather Nesle said. “The Renter Wealth Creation Fund fits that focus as an innovative strategy that actively encourages savings and provides direct financial support to renters, thereby paving the way for increased asset accumulation over time. We’re excited to be a part of this initiative and thrilled that the first properties have been identified.” The wealth creation fund was also launched at a time when home prices and rents continued to increase across the Denver metro area. Metro Denver’s median home price stood at more than $569,000 in August, which represents a 1.2% climb over the last 12 months, data from Redfin.com shows. At this price point, a homeowner needs to earn approximately $120,000 per year to avoid paying more than the recommended 30% of their income on a mortgage, assuming a 20% down payment and a 7% interest rate on the mortgage. CREDIT: ARCHWAY COMMUNITIES Based on data from Zumper, rents have increased by even more. Over the last year, the average rent in Denver has increased by $96 up to around $1,800 per month, with rents increasing the most for studios and one-bedroom units. To avoid paying more than 30% of their income on rent, Denver renters need to earn at least $72,000 per year. However, the city’s median salary is just over $59,000, according to Gusto. ■ ANNUAL WRAPPING PAPER ISSUE VOICE vendors have been busy coming up with wrapping paper designs for our December issue. Keep your eye out next month for the 2023 creations, and use them to wrap your holiday gifts! . November 2023 DENVER VOICE 5 G 2019 ART BY VOICE VENDOR RAELENE JOHNSON T BY VOICE VENDOR RAELENE JOHNS NE JOHNSON N 2021 ART BY VOICE VENDOR PATRICK BALERIO T B TRICK BALERIO CK BALE BALE 2020 ART BY VOICE VENDOR JERRY ROSEN 20 AR
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COMMUNITY PROFILE IL PORCELLINO SALUMI SETS THE STANDARD FOR LOCAL SLOW FOOD PHILOSOPHIES BY GRACE THORBURN THE SLOW FOOD MOVEMENT’S MISSION is to bring good, clean, fair food to all. Slow Food is founded on the belief that local slow food is good for the community and should be celebrated. In a little over two decades, the movement has evolved to embrace a comprehensive approach to food that recognizes the strong connections between plate, planet, people, politics, and culture. By striving to create a world, where people can eat food that is good for them, good for those who grow it, and good for the planet, the Slow Food movement has driven change in more than 160 countries. For Il Porcellino Salumi owner and chef Bill Miner, ethically sourced meat is of the utmost priority. The Denver-based salumeria—which is the Italian word for delicatessen—utilizes Colorado-cured and preserved meat that comes straight from a whole-animal butcher program, where every step of the process is done by hand. Specializing in charcuterie, Il Porcellino Salumi crafts artisan products at their USDA facility in Basalt, Colorado. Il Porcellino Salumi prides itself on producing meat that is pasture-raised and environmentally conscious, which results in higher-quality products that customers are willing to pay more for. While many restaurants in the Denver area have been recognized for following slow food practices, Il Porcellino Salumi is leading the way for delicatessens in Denver with its whole-animal utilization program. As one of the numerous COURTESY OF IL PORCELLINO SALUMI COURTESY OF IL PORCELLINO SALUMI COURTESY OF IL PORCELLINO SALUMI 6 DENVER VOICE November 2023 COMMUNITY PROFILE local businesses following slow food principles, Il Porcellino Salumi is a business that’s set a standard for slow food philosophies locally by adhering to sustainable food practices that cultivate community and connection. With increasing food and employment costs, traditional high-stakes competition has brought the importance of ethically sourced ingredients to the forefront in recent years. Local Slow Food chapters work to create affordable and accessible events focused on education and outreach. Slow food principles include local agricultural production, equitable working conditions, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and fair prices for producers. These practices are what qualify businesses as members of the Slow Food movement. “As we’ve grown, where we’re sourcing meat from and not working for people that are unethical is a priority,” said Miner. “[Unethical sourcing is] just not the right thing to do. You can tell a difference in the quality of the meat.” As a member of a larger-scale effort to further implement slow food practices, Slow Food’s local chapters in Denver and Boulder are working in pursuit of a more just and sustainable food system. By supporting local businesses such as Il Porcellino Salumi, the movement creates a community for people with a passion for the culture of local food systems. Despite its growth since Il Porcellino Salumi opened in 2015, Miner’s business model has never changed. He and his team are focused on working with small family farms that raise heritage breed animals sustainably. With one of the business’s greatest challenges being labor costs, “it’s tempting to buy bigger equipment and do things in a different manner,” Miner said. “But at the same time, we want to stay true to our products.” According to Slow Food Denver’s programs and outreach coordinator Mary Cappelletti, the appreciation and connection that Slow Food Denver’s organization helps facilitate, both locally and on a broader level, are among the high points of her job. Cappelletti runs the local chapter’s online communications and coordinates their events. “One of the best things about slow food is it’s so driven by joy and celebration,” Miner said. “It’s not about putting people down for doing it the wrong way…it’s about celebrating those that are trying and the many different ways that looks.” As the board chair of Boulder’s Slow Food chapter, Jodie Popma has been working to bridge the gap between healthy, local, and fresh food that is easy to prepare. “Every dollar we make from every event goes right back into our community,” Popma said. “When we do have an event [such as a farm dinner featuring local farmers], we like to pay our farmers rather than asking for donations.” Despite the challenges that rising labor costs present, businesses such as Miner’s Il Porcellino Salumi are leading the way by refusing to step down from ethical, old-world production strategies. The philosophy of the Slow Food movement lies in taking the time to learn and rediscover pleasure in everyday life by appreciating the pleasures and traditions of the table. “I like to think that customers recognize what we’re doing,” Miner said. “They understand the product cost a little bit more but that they can taste the difference in quality in our products.” ■ Denver VOICE readers may wonder why a street paper is spotlighting Slow Food, when it’s likely to cost consumers more money. We feel this effort toward sustainability is worthy of being highlighted, and hope that this movement continues to grow toward a future of clean, healthy food accessibility for all. COURTESY OF IL PORCELLINO SALUMI DONATE YOUR CAR! Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to support our program coordination by helping with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe Dr.) from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at: program@denvervoice.org COURTESY OF IL PORCELLINO SALUMI November 2023 DENVER VOICE 7
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NATIONAL STORY Homeless centers must conform to architectural standards for emergency shelter. These standards have historically been influenced by institutional building design, which prioritizes attaining minimum conditions needed to keep people alive. Today, many homeless shelters struggle to provide even that level of care. The Human Services Campus was originally constructed in 2003 to provide consolidated services and a coordinated entry plan for people experiencing homelessness. However, it was intended to be part of a larger system of shelters, not the sole service provider for Phoenix’s estimated 9,000 homeless people. The city’s homeless population has grown, in part because of unprecedented rent increases and a lack of affordable housing. During this summer’s heat wave, nearly 1,200 unsheltered homeless people lived on sidewalks surrounding the campus, many in tents, with limited access to bathrooms and sanitation facilities. HOMELESSNESS AND MENTAL HEALTH When asked about the causes of homelessness, policymakers and members of the public often point to mental illness and addiction, as well as a lack of affordable housing. They tend to pay less attention to the underlying impacts of past trauma other than noting that many women become homeless to escape domestic violence. In a 2005 study, an alarming 79% of homeless women seeking treatment for mental illness and substance abuse reported experiencing a past traumatic event such as physical or sexual abuse. More recently, a 2020 study showed that nearly two-thirds of homeless women and almost half of homeless men reported that they were GENERAL VIEW OF A HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX AS UNHOUSED PEOPLE RECEIVE MEDICAL CARE FROM CIRCLE THE CITY’S MOBILE MEDICAL UNIT ON THE 14TH DAY OF TEMPERATURES RISING TO 110 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT, IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA, U.S., JULY 13, 2023. REUTERS/LILIANA SALGADO SHELTERS CAN HELP HOMELESS PEOPLE BY PROVIDING QUIET AND PRIVACY, NOT JUST A BUNK AND A MEAL BY NATALIE FLORENCE AND HEATHER ROSS THE CITY OF PHOENIX SET HEAT RECORDS in the summer of 2023, with high temperatures that topped 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) for 31 consecutive days and at least 54 days in total. In such conditions, providing basic services—including cool spaces—for people experiencing homelessness is lifesaving. In 2022, 420 people—many of them unsheltered – died in Phoenix from heat-related causes. Estimates are not yet available for summer 2023, but given this year’s extreme conditions, the toll is expected to be higher. For the past two years, we have worked as researchers with the Human Services Campus, a 13-acre complex in Maricopa County, Arizona, where 16 nonprofit organizations work together to help people who are experiencing homelessness. The campus includes Central Arizona Shelter Services, or CASS, Phoenix’s largest homeless emergency shelter, which assists 800 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. Our work includes talking with staff and clients to better 8 DENVER VOICE November 2023 OVERFLOWING SHELTERS As of 2022, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated that the U.S. had nearly 600,000 homeless people nationwide, with about 60% living in emergency shelters, safe havens, or transitional housing. The other 40% lived outdoors or in places such as abandoned buildings and public transit stations. understand their challenges and identify possible solutions that draw from our work in the fields of architecture, health, and social innovation. Dormitories at CASS protect residents from extreme heat with a bunk to sleep in, day rooms for socializing, case management services, and sanitary shower and restroom facilities. However, CASS struggles to provide dignified spaces that offer privacy, storage space, and quiet environments. People need this kind of environmental support in order to battle recurring physical and mental health issues that often accompany homelessness and can hinder or prevent healing. homeless because of trauma. Shelter design can affect homeless people’s ability to recover from past trauma and to battle addiction and other mental health issues that perpetuate cycles of homelessness. For example, one woman who currently lives in CASS told us about trying to get a full night’s sleep while living in a day room where the lights were kept on around the clock and there was constant activity. Because she had several bags of personal items that were too big to store in the dormitory, she could not get a bed there. “When they don’t turn the lights down at night, I start to feel like my body is vibrating,” she said. “I start to see people walking around, and I’m not sure if they are even really there.” Routinely sleeping less than seven hours per night can be harmful to health. It lowers immune function, increases chronic pain, and raises the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and death. For homeless people battling mental health challenges, addiction, and past trauma, rest and recovery are essential to getting back on their feet. CASS staff have tried to create healthier sleep spaces, such as dorms that remain dark, quiet, and cool at all times. Priority access goes to people with jobs. These sections can house only about a third of CASS’s residents, leaving others to sleep in dorms where there is more noise and light. MORE SUPPORTIVE SPACES Simply feeding people and providing them with places to sleep is a major challenge for shelters in cities where homelessness is rising. But some have found ways to think more broadly. In San Diego, Father Joe’s Villages, a nonprofit network with a central campus and scattered-site programs, houses more than 2,000 people nightly. San Diego’s more temperate climate makes it less urgent to maximize the number of people they shelter indoors, so staff at Father Joe’s can use its decentralized design to create shelters with private and quiet spaces. The Father Joe’s network includes multiple smaller-scale facilities where clean bathrooms are easily accessible and NATIONAL STORY homeless people can use basic amenities like laundry and storage. One example is Mary’s Place, a collection of diverse shelters that provides emergency and long-term support in smaller facilities modeled after the simplicity and comfort of a home. People experience less stress and can more easily navigate the challenge of ending their own homelessness when they can get a restful night’s sleep in a quiet environment, with spaces that allow them some privacy. We are encouraged to see other U.S. shelters moving in this direction – but there’s a long way to go. STEPS TOWARD BETTER DESIGN To address the lack of privacy at CASS, we have proposed subdividing the day room into more private spaces to accommodate activities like online telehealth appointments, counseling, and job interviews. To tackle the long-term impacts of overcrowding, we also have recommended introducing sanitation amenities, such as laundry facilities, “hot boxes” to sanitize clothing and bedding, more bathroom facilities, and reliable trash removal to reduce the spread of infection and pests such as bedbugs and lice. For new facilities, designers could consider small changes, such as increased storage and more diligent regulation of temperature, light, and noise. Hospitals, nursing homes, and retirement communities have found many ways in recent decades to use design to support patients’ health. Many of the same concepts can be applied to emergency shelters and help turn these facilities from institutional warehouses into spaces of health and opportunity. ■ Natalie Florence is a Ph.D. candidate in humanitarian design and infrastructure studies at Arizona State University. Heather Ross is a clinical associate professor in nursing and clinical associate professor at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University. Courtesy of The Conversation / International Network of Street Papers Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. AUTUMN WISH LIST NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant Chapstick, sunscreen Bottled water GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! @DenverVOICE ILLUSTRATION BY GIGI GALEN November 2023 DENVER VOICE 9
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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT SHAME-FREE SEXUAL HEALTH CLINIC: A WELCOME ADDITION TO THE DENVER COMMUNITY BY ASHTON SCHNEIDER TBD IS A NEW SEXUAL HEALTH CENTER that opened its doors in early October. Recognizing a need for a clinic that offered shame-free and inclusive sexual healthcare, Co-founders Stephanie Estey and Daphne Chen established their first TBD clinic in Las Vegas a year ago. In an interview with Denver VOICE, Estey explained that the care hub helps erase the stigma related to STDs by making patients feel safe and comfortable in seeking sexual health care. “Testing doesn’t have to be this serious thing that feels really heavy,” Estey said, “but something that you can really be proud of [because you are taking time for self-care].” The Denver TBD clinic will operate similarly to the one in Las Vegas, which caters to a wide range of patients—from young teenagers to those who are elderly. “If you’re having sex, you should be thinking about your sexual health,” said Estey. “We don’t care how many partners you have; we just want to make sure you’re doing it in the best, healthiest way.” Like the one in Las Vegas, the Denver care hub provides Pap smears, birth control, and STD testing. Each patient is greeted by a doctor who walks them through what they can expect while at the clinic and answers whatever questions they may have. According to Estey, she and Chen saw Denver as an ideal location for their second care hub, due to the area’s rising cases of STIs/STDs. Additionally, Colorado is among the states that do not mandate sexual education in schools. XXXX COURTESY OF TBD DENVER 10 DENVER VOICE November 2023 COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT The Denver TBD care hub is working on setting up a partnership with Colorado Medicaid to help patients who can’t afford the price point. According to TBD employee Peyton Weaver, TBD’s opening in October was well-received by community members. To COURTESY OF TBD DENVER COURTESY OF TBD DENVER Health clinics often have limited appointments available, or it may take several weeks to see a doctor, but according to Estey, the TBD medical team is determined to see as many patients as possible. “If you walk in [to our clinic], you might have to wait 10 to 15 minutes,” said Estey. “We pride ourselves on being able to offer appointments that are the same day, because [addressing] sexual health is important.” Cost is often something patients worry about when going to the doctor, but Estey said TBD strives for affordability. “If TBD is outside what you are able to spend, we always make sure we hook you up with good resources,” Estey said. Services at the Las Vegas clinic vary from $60 for a general consultation, to a polyamorous/unsure exposure panel for $325. This panel is full-range of STD testing for those with multiple partners, or just those who are unsure about their status. Estey said the Denver clinic’s prices are similar. COURTESY OF TBD DENVER drum up business and encourage word-of-mouth referrals, the clinic offered free STI tests. There was also a ribbon-cutting ceremony with members from Mayor Johnston’s office and representatives of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. “Clients are so excited to have a care hub like this in the area—where not only can they get tested, but learn about sexual health,” said Weaver. According to Estey, the most important role the clinic can fill is to provide a judgment-free zone where patients can get the services they need. “[If we can] get people to feel good about getting STD/STI tests and having great, healthy sex, we are making progress towards fulfilling our commitment,” Estey said. Anyone who is not comfortable visiting the clinic can request STI/STD testing kits from TBD’s website. For more information on TBD’s Denver care hub, visit https://www. tbd.health/clinic/denver-larimer. ■ November 2023 DENVER VOICE 11
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS THANK YOU, SELF BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR THE MIRROR IS BLURRY CLEAR BY REA BROWN, VOICE VENDOR BACK ON THE STREETS BY REA BROWN, VOICE VENDOR RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: CORTNEY TABERNA THANK YOU, SELF, for truly loving Self. You went from believing you were put on this earth to be used and abused and hearing people always tell you that you can’t do it, or you will fail at anything you do. You start to believe their words, and over time, you give up on Self. You have learned to stop believing anything anyone said to me if it was negative. People try to break you down because they are broken. Hurt people hurt other people, so stop believing what they say. Thank you, Self, for learning that lesson. One thing I found out is all the pain of the past made me a stronger person. The past taught me compassion for others. Thank you for finally understanding there was a reason for all the pain of the past and why I survived the trauma. You came out of it, and now, you can use that pain you went through so you can really change other people’s lives for the better, and that is the best thing ever—to channel all that you have gone through Thank you, Self, for finding your voice. Thank you for finding Self... You have come so far. Thank you for loving Self and being able to really love others. Thank you for the life I have now. Thank you for letting go of the past. It has set me free! Thank you for not letting anyone break you down anymore. Only you can change you. No one can change you if you don’t want them to. You are WORTH THAT GOOD THING. I know I had to change, and I’m living the BEST LIFE EVER. ■ REA BROWN. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED THIS YEAR the mirror is blurry clear I’m in a war with weaponry man doesn’t manufacturer gear at times I’m the naked truth that nobody wants to hear. The new thing that people do as if it’s cool to disappear, or they ask me to stop so my words don’t enter into their ear I can imagine they group together and speak of it with goofy cheer what a good laugh they must have talking trash like a happy ass meanwhile the past is full of gas speeding fast at classy dear which was my biggest fear the clarity of my voice mislead many to think I’m near but I’m never there I’m here looking over the sea of time whispering from its pier like a seer for his peers but they’re so full of beer and queer (weird) the need to steer is queer. I’m bound to be washed away by months, minutes, or tears; so much has happened this year the mirror is blurry clear. ■ THIS IS NOT THE TIME or the place to state all the facts that relate to what some would say is one of the greatest mysteries to date, from stone tablets to hieroglyphs, ancient artifacts, and secret documents—it’s becoming more and more evident the fate of our future awaits Burchett’s (one of the leading members of Congress) updates on UAP activity in the United States. You may be wondering, “What does that have to do with being back on the streets, or poverty?” But I can’t help but think how this won’t affect everything. Especially how we look at history. Are they advanced, HOMELESS TRAVELERS, or advanced information gatherers? Unbeknownst to many, Nickola Tesla is reported to have found a satellite orbiting Earth that is not from our planet. It is believed to be so powerful that they can’t even keep it a secret. In other words, nobody can bring it to a lab and test it; it makes me wonder why this information isn’t more relevant. I mean, how many years have they been selling it? Superman is a story of a homeless child who was heaven-sent. Living on Earth as a resident. For years many have been waiting for evidence more than manuscripts, paintings, and comic strips. And even though I’m suffering from hatred, loneliness, and homelessness I wouldn’t miss it for the world Back on the Streets.■ This “Back on the Streets” piece is in homage to Brian Augustine, who passed away in January. When he died, Augustine was writing a monthly column about what it was like to return to living on the streets when he could no longer afford his rent. Through the end of this year, various VOICE vendors intend to contribute something in honor of Brian Augustine’s legacy. 12 DENVER VOICE November 2023 EVENTS LAUGH LAB Local comedians test out new material and tweak existing bangers at Rise Comedy’s weekly Laugh Lab. Some comics will concoct the perfect formula while other jokes will immediately implode but regardless, the results will be entertaining! WHEN: Nov 1, 8, 15, 29, 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: RISE Comedy, 1260 22nd St. INFO: risecomedy.com DENVER FILM FESTIVAL Currently in its 46th year, the Denver Film Festival provides the opportunity to immerse oneself in world-class cinema for 10 straight days. This year’s fest will feature national and international independent films, creative conversations, post-screening Q+As, VR experiences, and additional special events. Choose from fancy-pants red carpet screenings or low-budget indie gems, while you hang with other film lovers and makers. WHEN: Nov 3 – Nov 12 COST: Ticket prices vary. WHERE: Multiple venues INFO: denverfilm.org ACROSS OPENING DAY OF THE DENVER CHRISTKINDL MARKET Civic Center Park will once again be transformed into a traditional German holiday market, complete with festive music, big beers, a heated tent, soft pretzels, Gluhwein, holiday knickknacks, and twinkling lights. Market runs through December 23rd; check the website for daily hours and entertainment. WHEN: Nov 17, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. COST: Free entry WHERE: Civic Center Park, Colfax & Broadway INFO: christkindlmarketdenver.com WOMEN’S SELF-DEFENSE SEMINAR Attendees will learn the importance of situational awareness and ways to avoid being targeted. They will also learn the proper mechanics of striking, as well as some basic moves to get out of an attack. WHEN: Nov 19, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. COST: $17 WHERE: Flow Yoga Studio, 2550 Youngfield St., Lakewood, CO INFO: facebook.com/lifes2shortfitness TRIVIA NIGHT AT THE BUG Come on out to The Bug on the last Tuesday of every month for free trivia with Denver Trivia League! WHEN: Nov 28, 7 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St. INFO: bugtheatre.org 1. Calypso offshoot 4. Fictional Swiss miss 9. “What’s the ___?” 13. Celestial bear 15. “Hamlet” courtier 16. Iridescent gem 17. Providing (for), in a schedule 19. The b in n.b. 20. Makes furious 21. Put in storage 23. Supermarket worker 24. Committed to 25. Bloodshot 26. Vigorous exercises 29. Dog-___ 32. Streaming service now retired in the US 33. “The Matrix” hero 34. Got bigger 35. Picture puzzle 36. In good health 37. PC image file type whose pronunciation is a perennial debate 38. Open to bribery 39. Brahmans, e.g. 40. Lizards (anagram of SIR SAUNA) 42. Warning sound 43. Shower scrubber 44. Algebra and trig, for calc 48. Overwhelm 50. Gets with the program 51. Poor marks 52. Secondary 54. Departed 55. Be eco-friendly 56. Slammin’ Sammy 57. ___’acte 58. Research physician’s dual deg. 59. Middle part of a date DOWN 1. Jumbo combatants 2. Frank topping 3. Invite along for 4. Didn’t share 5. Aromatic compound that sounds like a girl’s name 6. Pupil’s locale that sounds like a different girl’s name 7. Faint 8. Shipping hazards 9. Rub elbows 10. Italian range (anagram of SIENNA PEN) 11. Window section 12. Vehicle that runs on snow 14. Flight staff 18. In the buff 22. Langston Hughes poem 24. 1988 Olympics site 26. Arafat’s successor 27. Welshman or Irishwoman 28. Shoe bottom 29. Baker’s dozen? 30. Diva’s song 31. Shining brightly (anagram of GENTLE FUR) 32. Reddish brown dye used in Hindu wedding ceremonies 35. Assert anew 36. Rabbit homes 38. Six-stringed instrument 39. Kind of paper 41. Alarm clock, ideally 42. Handed out 51-Across (and other letters, hopefully) 44. Engage in an online scam 45. Bar, legally (anagram of PESTO) 46. Somewhat 47. Water balloon sound 48. Leg up 49. Broadway brightener 50. Atlantic food fish 53. Actor Beatty COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 November 2023 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $25,000+ The NextFifty Initiative $10,000+ Anonymous Individual Donor Matt and Nikki Seashore Cisco Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. $5,000 - $9,999 Colorado Housing and Finance Authority The Christian Foundation Bank of America Charitable Foundation Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Francis Trainer and Trainer Family Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation Envestnett $1,000-$4,999 Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Katherine Standiford Frederic K Conover Trust Walker Family Foundation Alexander Seavall Jill Haug Whole Foods Foundation Alex Salva Rose Community Foundation Russell Peterson Chris and Susan Pappas Michael Dino Julia and David Watson Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Megan Arellano Warren and Betty Kuehner Keyrenter Property Management Denver Mathew Rezek SEI Giving Fund Donald Weaver The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Gaspar Terrana Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Joshua Kauer Elsbeth Williams $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson James and Cyndi Lesslie Fire on the Mountain Christopher Boulanger Sheryl Parker Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Peter Iannuzzi Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Graham Davis Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity KL&A Engineers and Builders 14 DENVER VOICE November 2023 ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, VETERAN SUPPORT COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ACS COMMUNITY LIFT: 5045 W. 1st Ave., Denver; rentassistance.org DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER: 777 Bannock St.; denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL: Features information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community; detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA: Addiction hotline 888-479-0446; Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/ treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 112 E. 8th Ave.; 303-572-7800; HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on proper disposal of dirty syringes; M-F 9am-12pm: harmreductionactioncenter.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER: 3800 York St.; Emergency walk-ins 303-296-1767; Dental 303-296-4873; M-F 8am-2pm LIVE ANOTHER DAY: 877-596-6866; Equal access to life-saving mental health and substance abuse resources; 24/7 helpline: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION: 1325 S. Colorado Blvd.; Suite B302; Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered; 800-522-4372, 800-359-9272; info@hepc-connection.org; viventhealth.org NATIONAL AIDS HOTLINE: 800-342-AIDS/800-344-7432 NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: Text or call 988; 988lifeline.org NATIONAL RUNAWAY SAFELINE: 800-RUNAWAY/800-786-2929; 1800runaway.org RAPE ABUSE AND INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK: 800-656-HOPE; rainn.org SALUD CLINIC: 6255 Quebec Pkwy, Commerce City; 303-697-2583, 970-484-0999; saludclinic.org/commerce-city STOUT STREET CLINIC: 2130 Stout St.; 303-293-2220; Clinic Hours: 7am-4pm M/T/Th/F; 9am-6pm Wed; coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUBSTANCE ABUSE REHAB GUIDE: Helpline 888-493-4670; detoxrehabs.net/states/colorado/ U.S. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: 800-799-7233 (English and Spanish); 800-243-7889 (TDD); thehotline.org CAREER SERVICES BAYAUD ENTERPRISES CW-STEP: (Colorado Works - Subsidized training and employment program); 333 W. Bayaud Ave.; 303-830-6885; Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm; Provides re-entry to the workforce for individuals with TANF eligibility; info@bayaudenterprises.org COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER: Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway; 720-865-1706; M & T - 10am-8pm; Wed., Th &F - 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, WIFI, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments; denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER: Denver Dept of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd.; M-F 7:30am-4:30pm; Employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé prep, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc.; careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center WORKNOW: 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org LGBTQ+ SUPPORT THE TREVOR PROJECT: 866-488-7386: thetrevorproject.org LGBT NATIONAL YOUTH TALKLINE: 800-246-7743: lgbthotline.org/youth-talkline PRIDE INSTITUTE: 800-547-7433 TRUE COLORS UNITE: 212-461-4401 truecolorsunited.org VETERANS & SENIORS DENVER INNER CITY PARISH: 1212 Mariposa St.; 303-322-5733; VOA Dining Center for Seniors, aged 60 and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm; Food Bank, Wed.-Fri.; Tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm; dicp.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES: 846 E. 18th Ave.; For those aged 60 or older; TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, 3 meals, M-F -7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm; seniorsupportservices.org VA MEDICAL CENTER: 1700 N Wheeling St.: Aurora 303-399-8020: va.gov/findlocations/facility/vha_554A5 VETERANS GUIDE: Veterans Disability Calculator veteransguide.org/va-disability-calculator YOUTH SERVICES SOX PLACE: 2017 Larimer St.; 303-296-3412 Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30; Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. T-F - 12-4pm & Sat. 11am-2pm. Instagram: @Soxplace THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK: 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442; Youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, 303-974-2928; Drop-in hours M-F 8-11am urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: 833-931-2484; Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions; sunshinebehavioralhealth.com TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 3080 Broadway, Boulder; 303-447-1207, 303-447-1207; For ages 12-24; Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services; M-Sun, 12:30-5pm; tgthr.org URBAN PEAK: 730 21st St., Denver; 303-974-2900; Ages14-24; Serving Denver & Colo Springs; Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skill/straining, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing; urbanpeak.org November 2023 DENVER VOICE 15 DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777;; Helps with employment, IDs, birth certs, mail services and lockers; M-Th - 10am-2pm; citysquare.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F - 7am-1pm; Private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch, etc.; thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE: 1535 High St.; 303-321-4198; Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals; Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, etc.; M, W, Th, F - 8:30am-5pm, T - 8:30am-1:30pm; tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 231 E. Colfax; 303-572-7800; Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harmreduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes; M-F - 9am-12pm; harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Help with lost IDs and birth certificates; holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM: 1555 Race St.; 303-832-3354; For men and women with HIV; M-F 8am-4pm LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER: 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; Day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services; homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, wifi; M-F 7a-5:30p; odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St; 303-297-1576; 6am-6pm daily; Storage for one bag (when space is available); Satellite Clinic hours- M, T, Th. F - 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm; sfcdenver.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am; capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: mealsforpoor.org CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee M-F. 8:30am; denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES: 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm; christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY: Home-cooked meal, weekly; Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd); christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm; citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church); Hot meals served M, T, Th., F - 11:45-12:15; mealsforpoor.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION: 1130 Park Avenue West; 303-294-0157; 3 meals 7 days/week, 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm; denverrescuemission.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F only: 7am-1pm. 8am breakfast, 11am lunch; havenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY: Food service on second and fourth Thursdays; feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html FOOD NOT BOMBS: Sun. 4 p.m.; 22nd St. Stout St (near Mercury Café); Instagram: @denverfoodnotbombs HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE: 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm; krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: 910 Kalamath St.; Community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, Men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the month, 8-10am, Women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am; hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Sandwiches, M-Sat., 10-10:30am; holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH: 29th and Milwaukee St.; Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm; jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; 303-830-2201; Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm); meal served at 6pm; odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY: 126 W. 2nd Ave.; 303-722-8781 Dinner at 4pm on Tues; Also offers a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available; stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S: Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. (Auraria Campus), 11am 7 days/week; food/coffee; stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month); sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN: 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm; Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon.; saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ: 2023 E. Colfax Ave; 720-530-6853;Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen; Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays; soallmayeat.org URBAN OUTREACH DENVER: 608 26th St., Thurs dinners, 6pm-7pm; lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA: 2877 Lawrence St.; breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun.; food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs.; voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetrofoodnutrition-themission DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13

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EDITOR’S NOTE WHEN WE LET DENVER VOICE VENDORS know our Ask a Vendor question, which Lando Allen suggested for this month — “What can you do to accomplish your goals?” — I was happy to see how many of them submitted answers. All of the answers are good, but a few of the responses stood out to me. To accomplish his goals, John ELISABETH MONAGHAN MANAGING EDITOR Alexander, who is one of the sagest people I’ve met, applies what he calls his “constant persistence” formula. As he explains, when it comes to success, one can’t work for it “sometimes” but, instead, must approach a goal with unwavering faith and firmness. Jason Martin believes it is better to set simple goals he knows he can achieve. When he wakes up each morning, his first goal is to make his bed, so by the time he heads out to begin his day, he already has achieved something. Our vendors’ answers show how differently people approach their goals. Regardless of what they are and whether we share them or not, goals are personal, and we are the only ones who can determine how successful we are in meeting them. Whether our goal is to get through the day without touching a drop of alcohol, cross the street before the light turns red, or be a best-selling author, our goals are our own. And if anyone reading this isn’t sure where to begin with goal-setting, VOICE vendor Larmarques Smith reminds us that the first step is to HAVE a goal, and then, to come up with a plan for how we’re going to meet that goal. ■ DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS ROBERT DAVIS is an award-winning freelance reporter for the Denver VOICE. His work has also appeared in Colorado Newsline, Business Insider, Westword, and Medium.com. FRANK DEANGELI is a PNW transplant who has spent six years in Colorado. He has previously spent much of his professional career working in case management at a homeless shelter. He loves movies, making music, and throwing any kind of flying disc. WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Lanie Lee Cook Aaron Sullivan ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Gigi Galen WRITERS John Alexander Lando Allen Rea Brown Michael Burkley Robert Davis Frank DeAngeli Raelene Johnson Jason Martin Jerry Rosen Larmarques Smith Steve Szloboda BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nikki Lawson, President Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, Treasurer Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Michael Burkley Antonio Diaz Jennifer Seybold Julia Watson Cabal Yarne With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. 2 DENVER VOICE October 2023 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US AUTUMN WISH LIST Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. NEW ITEMS NEEDED: • Socks • Toiletries (individual or travel-size) • Toothpaste, deodorant • Chapstick, sunscreen • Bottled water GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: • Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) • Men’s jackets (sizes L, XL, XXL) • Women’s jackets (sizes M, L, XL) • Backpacks, carrier bags • USB-C charging cables VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! @DenverVOICE HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. October 2023 DENVER VOICE 3
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LOCAL FEATURE GOODR’S JASMINE CROW, COLORADO SEN. JAMES COLEMAN AND ELEVATED DENVER’S JOHNNA FLOOD TOLD THE CROWD AT DENVER STARTUP WEEK ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH HUNGER AND HOW IT IMPACTED THEIR HOUSING SITUATIONS. CREDIT: ROBERT DAVIS HUNGER RELIEF COMPANY CONNECTS FOOD SECURITY AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING AT DENVER STARTUP WEEK BY ROBERT DAVIS DENVER STARTUP WEEK often attracts businesses that are tackling the country’s most pressing issues. This year, a hunger relief startup spoke to attendees about the links between food security and affordable housing. Goodr, a food waste and hunger relief organization headquartered in Atlanta, was featured in a live Elevated Denver podcast recording on September 18. The discussion was moderated by Colorado Democrat Sen. James Coleman of Denver. The conversation happened at a time when issues surrounding food security and homelessness have also become more acute for low-income earning households since the pandemic began. For example, more than 156,000 households across Colorado report not having enough to eat, according to census data. One-third of those households have children, the data shows, and more than half of these families reported using their savings or borrowing money from friends and family to buy food. There is also a deep connection between access to affordable housing and food security. Affordable housing is defined as a dwelling that requires about 30% or less of an individual’s income for rent. As people spend a higher proportion of their income on rent and utilities, they often have less to spend on food, which can create a vicious cycle that ultimately ends in someone losing their home. About 50% of households in Colorado are considered “rent burdened,” meaning they 4 DENVER VOICE October 2023 pay more than 30% of their income on rent, according to the Colorado Housing Finance Authority. Goodr founder Jasmine Crowe said the data shows that there are a lot of vulnerable households that are making tough choices between paying their mortgage, rent and utility bills, or buying food. According to the latest consumer price data, food prices were up 4.3% for the 12-month period ending in August 2023. For comparison, the Bureau of Labor Statistics measured the U.S. core inflation rate at 3.7% in August. These figures were even higher in the Rocky Mountain region, according to BLS. “These issues shouldn’t exist in a country as rich as ours,” Crowe said. “But there is so much food wasted everyday that it boggles the mind.” Food waste is not a new issue in the U.S., but it is one that seems to be getting worse. Data from the national nonprofit ReFED shows the U.S. produced about 91 million pounds of surplus food in 2021, a nearly 5% increase since 2016. However, about 32.7 million tons of food was sent to landfills across the country, with households making up the largest chunk of that waste. Colorado produced about 1.55 million pounds of surplus food in 2021, but more than 58% of that surplus ended up in state landfills, the data shows. And this trend has impacted low-income earners, households of color, and seniors who live on fixed incomes the most, Crowe said. Traditionally, food banks provide the backbone of support for food insecure families. Food banks are places where food insecure households can get healthy food for free or at a significantly reduced price compared to grocery stores. In theory, buying food from food banks should free up other money to be spent on housing costs. But Crowe said that isn’t always the case because some organizations give out low quality food that spoils quickly or don’t have culturally responsive options for people who eat vegan, halal or kosher diets. “A lot of people think that if you’re hungry then you need to accept the food you’re given and be grateful,” Crowe said. “We need to break that stigma.” These are all problems that Goodr is designed to address, Crowe added. The company takes a two-pronged approach to solving hunger. On one hand, Goodr diverts food waste away from landfills and gives it to nonprofits who can either redistribute the food or compost it. The company also hosts pop-up grocery stores and has a meal and grocery delivery program. The idea behind Goodr’s model is to meet people where they are and to provide them with the healthy options they deserve, Crowe said. Goodr has also teamed up with some Denver-area schools like the Place Bridge Academy to address food insecurity. Goodr operates a free grocery store at the school that is stocked with fresh produce, reduced sugar or sugar-free snacks, school supplies, and clothing. About 200 students and their families use the grocery store every month and another 100 are on the waitlist. Crowe said Goodr’s goals are to reduce food waste by about 15% and hunger by around 10% nationwide. While those numbers may seem small, she said they could have a dramatic impact. For example, reducing hunger by about 10% would mean that 25 million Americans have affordable sources for nutritious meals, Crowe said. One issue that the company has run into is funding, Crowe mentioned. Goodr currently operates on a budget of between $3 million and $4 million per year, which pales in comparison to large food banks like the Food Bank of the Rockies, which has an annual operating budget of about $164 million, according to its tax filings from 2021. “The way we’ve tried to solve hunger in this country is all wrong,” Crowe said. ■ ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S QUESTION WAS SUGGESTED BY DENVER VOICE VENDOR LANDO ALLEN. Q What can you do to accomplish your goals? A REA BROWN My goals? Young or old? Rich or cold?? Bought or sold? Walked or drove? Silver or gold? Meek or bold? I suppose that purpose I know the goals to goals but sadly no. Badly though Even mad badly “Actually,” probably sadly mad badly I happily hope to grow I mean it’s easy to say this or that but the fact is you don’t know. I suppose that purpose I know the goals to goals but sadly no. Badly though Even mad badly “Actually,” probably sadly mad badly I happily hope to grow I mean it’s easy to say this or that but the fact is you don’t know. Has life ever come at you slow? Can you honestly say you found a road that has obstacles that all show? Has Father Time let you rewind so you’re more knowledgeable than your foe? Can you recognize the backstabber before she slit your throat? Or before he cut the rope? Yes, Sometimes goals get put on hold, Sometimes goals get sold for dope. Some people’s life is way too serious and to some others, it’s all a joke. So, to answer your question about reading glasses, the way to appreciate the kaleidoscope is one pattern at a time. JOHN ALEXANDER One of the things that I do whenever I am faced with trying to succeed at something is to remember to always pursue a simple formula that I call “constant persistence.” This means I must persist and continue to go stubbornly on in spite of difficulties. But this cannot be dealt with on a “sometimes” basis. Instead, it must be a mixture of unchanging faith and firmness – constantly. MICHAEL BURKLEY Your goal may be to do something you’ve been curious about, while thinking it’s something you could be good at. The first step is to not be afraid of achieving it. Don’t force it. Take time to think about it. Do something you believe you can accomplish that is similar to that goal. After you feel you are managing that well for a while, you may be in a prime position to set and meet a new goal. RAELENE JOHNSON The first thing I do every morning is to read inspiring words. I make a point to keep positive words in my mind all day. I also try every day to lift someone up. Before I do that, I first lift myself up, because if I start with myself, I am able to lift up others. If I do that every day, then I have a blessed life. JASON MARTIN I set small achievable goals throughout the day, because if I set “goals for the future,” I tend not to accomplish those. So, to make sure I’m not setting myself up for failure, I try to simplify them. For example, my first goal each day is to make my bed, so by 6 a.m., I’ve already achieved a goal! JERRY ROSEN What I could do is put a list of what I would like to accomplish on paper, think about the list, and put it into perspective. Then, I use that perspective to meet my goals. LARMARQUES SMITH The first thing I can do to accomplish my goal is to HAVE a goal. To reach that goal, I have to have a plan – not just a plan rolling around in my head - but a plan that is written down and put in a place visible to me every day. Anyone can have a plan, but is it really a plan if it’s not written down for us to reference? Staying vigilant is also something I can do to reach my goals. There are always roadblocks on the way to achieving a goal. If I stay focused on my goal and not allow myself to be distracted or misguided by obstacles and remember what the ultimate goal is, my goal will be accomplished. Stay focused! Stay grounded! Stay positive! STEVE SZLOBODA It’s all about the way you approach people. How are you communicating with them? Get to know your customers and build relationships so they keep coming back. Be courteous and pleasant. Pay attention to your presentation and show that you are confident. Also, leave any personal problems aside so you can focus separately on achieving your goals. LANDO ALLEN When I got sick recently, it seemed like all of my goals would be lost. During that time, I told my friend that people should never lose their dreams. He said he lost his goals a long time ago when he had children. I am a big believer in never giving up. A couple of days went by while I was still sick, and I got better. I told myself it was time to force myself to get things going. I knew I was close to losing everything, and I had to build up myself to get my goals done. I just don’t want to fail. That desire and hard work have helped me achieve one of my biggest goals, and it saved me from losing everything. Otb 2023 DENVER VOICOctober 2023 DENVER VOICE 5
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COMMUNITY PROFILE SUPPORTING SOUTHWEST DENVER’S SMALL AND FAMILYOWNED BUSINESSES BY FRANK DEANGELI SOUTHWEST DENVER — the area between Colfax Avenue, Florida Avenue, Santa Fe Drive, and Sheridan Boulevard — has long been home to hundreds of small businesses, a number of which are owned and operated by immigrant families residing in the area. After being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, many that weathered the storm have struggled to regain footing. In an effort to provide relief to these establishments, the West Denver Small Business Coalition (WDSBC) created the West Denver Marketplaces program in December 2022. Established in June 2020, the coalition represents an effort by several local leaders to support and advocate for the area’s small businesses, and the Marketplaces program was formulated to do just that. In 2021, WDSBC conducted a survey of 217 businesses in the area. Of these, 78% said their business was doing “ok” or was “struggling some,” and 52% said their business was doing worse as a result of COVID-19. Many respondents listed access to grants/funding and an improved digital presence as some of their greatest needs. The West Denver Marketplaces program seeks to address these needs directly. The program is twofold: help these businesses navigate an arduous grant and loan application process, and assist them in marketing to a broader audience. Describing the grant and loan applications for small enterprises, Anyssa Juarez, planning manager for Denver Housing Authority said, “The biggest issue is access. Southwest Denver is known for being highly multicultural, and a lot of [applications] are only available in English. [Applicants] may not be able to figure out how to get onto an online portal, and if it’s in a different language, forget it.” Juarez also said that this difficulty can be compounded, when the few employees a business may have are focused on running the business — up to 12 hours a day, often seven days per week. Organizations like NEWSED and Mile High United Way are among those partners lending a hand in these hard-to-navigate grant and loan applications. IRMA CENDEJAS, BLOOMING IDEAS: COURTESY OF WEST DENVER MARKETPLACE DANIELA QUEZADA, ESTETICA DEL SOL: COURTESY OF WEST DENVER MARKETPLACE 6 DENVER VOICE October 2023 COMMUNITY PROFILE LUZ VERONICA LOPEZ, NATURISTA LA BOTICA: COURTESY OF WEST DENVER MARKETPLACE MARIA CORRALS, BOTAS EL REY: COURTESY OF WEST DENVER MARKETPLACE DAMARIS RONKANEN, CULTURA CRAFT CHOCOLATE: COURTESY OF WEST DENVER MARKETPLAC MIMI LUONG, TRUONG AN GIFTS: COURTESY OF WEST DENVER MARKETPLACE To spread the word about the business community in West Denver, WDSBC compiled a directory of these small businesses on the program’s website, westdenvermarketplaces.com. This directory consolidates a variety of businesses, ranging from restaurants to auto shops, to art galleries, into an easily accessible virtual guide. Additionally, the coalition has filmed and posted promotional videos for 12 businesses, with more planned for the near future. Another key portion of the West Denver Marketplaces program is the creation of a gift card initiative. Also available on the website, the program allows patrons to purchase one gift card to use at any of 117 different businesses in the area. Juarez said that even though this program is in its early stages, the gift card option has already brought thousands of dollars directly to member businesses. According to Juarez, a driving factor behind the effort to support local enterprise is to mitigate displacement of residents through preservation and stabilization of businesses. “When you look at the data of southwest Denver, it has a higher percentage of doubled-up households than any other part of the city, meaning that people who are living in southwest Denver are at significant risk of displacement and becoming homeless,” Juarez said. “[We want to] make sure that we have continued investment coming to this area, and one of the ways we’re doing that is with this gift card.” Another reason to patronize these businesses? “[They’re] awesome. The area has some of the most culturally authentic businesses and people who live there,” Juarez said. “The restaurants, these are recipes that came from [owners’] great grandparents in Vietnam or in Mexico or other parts of the world, which is really neat to be able to experience. These are mom-and-pop shops that really genuinely care.” Moving forward, Juarez would like to see continued funding for the West Denver Marketplaces program, as well as a steady flow of new businesses to the area. “A lot of people ask, ‘How can I support locally? How can I support small businesses?’ And I’m hoping that if we continue to bring awareness to the program, this is a way that they’ll know how.” ■ October 2023 DENVER VOICE 7
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INTERNATIONAL STORY DISABLED PEOPLE DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED BY HOMELESSNESS - GETTING SUPPORT FEELS ‘NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE’ BY BETH STONE AND EMILY WERTANS HOMELESSNESS IS REACHING RECORD HIGHS IN THE UK. The latest statistics on statutory homelessness show that in March 2023, 104,510 households – including over 131,000 children – were living in hotels, hostels, B&Bs, and the like. But disabled people are particularly affected by homelessness, as our new report, commissioned by the Centre for Homelessness Impact, explores. While disabled people represent 22% of the overall population, a recent survey suggests they may represent up to 39% of the homeless population. According to government data, the number of people qualifying for homelessness support – such as emergency accommodation – in England because of a disability rose by 73% from 2018-22. In Wales, the numbers more than doubled from 2015-19. But these figures do not capture people whose disability is not recognized or disclosed, people experiencing “hidden homelessness”, such as sofa surfing, or those who were not found eligible for support. As well as physical disabilities, neurodevelopmental conditions, such as learning disabilities and autism, are worryingly overrepresented. Learning disabilities occur at 2% in the general population but 13% in homeless populations. Autism is estimated to occur in the general population at 1-2% but at 12-18% in homeless populations. WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE DISABLED AND HOMELESS For disabled people, homelessness can lead to the deterioration of existing conditions or the onset of new ones. Unfortunately, a lack of awareness among local councils and homelessness support charities makes it difficult for people to exit homelessness. Local councils must provide advice and alternative housing options to people who are homeless or facing homelessness, and have a duty to house people if they meet certain eligibility criteria. For disabled people in England and Wales, this involves proving you are more vulnerable than “most other people” because of a disability or health condition. Research shows this clause is subjective and can be inconsistently applied by housing officers. In our report and previous research by Beth Stone, we spoke to disabled and autistic people about their experiences of homelessness. Their experiences reveal some of the barriers people face in getting support. One caseworker at a charity in Leicester told us that not having an official neurodevelopmental diagnosis, such as autism or ADHD, can prevent access to housing or other support. But getting a diagnosis while homeless is exceptionally hard. It is difficult to access health services without a permanent address. And other factors associated with homelessness, such as mental health, can affect how people’s symptoms appear and complicate diagnoses. PHOTO BY MARIANNE BOS ON UNSPLASH When a local council does provide housing, it often does not have the accommodations people may need, such as being wheelchair accessible. Charlston, an autistic man with multiple sclerosis, explained the impact of inadequate housing on his health and wellbeing: “It took 10 months, of the council saying they could do nothing before I got offered a hostel room & another year before I got permanent accommodation. When I did get a tenancy agreement it was not disabled modified, no accessible shower as of yet, I’m still waiting. My health has deteriorated because of the disruptions to my housing. I’m grateful for a place that’s mine, just waiting for the moment I can truly call it home.” Due to resourcing issues in councils and support services, people are left with little choice but to accept unsuitable accommodation. In England, refusing accommodation – even on accessibility grounds – can lead to the council labeling a person “intentionally homeless”. They are then denied further support. As Megan, an autistic woman, put it: “When you have a disability, getting appropriate housing support feels nearly impossible. I don’t feel like my needs were ever taken seriously. I was told the only option was shared accommodation. Being autistic, living with multiple different people is not an option for me. They didn’t listen and I was told if I actually needed the support I would take whatever I could get.” Support from homelessness organizations and charities is essential to help people navigate complex services. But our findings show that many of these services lack the expertise and communication necessary to engage with disabled people. As a result, many are left to navigate with little help, which can significantly prolong homelessness. HOMELESSNESS RISK FACTORS Disabled people are often in precarious and inaccessible housing scenarios, which leads many to become homeless. They are more likely to be in social housing and less likely to own their own homes. And despite a recent government commitment to fully accessible housing, there is a chronic shortage of homes with features such as ramps, lifts, or lowered surfaces. In England, only 7% of homes incorporate the bare minimum of accessibility features. In Scotland, only 0.7% of local authority housing and 1.5% of properties managed by registered social landlords are wheelchair accessible. Disabled people are also more likely than non-disabled people to live in poverty, and are less likely to be in full-time employment. On top of this, they face significantly high additional monthly costs – £500 to £1000 to pay for specialist equipment or higher energy costs, for example – which are under-compensated by disability benefits. Disability benefit spending has been reduced by nearly £5 billion over the past decade. And additional reductions to housing benefits can price disabled people out of the renting market. According to the people we spoke to for our report, there is a postcode lottery when disabled people approach their local councils for support. In England and Wales, there is a lack of clarity on what support people are entitled to from the government, and how they can prove their disability meets the vulnerability clause. Policies at local, regional, and national levels aim to prevent and relieve homelessness. For example, the Homelessness Reduction Act (2017) places a duty on local authorities to try to prevent homelessness at earlier stages. But our analysis shows that these initiatives are not working to protect disabled people. In reality, their risk of entering and remaining homeless is worsening. ■ Beth Stone is a lecturer in social policy at the University of Bristol. Emily Wertans is a criminology academic at the University of Leicester. Courtesy of The Conversation / International Network of Street Papers 8 DENVER VOICE October 2023 INTERNATIONAL STORY WOMEN WALK IN A VILLAGE IN INDIAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR. WOMEN HERE OFTEN FIND THEMSELVES LURED BY THE PROMISE OF A JOB INTO UNSUITABLE MARRIAGES. CREDIT: ATHAR PARVAIZ/IPS HUMAN TRAFFICKING: WOMEN LURED BY PROMISE OF JOBS AND SOLD AS BRIDES BY ATHAR PARVAIZ IT HAS BEEN OVER A DECADE since 32-year-old Rafiqa (not her real name) was sold to a villager after being lured by the promise that she would be employed in the handicrafts industry of Indian-administered Kashmir. But, instead of getting a job, she was sold to a Kashmiri man in central Kashmir’s Budgam district for a paltry sum of 50,000 Indian rupees (USD 605). Before the traffickers lured her, Rafiqa lived with her parents and three siblings in a poor Muslim family in West Bengal, a state in eastern India. Ranging from Rohingya refugees – there are an estimated 40,000 Rohingya refugees in India – to women in other states of the country, such as West Bengal and Assam, women are trafficked and sold as brides to men who find it hard to find brides within their communities. Such grooms often include aged, physically challenged, and men with mental health issues. Rafiqa’s husband, who drives a horse-cart for a living and lives in a one-room wooden shed, had to sell the only cow he possessed to pay the sum to the human traffickers. She has now come to terms with “what I was destined to face in my life.” Embracing the reality, she says, was the only option left with her. “I could have either tried to escape or taken some extreme step, but I decided to apply myself positively to make some kind of life out of what I ended up with,” Rafiqa told IPS while sitting at the base of the small wooden staircase of her house. “My husband’s simplicity and kind nature were also helpful in taking this decision – even though I didn’t like his appearance.” “Now I have three kids for whom I have to live,” Rafiqa said. “I miss my parents and siblings. But it is very difficult to visit them. Even if I convince my husband, we can’t afford to visit them as it takes a lot of money to pay for the travel,” she added, saying her husband hardly provides two square meals for the family. Rafiqa is not the only trafficked woman in that village. Over a dozen women have ended up getting married in similar circumstances. Elsewhere in the region, hundreds of other women from the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam are married to divorced and physically challenged men. When 23-year-old Zarina (name changed), a woman from a poor family in West Bengal, got ensnared in a human trafficker’s trap, she had no idea that she would end up marrying a man whom she had never seen and was almost double her age. Zarina also fell for the false promise that a job in a carpet manufacturing unit in north Kashmir’s Patan area would be arranged for her. But, to her shock, she was sold into marriage. “Now, how will my situation change after talking to you if it has not changed in the last five years? This is where I must be all my life,” an annoyed Zarina told IPS and then refused to elaborate. Some women who encounter human traffickers are far unluckier. In a village of southern Kashmir’s Anantnag district, a young Rohingya woman was sold to a family by traffickers for their son with mental health issues after she was trafficked from a Rohingya refugee makeshift camp in the adjacent Jammu province. “We were surprised when we discovered that the family has got a bride for their son who we knew was not mentally sound since his childhood,” said a neighbor of the family. “We would hear her screaming when her husband used to beat her almost every day. But fortunately for her, the young Rohingya woman was somehow able to escape after a few months.” There are not any accurate official figures about sold brides, but some estimates say that thousands of girls and women are sold annually. The media sometimes reports the arrest of human traffickers, but such reports are not that common. On 26 July, India’s Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ajay Kumar Mishra, told the Indian parliament that 1,061,648 women over 18 years of age and 251,430 girls less than 18 years of age went missing between 2019 and 2021 across different states in the country. Mishra, however, said that most of the victims have been found and added that the Indian government has taken several initiatives for the safety of women. Last year in April, India’s National Commission for Women launched an Anti-Human Trafficking Cell “to improve effectiveness in tackling cases of human trafficking, raising awareness among women and girls, capacity building and training of Anti Trafficking Units, and to increase the responsiveness of law enforcement agencies.” In its 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report, the US Department of State identifies India as a Tier 2 country. “The Government of India does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, if any, on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore, India remained on Tier 2,” the report says. ■ Courtesy of Inter Press Service / International Network of Street Papers October 2023 DENVER VOICE 9
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INTERNATIONAL STORY MARRAKECH ARTISANS AMONG THOSE HIT HARD BY EARTHQUAKE’S DEVASTATION BY ABBEY STOCKSTILL A POWERFUL EARTHQUAKE that hit close to the medieval city of Marrakech in Morocco on Sept. 8, 2023, has killed thousands and injured many more. It has also put at risk buildings and monuments of major historic importance, among them the minaret of the Kutubiyya mosque, a 12thcentury structure that is an icon of the city. The Medina, the medieval walled portion of the city, is now littered with rubble. The cultural significance of the Medina extends far beyond the antiques and trinkets sold to tourists. It is the location of numerous artisan workshops that make the ceramic tiles, carved plaster, and intricate woodwork that decorate the city. Many of these workshops have maintained traditional methods for centuries, transmitting skill sets down through the generations. Part of Morocco’s bid for Marrakech’s UNESCO status was based on these craft traditions being “intangible cultural heritage,” which the UN describes as knowledge or skills that are passed down orally rather than in written form. A MAN WALKS PAST A DAMAGED BUILDING IN THE HISTORIC CITY OF MARRAKECH, FOLLOWING A POWERFUL EARTHQUAKE IN MOROCCO, SEPTEMBER 9, 2023. JANA MEERMAN/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS 10 DENVER VOICE October 2023 INTERNATIONAL STORY PAGE TITLE I’ve been working in Marrakech since 2014, living there on and off as I completed research on a book about the development of Marrakech as a medieval metropolis. Although my work focused on the 12th century, the more I learned about the city, the more I realized that most of the urban fabric and architectural sites I was looking at were thanks to the conservation efforts of local workshops. The UNESCO designation was a historical acknowledgment of the traditions of poor and rural communities that can often get left out of larger conversations about art history. It is precisely these communities that have maintained Marrakech’s architectural heritage generations, but the earthquake has destroyed the workshops and residences of many in the Medina. These poor and rural communities are at their most vulnerable just when their skills will be needed the most to help rebuild the city after this disaster. ORAL ORIGINS Marrakech was founded in 1070 by the Almoravid dynasty, which derived from a tribe that was part of a larger nonArab confederation of peoples now referred to as Berbers. It was one of the first major cities in the wider Islamic west, known as the Maghrib – now comprising Morocco, Algeria, and parts of Tunisia - to be founded by a group indigenous to the region. The majority of the community spoke a dialect of Tamazight, an Afro-Asiatic language distinct from Arabic. It was primarily an oral language, meaning that knowledge was more commonly handed down via poetic stories rather than written texts. Some Arabic sources described the Almoravids as “unsophisticated” and “illiterate,” yet the evidence of their architectural and artistic heritage suggests otherwise. In Marrakech, they built an elegantly proportioned dome known as the Qubba al-Barudiyyin and commissioned the elaborate wooden minbar (pulpit) that now sits in the Badi� Palace Museum. They were followed by the Almohad dynasty, another largely indigenous group, that faced similar accusations in historical accounts despite building the Kutubiyya minaret, Marrakech’s signature monument. SITE OF INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENTS The city’s origins as a Berber capital contributed to making Marrakech the epicenter of contemporary Moroccan national identity, rooted in a pride and independence centuries old. Whereas other North African cities had roots in Arab or Roman tradition, Marrakech could claim to be distinctly Moroccan. In the face of Ottoman expansion in the 16th century, the kingdom of Morocco, based out of Marrakech, was the sole region of the Arabic-speaking world to maintain its autonomy from Turkish control. Although the French and the Spanish would compete for the colonial rule of the country, the Moroccan independence movements of the 20th century were largely based out of Marrakech. The city was so prone to revolt that the French administration moved the colonial capital further north to Rabat. Even the word “Morocco” is derived from an etymological transmutation of “Marrakech.” A HIDDEN HISTORY And yet, recovering the city’s significant past is an exercise in reading between the lines. The oral traditions of the city’s founders were rarely faithfully transcribed. Written sources are often scattered and unpublished, and those that do exist are often written by outsiders or visitors to the city. The Ottomans were excellent record-keepers, enabling scholars to explore extensive centralized archives on every part of the Arabic world – except Morocco, whose archives remain dispersed and underfunded. Historians have had to work obliquely to uncover concrete details, relying on archaeological and anthropological research to supplement oral traditions. Integral to these efforts was the role of craft traditions in and around Marrakech. Craft was a key point of France’s colonial efforts in Marrakech, where they established for “artisan schools” in the Medina to ostensibly document and preserve their methods. In doing so, the French Protectorate - which ruled the country from 1912 to 1956 - created a kind of living nostalgia within the Medina, conflating the people who actually lived there with the city’s medieval past. This effectively created a form of economic and social segregation in which craftsmen and their families were siloed into the old town, while the wealthier expatriates and tourists occupied the Ville Nouvelle outside the medieval walls. PRESERVING THE PAST THROUGH CRAFT At the same time, these craft traditions are also what made it possible to preserve and restore many of the sites in and around Marrakech that now draw thousands of tourists each year. The Qasba Mosque, the city’s “second” major mosque after the Kutubiyya and originally built between 1185 and 1189, underwent successive restorations in both the 17th and 21st centuries after political instability led to their decline. In both cases, local artisans were employed to renovate the mosque’s stucco walls and the mosaic tile work known as zellij. The 11th-century Almoravid pulpit required a team of Moroccan craftsmen to successfully restore the minbar’s intricate marquetry. Artisans have also been important ambassadors for Morocco’s place in the larger canon of Islamic art, building a courtyard as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2011 renovation of their Islamic galleries using 14th-century techniques and materials. With the Marrakech Medina partially destroyed, many of these artisans and workshops will face tough choices regarding their future. Gentrification over the last decade has priced many residents out of their ancestral homes, and many of these workshops operate on thin margins – too thin to both pay for damages and retain control over their property. REBUILDING INTANGIBLE HERITAGE Parts of the city walls cracked in the earthquake, and an 18th-century mosque in the main square lost its minaret. The historic 12th-century site of Tinmal, not far from Marrakech and nestled in the Atlas Mountains, has also collapsed. The human toll of the earthquake is still being tallied, and the material damage is likely to be extensive. Nothing can replace the loss of life. Yet the history and resilience of a place are instrumental in any recovery. It will be the role of Marrakech’s intangible heritage – its artists and artisans – to rebuild after this disaster. In the midst of narratives about caliphs and sultans, philosophers, and poets, it can be easy to forget that the people who built these places often went unnamed in the historical texts. But these artists will need support to maintain Marrakech’s history, to preserve the past for future historians to discover. ■ Courtesy of The Conversation / International Network of Street Papers DONATE YOUR CAR! Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to support our program coordination by helping with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe Dr.) from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at: program@denvervoice.org October 2023 DENVER VOICE 11
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS BACK ON THE STREETS: HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER BY JOHN ALEXANDER, VOICE VENDOR so many homeless, who may form their own families and communities, but when it comes to interacting with people outside of their communities, they remain invisible. ■ This “Back on the Streets” piece is in homage to Brian Augustine, who passed away in January. When he died, Augustine was writing a monthly column about what it was like to return to living on the streets when he could no longer afford his rent. Through the end of this year, various VOICE vendors intend to contribute something in honor of Brian Augustine’s legacy. SINCE COMING TO COLORADO, I have learned the importance of having self-worth. I learned to care about myself to the point that I will not let anyone ever tell me I am stupid and can’t be anything – that I have nothing useful to say, or don’t know anything, so I should keep quiet. Well, let me tell you, you should never believe this negativity or let it stay in your head. You can do whatever you want to. Only you can stand up for yourself. If you hold onto the mean or hurtful things people say about you, over time, you will believe them. I have learned not to keep those kinds of words in. BE YOUR BEST SELF BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR JOHN ALEXANDER. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN HERE I AM, BACK ON THE STREETS… AGAIN. I spent much of my summer – off and on – as part of one of Denver/Lakewood’s so-called tent communities. I was literally spending time with many homeless people – on the ground, in vacant buildings, parks, vacant lots, vacant tents, working cars, junk cars… you name it, I claim it. All of these were filled with other people (and all of those people there were homeless). I began to know these homeless people – meeting them, living amongst them, caring for and about them. Some times were happy – many of those times were sad ones. Living every day with each of them, learning that some had gone to jail or to the hospital – and finding out that many of us were NEVER coming home – even if that “home” was back on the streets. With homelessness comes sickness and lots of addiction, but nothing in the world is more deadly than the combination of drug addiction and alcoholism. When people are evicted from their homes, they often become homeless. Homeless people face all the hardships of life, and they are forced to live and cope with every hardship every day. During July and August, I spent time with a homeless family – a mother, a son, (whom I saw very little of), and a daughter, who wasn’t more than 17. Both the mother and daughter were drug-addicted, but the girl’s addiction was the worst. She took drugs in all the different ways possible. She popped pills, snorted pills, shot pills and heroin. Several times I was asked to watch over the girl until she got better. The only thing that happened a lot during this period, and something I still do not understand is how the police made many stops at the different camps and places where I would be – but the police never said anything to me. I would catch them, looking at me from a distance, but they didn’t approach me. I heard them ask someone else, “Who is that guy?” or “Do you know him?” Maybe they recognized me from vending the Denver VOICE. Maybe they’ve seen my photo in the VOICE’s marketing materials, but not once did they talk to me. They would carry on just like I was not visible…. This experience of being back on the streets – even if for a little while – reminded me what it is like for ILLUSTRATION BY GIGI GALEN Words can lift you up or break you down. It is up to us which we choose. I have learned to believe in myself. When you are so broken and you can’t see anything but the pain you feel, there is no hope for you – only pain. I have learned to forgive myself for staying in the pain for so long. You may do drugs and alcohol to kill the pain, and for a while, it may work, but in time, you become a slave to the drugs and alcohol. Loving words are better than hateful words or actions. We need to look around and see who we can help. If you aren’t able to help others but need help yourself, get help right away. Don’t wait to get help, or you could end up dead. There is no shame in asking for help. Things from our past can hold us hostage when we grow up! If you get help, you can have a beautiful life. Take my words to heart because I have my best life now! I have so much self-worth that I will not allow anyone or anything to take away my happiness ever again. At some point, you need to let go of all the stuff that is RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: CORTNEY TABERNA holding you back. Only when we let go of the negative can we have a better life with less pain. I can’t tell you how important it is to get the help you need. Love yourself enough to better your life. You are worth it! ■ 12 DENVER VOICE October 2023 EVENTS DENVER WALKING TOUR Learn more about the mile high city via this popular walking tour. Tour takes about 2 – 2.5 hours. WHEN: Daily at 10 a.m. COST: Pay-what-you-wish tipping model WHERE: Front steps of Colorado State Capitol, 200 E. Colfax Ave. INFO: denverfreewalkingtours.com INTRO TO IMPROV: DROP-IN CLASS Curious to see if improv comedy is right for you? This drop-in workshop will allow you to experience RISE Comedy’s improv classes in a safe, supportive, and fun environment! WHEN: Oct 5, 12, 19, and 26, 6 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: RISE Comedy, 1260 22nd St. INFO: risecomedy.com PUMPKIN HARVEST FESTIVAL Celebrate the arrival of fall at this annual family-friendly event. Guests can enjoy live music, seasonal treats, a farmer’s market, tractor rides, pioneer games, crafts, demonstrations, and more. WHEN: Oct. 14 and Oct. 15, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. COST: $16 - $35; children 3 and under are free. WHERE: Four Mile Historic Park, 715 S. Forest Street INFO: fourmilepark.org GLOW AT THE GARDENS Enjoy larger-than-life pumpkin sculptures, spooky live entertainment, and hordes of gourds with thousands of jack o’ lanterns made from real, locally grown pumpkins. WHEN: Oct. 17 - 22, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. COST: $21 - $27, free admission for children 2 and younger WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street INFO: botanicgardens.org NERD NITE If you’re a fan of TED talks, the Discovery Channel, and/or Wikipedia binges, Nerd Nite is the show for you! Three experts will present on three different topics, while the audience drinks and thinks along. Be there and be square! WHEN: Oct 27, doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. COST: $10 in advance, $15 at the door WHERE: Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St. INFO: nerdnitedenver.com HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR It’s a spooktacular outing for all boys and ghouls! This family-favorite event features music from film, television, and more! Costumes are encouraged! WHEN: Oct 29, 2:30 p.m. COST: Tickets start at $27, $10 for children (12 and under) WHERE: Boettcher Concert Hall, 14th Ave. & Curtis St. INFO: coloradosymphony.org October 2023 DENVER VOICE 13 ACROSS 1. Element you don’t want in your water 5. Letter letters 10. Some mobile homes, for short 13. Key chain? 15. “Middlemarch” author 16. “Gulp!” 17. Bloodhound’s trail 18. Go-between...or, with 61-Across, what you must do to each theme answer for its clue to make sense 20. Give this for that 22. Hypnotic 23. Blue hue 25. Word before nerve or after fiber 26. Common noun ending 27. Kramer’s first name, on “Seinfeld” 30. Snaky swimmers 32. Turin’s river 35. Flying geese formation 36. Make ___ for (justify) 39. Nightmarish street 40. Two-time Oscar winning actress Dianne 42. Negating prefix 43. Undercover operation 46. Like some churches: Abbr. 48. Org. 49. Mom’s mom 53. Heart of France 55. Comprehends 57. Card game also called “Cheat” 60. Comes to 61. See 18-Across 63. Washer cycle 64. Giant slugger Mel 65. Snappish 66. Elizabeth I was the last one 67. Exec in charge of company safety 68. Promo 69. Director Gus Van ___ DOWN 1. Portuguese capital 2. Slip away 3. Advisories 4. They know the drill 5. Chest muscle, for short 6. Reunion attendee 7. Bar mitzvah, e.g. 8. Question after a tasteless joke 9. Namesake for one of Portland’s nicknames 10. Fetch 11. 10-Across, e.g. 12. Design detail 14. Flower or wineglass support 19. Head of France 21. Dash 24. Runners 28. They contain grain 29. Caribbean dances 31. Stiffen 33. “For ___ a jollyÖ” 34. Possess 36. Big fuss 37. Paths for electricity 38. Three words on the cover of some autobiographies 41. Saint ___ of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits (anagram of SUIT GAIN) 44. Chapel Hill athlete 45. Rapper who plays a cop on “Law & Order: SVU” 47. Didn’t break, as a levee 50. Girl’s name that becomes another girl’s name if you follow the instructions in 18- and 61-Across literally 51. Wrestling hold 52. Declare 54. Former name for a court org. (it has since dropped the L) 56. Database command 57. Popular college guy, briefly 58. “___ Excited” (Pointer Sisters hit) 59. Giant armadillo (anagram of TAUT) 62. 1/1 COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $25,000+ The NextFifty Initiative $10,000+ Anonymous Individual Donor The Christian Foundation Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. $5,000 - $9,999 Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Bank of America Charitable Foundation Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Francis Trainer and Trainer Family Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation Envestnet $1,000-$4,999 Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Katherine Standiford Frederic K Conover Trust Walker Family Foundation Alexander Seavall Jill Haug Whole Foods Foundation Alex Salva Rose Community Foundation Russell Peterson Chris and Susan Pappas Michael Dino Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Megan Arellano Warren and Betty Kuehner Keyrenter Property Management Denver SEI Giving Fund Donald Weaver The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Gaspar Terrana Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Joshua Kauer Elsbeth Williams Julia and David Watson Mathew Rezek $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson James and Cyndi Lesslie Fire on the Mountain Christopher Boulanger Sheryl Parker Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Peter Iannuzzi Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Graham Davis Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity 14 DENVER VOICE October 2023 ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, VETERAN SUPPORT COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ACS COMMUNITY LIFT: 5045 W. 1st Ave., Denver; rentassistance.org DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER: 777 Bannock St.; denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL: Features information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community; detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA: Addiction hotline 888-479-0446; Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/ treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 112 E. 8th Ave.; 303-572-7800; HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on proper disposal of dirty syringes; M-F 9am-12pm: harmreductionactioncenter.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER: 3800 York St.; Emergency walk-ins 303-296-1767; Dental 303-296-4873; M-F 8am-2pm LIVE ANOTHER DAY: 877-596-6866; Equal access to life-saving mental health and substance abuse resources; 24/7 helpline: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION: 1325 S. Colorado Blvd.; Suite B302; Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered; 800-522-4372, 800-359-9272; info@hepc-connection.org; viventhealth.org NATIONAL AIDS HOTLINE: 800-342-AIDS/800-344-7432 NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: Text or call 988; 988lifeline.org NATIONAL RUNAWAY SAFELINE: 800-RUNAWAY/800-786-2929; 1800runaway.org RAPE ABUSE AND INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK: 800-656-HOPE; rainn.org SALUD CLINIC: 6255 Quebec Pkwy, Commerce City; 303-697-2583, 970-484-0999; saludclinic.org/commerce-city STOUT STREET CLINIC: 2130 Stout St.; 303-293-2220; Clinic Hours: 7am-4pm M/T/Th/F; 9am-6pm Wed; coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUBSTANCE ABUSE REHAB GUIDE: Helpline 888-493-4670; detoxrehabs.net/states/colorado/ U.S. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: 800-799-7233 (English and Spanish); 800-243-7889 (TDD); thehotline.org CAREER SERVICES BAYAUD ENTERPRISES CW-STEP: (Colorado Works - Subsidized training and employment program); 333 W. Bayaud Ave.; 303-830-6885; Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm; Provides re-entry to the workforce for individuals with TANF eligibility; info@bayaudenterprises.org COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER: Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway; 720-865-1706; M & T - 10am-8pm; Wed., Th &F - 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, WIFI, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments; denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER: Denver Dept of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd.; M-F 7:30am-4:30pm; Employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé prep, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc.; careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center WORKNOW: 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org LGBTQ+ SUPPORT THE TREVOR PROJECT: 866-488-7386: thetrevorproject.org LGBT NATIONAL YOUTH TALKLINE: 800-246-7743: lgbthotline.org/youth-talkline PRIDE INSTITUTE: 800-547-7433 TRUE COLORS UNITE: 212-461-4401 truecolorsunited.org VETERANS & SENIORS DENVER INNER CITY PARISH: 1212 Mariposa St.; 303-322-5733; VOA Dining Center for Seniors, aged 60 and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm; Food Bank, Wed.-Fri.; Tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm; dicp.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES: 846 E. 18th Ave.; For those aged 60 or older; TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, 3 meals, M-F -7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm; seniorsupportservices.org VA MEDICAL CENTER: 1700 N Wheeling St.: Aurora 303-399-8020: va.gov/findlocations/facility/vha_554A5 VETERANS GUIDE: Veterans Disability Calculator veteransguide.org/va-disability-calculator YOUTH SERVICES SOX PLACE: 2017 Larimer St.; 303-296-3412 Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30; Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. T-F - 12-4pm & Sat. 11am-2pm. Instagram: @Soxplace THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK: 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442; Youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, 303-974-2928; Drop-in hours M-F 8-11am urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: 833-931-2484; Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions; sunshinebehavioralhealth.com TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 3080 Broadway, Boulder; 303-447-1207, 303-447-1207; For ages 12-24; Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services; M-Sun, 12:30-5pm; tgthr.org URBAN PEAK: 730 21st St., Denver; 303-974-2900; Ages14-24; Serving Denver & Colo Springs; Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skill/straining, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing; urbanpeak.org October 2023 DENVER VOICE 15 DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777;; Helps with employment, IDs, birth certs, mail services and lockers; M-Th - 10am-2pm; citysquare.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F - 7am-1pm; Private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch, etc.; thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE: 1535 High St.; 303-321-4198; Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals; Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, etc.; M, W, Th, F - 8:30am-5pm, T - 8:30am-1:30pm; tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER: 231 E. Colfax; 303-572-7800; Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harmreduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes; M-F - 9am-12pm; harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Help with lost IDs and birth certificates; holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM: 1555 Race St.; 303-832-3354; For men and women with HIV; M-F 8am-4pm LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER: 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; Day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services; homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, wifi; M-F 7a-5:30p; odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St; 303-297-1576; 6am-6pm daily; Storage for one bag (when space is available); Satellite Clinic hours- M, T, Th. F - 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm; sfcdenver.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am; capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: mealsforpoor.org CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee M-F. 8:30am; denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES: 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm; christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY: Home-cooked meal, weekly; Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd); christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER: 2575 S. Broadway; 303-783-3777; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm; citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES: 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church); Hot meals served M, T, Th., F - 11:45-12:15; mealsforpoor.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION: 1130 Park Avenue West; 303-294-0157; 3 meals 7 days/week, 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm; denverrescuemission.org HAVEN OF HOPE: 1101 W. 7th Ave.; 303-607-0855; M-F only: 7am-1pm. 8am breakfast, 11am lunch; havenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY: Food service on second and fourth Thursdays; feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html FOOD NOT BOMBS: Sun. 4 p.m.; 22nd St. Stout St (near Mercury Café); Instagram: @denverfoodnotbombs HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE: 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm; krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: 910 Kalamath St.; Community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, Men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the month, 8-10am, Women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am; hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1900 California St.; Sandwiches, M-Sat., 10-10:30am; holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH: 29th and Milwaukee St.; Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm; jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES: 1567 Marion St.; 303-830-2201; Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm); meal served at 6pm; odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY: 126 W. 2nd Ave.; 303-722-8781 Dinner at 4pm on Tues; Also offers a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available; stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S: Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. (Auraria Campus), 11am 7 days/week; food/coffee; stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER: 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month); sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN: 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm; Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon.; saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ: 2023 E. Colfax Ave; 720-530-6853;Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen; Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays; soallmayeat.org URBAN OUTREACH DENVER: 608 26th St., Thurs dinners, 6pm-7pm; lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA: 2877 Lawrence St.; breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun.; food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs.; voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetrofoodnutrition-themission DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13

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EDITOR’S NOTE FOR THIS MONTH’S Ask a Vendor question, Raelene Johnson, who has been with the VOICE for 16 years, suggested we ask vendors what lessons they’ve learned from vending the Denver VOICE street paper. If you’ve met Raelene, there’s ELISABETH MONAGHAN MANAGING EDITOR a good chance you’ve heard her compelling story. While Raelene will share some of her darkest moments leading up to becoming a Denver VOICE vendor, she also talks about how grateful she is to have been given a second chance. In our In Your Own Words section of this issue, you’ll see that Raelene has changed up her “Self Talks,” and instead, she has expanded on the list of lessons she has learned from being a VOICE vendor. While those lessons come from her experience, they apply to all of us. Learning to love ourselves is no easy feat, but Raelene’s words are a great reminder that it is worthwhile to make time to develop that relationship with Self. Another vendor who is a regular contributor to In Your Own Words is Gigi Galen. When she brought her illustration of the tiger (see page 13), Gigi told me it had a special meaning to her. The words “strong,” “defiant,” courageous,” and “assertive,” are pieces of herself she draws upon when she has to deal with unpleasant people, who treat those dealing with housing or financial instability as inferior beings. Gigi is a quiet soul, who likes her privacy and prefers being out of the limelight. But she is a strong and courageous person, who will assert that she – like any other human – deserves common courtesy, and when she or anyone around her is the recipient of someone’s inhumanity, she will defiantly challenge their behavior and intolerance. Whether it is a poem, story, illustration, or their answer to our Ask a Vendor question, Denver VOICE vendors put themselves out there so others can learn from their experiences, and those experiences teach us all the lessons of perspective and gratitude. ■ THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS ROBERT DAVIS is an award-winning freelance reporter for the Denver VOICE. His work has also appeared in Colorado Newsline, Business Insider, Westword, and Medium.com. FRANK DIANGELI is a PNW transplant who has spent six years in Colorado. He has previously spent much of his professional career working in case management at a homeless shelter. He loves movies, making music, and throwing any kind of flying disc. ADRIAN MICHAEL is a Denver-based photographer who specializes in editorial, portraiture, documentary and street photography. He’s been creating images for over 15 years and has a passion for capturing the true essence of people. DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Lanie Lee Cook Aaron Sullivan ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Gigi Galen Adrian Michael WRITERS WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. Robert Davis Frank DiAngeli David Gordon Raelene Johnson Adrian Michael Jerry Rosen Steve Szloboda BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nikki Lawson, President Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, Treasurer Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Michael Burkley Antonio Diaz Jennifer Seybold Julia Watson Cabal Yarne With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. 2 DENVER VOICE September 2023 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S QUESTION WAS SUGGESTED BY DENVER VOICE VENDOR RAELENE JOHNSON. Q A What lessons have you learned from being a Denver VOICE vendor? RAELENE JOHNSON I have learned how to communicate with people. Vending the paper has also taught me how to be my own boss and allowed me to have my own home. I also have become a good writer and have been told that I help others with the words I have written. STEVE SZLOBODA Curiosity is linked so closely with success because it drives you into the unknown, which is where you make discoveries. JERRY ROSEN I have learned about being courteous to customers and having a lot of patience when vending the paper. I have learned to be very nice to cusomters. Sometimes, a few people might be rude, but I still act nice to everybody. DAVID GORDON I have learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned how to motivate myself and have become a self-starter. I know how different we can be and how alike we can be. I have learned to respect myself and others and I’ve also learned to love me. HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. September 2023 DENVER VOICE 3
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PAGE TITLE NATIONAL STORY SUMMER WISH LIST Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. LOSE YOUR ID, LOSE YOUR IDENTITY BY TJ JOHNSTON IN 2019, WHEN I WAS HOMELESS, I lost my ID. I retraced my steps to the stores where I knew I had taken it out when I fished for store cards and cash in my pouch. No luck—it wasn’t at any of them. That meant I had to undergo the rigmarole of replacing my ID. At least I still had my Social Security card, knew where I kept my birth certificate, and had access to the paperwork waiving the fee to unhoused California residents—which is not always true for many people experiencing homelessness. It was only a matter of bringing them to the Department NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant, chapstick, sunscreen Bottled water of Motor Vehicles, taking the requisite photo, and waiting for the DMV to mail it to the office where I write for Street Sheet. The replacement was the then-new Real ID I would need if I were to board an airplane for a domestic flight or enter any federal government facility. It was also renewed for another five years, so I needn’t bother returning to the DMV—at least for the time being. Without an ID issued by a local, state, or federal agency, unhoused people can’t access public benefits or other services. When a person loses their ID with no replacement, they are virtually disappeared from society. It’s as if they don’t exist. The New York University School of the Law’s Brennan GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets/shorts (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets/shorts (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! Center found in a 2006 study that 11% of the US population lack a state-issued ID. That works out to approximately 21 million people unable to prove who they say they are. The Brennan Center also concluded that 7% of US citizens carry no proof of citizenship, including birth certificates, passports, or naturalization papers. The people less likely to have any ID are minorities, and people earning less than $35,000 per year. These are groups whose members are very likely to face homelessness, and if one were to draw a Venn diagram, it would show much overlap between those groups. The absence of ID can have the same impact as a natural disaster. If that last sentence sounds hyperbolic, I submit the seniors, case of Wendi Taylor of Houston, Texas. Taylor’s trailer park was flooded when Hurricane Harvey hit in the summer of 2017. During the evacuation, she lost the bag containing her documents when the National Guard boat capsized. After two years, Taylor was still unable to take the first step toward establishing her identity. “My ID has not been replaced yet,” she said when I interviewed her in 2019. “I’m stuck in a catch-22 of needing a photo ID to get a Social Security card and needing a Social Security card to get a photo ID.” Under Texas law, Taylor would have to produce a combination of documents to get an ID. Today, that would include proof of identity, U.S. citizenship or lawful presence, residency, and a Social Security card. Soon, it won’t be any easier anywhere else. As of 7 May 2025, new barriers to establishing identity could be created when the federal Real ID Act takes effect. Two proofs of a residential address must also be provided—and a post office box won’t satisfy the address requirement, said Derrick Soo, a former construction contractor now living in Oakland, California. Soo said that an applicant in California must provide a bill for utilities, such as electricity, cable or satellite TV, or landline phone service, to show proof of address. “This is creating a huge issue for those living curbside,” he said. When interviewed in 2019, Soo said he hoped to be housed before needing to renew his ID. His then-current address was that of a now-defunct business across the street from his campsite. That address allowed him to receive mail and deliveries even after the business moved in 2016. It also added the benefit of protection from the authorities. A police officer who tried to force Soo to break camp was thwarted when Soo showed him his ID. “He had no choice but to allow me to set up my shelter on the property of the address on my ID,” Soo said. “No city official or police could do anything about me.” The San Francisco encampment dwellers I interviewed for the Stolen Belonging project weren’t as fortunate. Residents living in improvised structures lost their IDs—as well as medications and other survival materials, among other possessions—when City workers confiscated them during sweeps. To my knowledge, they were never recovered nor replaced. Now, these seizures are the subject of a lawsuit a group of unhoused San Franciscans filed against the City. When my ID was replaced two weeks after my DMV visit, I was relieved and grateful. With it, a multitude of things were again possible for me—first and foremost, just being. ■ Courtesy of Street Sheet / International Network of Street Papers @DenverVOICE CREDIT: ACHOLEK-CZ FROM PIXABAY 4 DENVER VOICE September 2023 INTERNATIONAL STORY market means – demand and supply cannot adjust to price signals. Other allocation mechanisms could arise instead. For example, households might queue for many years for a rent-controlled property. Landlords might expect additional informal payments to make up for lost rental income. People desperate for somewhere to live might feel forced to pay more than the regulated rent to access a property. Rent control advocates argue that these negative side effects could be managed through better policy design and stronger regulation (on property quality and security of tenure, as well as stricter policing of unlawfully high rents). Opponents, meanwhile, argue that rather than construct a complex and costly regulatory regime to try to make rent control work, it is better not to start down the rent control route in the first place. DIFFERENT HOUSING MARKETS A key point when discussing the effectiveness of rent control policy is that the concerns set out above don’t apply equally in all housing market contexts. The most negative assessments of rent control typically refer to so-called “first-generation” rent controls. These freeze rents at their level when the policy is introduced. “Second-generation” rent controls, meanwhile, regulate CREDIT: TOM RUMBLE ON UNSPLASH RENT CONTROL ON ITS OWN WON’T SOLVE THE HOUSING CRISIS BY ALEX MARSH AND KENNETH GIBB RENT CONTROL IS FREQUENTLY PROPOSED AS A SOLUTION to the housing crisis. Advocates might not always be precise about what they mean by the term, but the idea of regulating, capping, or stabilizing rents tends to attract popular support. In 2020-2021 in England, over two-thirds (71%) of private renters in the lowest two-fifths of the income distribution spent more than 30% of their income on rent – a widely used measure of affordability or housing stress. The private rental sector in England has also doubled in size over the last 20 years. In other words, many more people are now affected by high rents. The impact of rising rents is significant. In November 2022 44% of households reported struggling with their housing costs; 6% had fallen behind with their payments. Among private renters, this increased to 53% who were struggling but managing to keep up with their rent and 8% who had fallen behind. Proponents of rent control either see it as an urgent response or a long-term measure to short-term crisis manage market excesses. Both views are evident in the Scottish government’s commitment to introducing rent control during the current parliamentary term (202126). In response to the cost of living crisis, Holyrood has also introduced a temporary rent freeze and capped rent increases for existing private tenancies. Research shows, however, that rent control on its own cannot fix things. It must go hand in hand with additional social housing and further measures to address housing affordability. NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS OF RENT CONTROL Some housing scholars argue that a carefully designed rent control system could contribute to addressing affordability problems. Few, however, see rent control as the key to achieving rental affordability. Some economists reject the idea entirely. The most common objection is that because rent control restricts landlords’ financial returns, it risks them leaving the market and discourages new landlords. This in turn would see a reduction in the supply of rental properties, making access to housing even more difficult. The more aggressively rents are suppressed, the bigger the disincentive to landlords. However, whether a landlord leaving the private sector means the loss of a rental property, depends on who buys the property. The second common objection is that capping rental income could encourage landlords to cut back on maintenance expenditure, effectively reducing the quality of their properties. Quality in the private rental sector is already comparatively poor in the UK. Our analysis of recent evidence suggests that this objection is justified. Third, unless it covers the whole private rented sector, rent control can freeze households in place. It increases incentives for existing tenants to stay put, creating “insiders” and “outsiders” – those who have access to regulated rents and those who don’t. Our review of the evidence suggests that this can lead to a net loss in societal well-being. The fourth common objection is that price caps would prevent properties from being allocated through normal rents within and between tenancies. They typically focus not on rent levels but on moderating rent increases. And “third generation” rent controls simply control rent increases for existing tenants. Here, landlords can reset rents at market levels when they re-let the property. Whether rent control causes landlords to leave the market depends on what the rent control regulations allow and on landlords’ characteristics. If landlords can make an acceptable return from regulated rents then they wouldn’t have such a strong incentive to exit. Differences in policy design and housing context mean that while there is plenty of research on rent control, there is debate on how the findings apply. Both advocates and critics can find evidence to buttress their position. There are no simple or unambiguous conclusions on key issues. We have shown that there is also political risk. Free market proponents, opposed to the view that even mild second- or third-generation rent control could help the housing market, argue that introducing any rent control increases landlords’ perceptions of political risk. Landlords will react to the possibility of a more aggressively interventionist policy in the future and leave the market while they can. There is not much evidence of this effect, however. Further, arguments about key side effects do not carry much force with firm advocates of rent control, whose aim may be to disrupt the system more fundamentally. To their minds, housing is a necessity, private landlords leaving the market is not a problem and rental housing should be provided by social landlords on a not-for-profit basis. The question remains then about how to meet housing needs if private landlordism shrinks. Simply arguing that more affordable social housing is necessary, doesn’t get any built. Housing affordability is a complex problem. It demands a suitably subtle combination of policies, rather than the single dramatic intervention of rent control. Alex Marsh is professor of public policy at the University of Bristol. Kenneth Gibb is professor of housing economics and director of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence at the University of Glasgow. ■ Courtesy of The Conversation / International Network of Street Papers September 2023 DENVER VOICE 5
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LOCAL FEATURE CLOWNS BLAHAWESOME & RHYTHM THE CLOWN POSE WITH CHILDREN. CREDIT: ADRIAN MICHAEL much fun, so I stuck with it. The kids we met were so happy to see us; we had lots of interaction. It was great to brighten people’s day, and that was so rewarding.” Both Michelle and Mashika enjoy seeing people gravitating to them as clowns. “We’re bringing energy and life. Putting smiles on somebody’s face just makes the world of a difference. There’s so much negative stuff going on in the world, and it’s best to bring positivity,” Michelle said. BlahAwesome and Rhythm attended the Sixth Annual CLOWNS BLAHAWESOME & RHYTHM TAKE A SELFIE WITH A GROUP OF KIDS. CREDIT: ADRIAN MICHAEL BLAHAWESOME & RHYTHM: CLOWNING FOR GOOD BY ADRIAN MICHAEL “I NEVER IMAGINED I WOULD BE CLOWNING,” said Michelle Gaddis, “but I did love telling jokes and seeing people smile.” The ability to tell jokes would help Gaddis’ transition into an industry that she didn’t expect. “I had just experienced a lot of unexpected death,” she said. “My favorite cousin in 2013, my mom in 2014, and my sister in 2015. Since it was back-to-back deaths, it was hard to heal in the grieving process. I was asked if I would like to join the clown unit of the Shriners Daughters of the Imperial Court (an affiliate of the Prince Hall Shriners), and I agreed since it was something different, something to occupy my time.” Gaddis performs as BlahAwesome (a portmanteau of Blah and Awesome) and has been clowning since 2017. “As I started creating my [clown] image, I thought about my love of plants and flowers, and I said to myself ‘I want to blossom.’ I was going through so much, and some days I felt blah, and other days I felt awesome, thus how my name was created,” Gaddis said. RHYTHM TOSSES A FOOTBALL BACK & FORTH WITH GIRL. CREDIT: ADRIAN MICHAEL Gaddis said it took her four months of studying the art of clowning, gathering props, learning to apply makeup, and piecing together her wardrobe. It paid off when she was awarded “best new clown” in her first year attending the Imperial convention. Gaddis’ daughter, Mashika, has been performing as Rhythm the Clown since 2020. Her clown name comes from her love of dancing; however, she didn’t always share the same enthusiasm as her mother. “I wasn’t interested in clowning,” Mashika said, “but I gave it a shot, and our first appearance went great. We had so Aurora Day Backpack Giveaway in August, where they were able to showcase the energy and positivity that brings so many smiles to kids and adults. They helped pass out backpacks, taught kids how to do the Cupid Shuffle line dance, and took lots of photos with kids. Their appearance was to make sure the narrative of clowns changes. Horror movies such as “It” and “Terrifier” have contributed to the fear of clowns. In an October 2014 article in the Hollywood Reporter magazine, Clowns of America International President Glenn Kohlberger said, “Hollywood makes money…. sensationalizing the norm. They can take any situation, no matter how good or pure, and turn it into a nightmare, and we do not support in any way, shape, or form any medium that sensationalizes or adds to coulrophobia or ‘clown fear.’” 1 6 DENVER VOICE September 2023 LOCAL FEATURE BLAHAWESOME PROVIDES A HUG TO A CHILD. CREDIT: ADRIAN MICHAEL PROFILE PORTRAITS OF RHYTHM THE CLOWN & BLAHAWESOME POSE FOR A PICTURE WITH YONATHAN AND HIS DAUGHTER. CREDIT: ADRIAN MICHAEL According to a 2022 study published in the International Journal of Mental Health, about 53.5% of adults suffer from Coulrophobia, an extreme fear of clowns. 2 “We do get people who tell us they don’t like clowns, but as time goes on, they get closer to us,” said Michelle. “My cousin was afraid of clowns, and upon learning I was going to be a clown told me to make sure my energy is right. Clowns are spooky, and their energy isn’t always good. So, we listen to upbeat music when we’re getting ready. We get into our zone, dance, and have a good time just so our energy projects that we don’t want anyone to have a phobia of clowns.” Both Michelle and Mashika want people to know that they’re not evil people. “Don’t be afraid of me. I’m a person, and my clown attire is a persona,” said Mashika. Along with changing the narrative of evil clowns, there is also a stigma that there aren’t many female clowns. “There are only women in our [clown] unit,” said Michelle. “I never thought about it; there’s men when we go to our conventions, but within our unit, it’s just women. Growing up, I don’t think I knew of a woman clown, but now there are a lot of them.” According to the online recruitment service Zippia, 61.5% of clowns are women, 36% being women of color. However, only 10% of that makes up Black or African American women. 3 “There was a little Black girl that I saw today that told me she wants to be a clown. She was so adorable, and I told her I would love to have her learn to be a clown,” said Michelle. “It’s a great feeling knowing we could change the world with this. We’re changing the narrative and making clowns more positive for Black girls to see.” Mashika said, “At one point, it was frowned upon for people to be clowns, but when I tell people that I’m clowning today and they see it, they’ll say things such as ‘that’s cool’ or ‘I didn’t know that was you,’ and it’s a cool feeling.” For both Michelle and Mashika, clowning is a hobby, but they aspire to eventually do more with their craft. “It would be cool if we could set up an event at least once a month and have kids come. I really want to set up a stage for the kids to come in and be entertained,” said Michelle. As of right now, Michelle and Mashika are clowns that dance and tell jokes, but they’re looking to establish new skill sets. They’ve also been thinking about incorporating magic tricks and making balloon animals. “I’m trying to figure out what’s going to be entertaining and have thought about doing shows and skits,” Michelle said. “We get so many people asking us to appear at events, and I think the more we get out, the more people start knowing us and realize who we are. People see us and say ‘Oh, those are the clowns.’” The August backpack giveaway was highly successful for the community and brought smiles to kids and adults A LITTLE GIRL SHOWS BLAHAWESOME HER FINGERNAILS. CREDIT: ADRIAN MICHAEL BLAHAWESOME AND RHYTHM SMILE ATTENDEES OF THE AURORA DAY BACKPACK GIVEAWAY EVENT. CREDIT: ADRIAN MICHAEL alike. According to Michelle and Mashika, the moment BlahAwesome and Rhythm arrived, people swarmed them, and that atmosphere amongst the crowd was extremely positive. “I just want to make a difference wherever we can. If we can touch one person, then we’ve done something,” Michelle said. ■ 1 https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/ professional-clown-club-attacks-americane-740768/ 2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC9931735/#:~:text=Although%20the%20 prevalence%20of%20coulrophobia,et%20al.%2C%202022). 3 https://www.zippia.com/clown-jobs/demographics/ September 2023 DENVER VOICE 7
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LOCAL STORY CREDIT: GILES CLASEN WHAT COULD SOCIAL HOUSING LOOK LIKE IN DENVER? BY ROBERT DAVIS DENVER’S LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING has inspired creative solutions, from Safe Outdoor Spaces for the unhoused to cohousing for renters. Now, some local leaders are floating the idea of creating a social housing program in Denver to, as they say, provide some permanent relief from rising housing costs. District 8 Councilmember Shontel Lewis introduced the idea during a Budget & Policy Committee meeting on August 7, when she proposed funding a study about creating a social housing program in Denver’s 2024 budget. She said the idea was one she heard consistently while on the campaign trail. “What I am trying to get to is that we are taking a more comprehensive approach to how we are addressing the issues of housing and homelessness at the same time,” Lewis said during the meeting. WHAT IS SOCIAL HOUSING? The term “social housing” can refer to many things, but New York University’s Center on International Cooperation defines it as a model that prioritizes the “social value of housing for communities over its ability to generate profits for a select few.” These models can be subsidized by the government or run by not-for-profit entities. Social housing and public housing are often talked about synonymously, but they serve different purposes. Social housing differs from public housing in that it can serve both middle and low-income households, whereas public housing is reserved for people earning the lowest incomes. Social housing units can be offered on the free market and frequently cap rents for tenants at 30% to 35% of their income. The economic blend of tenants in social housing development also allows for higher-income tenants to effectively subsidize rents for lower-income tenants. On the other hand, public housing operators often require vouchers to access and rely on government reimbursements to manage their cash flow. Social housing is common in European countries like The Netherlands, where social housing units make up 29% of the overall housing stock, according to data from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Austria, Denmark, and England also have robust social housing programs. Stateside, the idea is still relatively new. Seattle was one of the first U.S. cities to experiment with social housing when voters passed Initiative 135 in February. The initiative created a new development authority called the Seattle Social Housing Developer that is tasked with SHONTEL LEWIS. COURTESY OF DENVER.PRELIVE.OPENCITIES.COM 8 DENVER VOICE September 2023 LOCAL STORY However, Parady said the city attorney’s office disagrees with their perspective. “I think the big question is whether we can convince people that social housing is worth the lift of cutting through all the complexity to make it happen,” Parady told Denver VOICE. “We have such a large affordable housing shortage and that has become so urgent that solving the problem is viewed as an uphill climb by a lot of people.” While discussions about social housing in Denver are preliminary, there seems to be some disagreement about how a social housing model would work in Denver. One key component of this model is what’s known as “democratic resident control,” which essentially means that social housing tenants would form an association similar to a homeowners association. Shannon Hoffman, who advocated for social housing during her campaign for the District 10 seat on Denver City Council, said she would like social housing tenants to be required to serve on their tenant’s association as a way to promote a community dynamic within a building. She added that this idea is where her thinking diverges from other people she’s talked to about social housing. “We need an innovative and creative solution to our housing crisis, and we need affordable rents,” Hoffman told Denver VOICE in an interview. PRACTICAL CONCERNS There is also the practical problem of creating a new social housing development entity outside of the Denver Housing Authority and finding land to accommodate social housing developments. Hoffman said there has been talk about introducing a ballot initiative to create such an entity, but those discussions are preliminary as well. CREDIT: TOLU OLUBODE, UNSPLASH expanding the local public housing stock, but the entity’s work has yet to begin. California legislators are also toying with the idea of creating a statewide social housing development authority. For example, Assembly Bill 309 would require the new development authority to build up to three social housing projects on excess state-owned land. Similarly, Senate Bill 555 and Senate Bill 584 would establish social housing development goals and levy additional fees and taxes against short-term rental properties to support social housing developments. Lewis told Denver VOICE in an interview that she has pitched the idea of creating a social housing program to some city councilors as well as constituents who call her office to talk about housing issues. She added the response has been mixed, with some expressing reservations about the legality of Denver owning and operating real estate and the practical aspects of the program itself. “The reality is that this type of housing impacts a lot more people than we are currently talking about,” Lewis said. A BUDDING MOVEMENT Councilwoman Sarah Parady, one of Denver’s at-large representatives, told Denver VOICE in an interview that she supports the idea of creating a social housing model in the city. Outside of capping rents, Parady said social housing could also provide renters with more legal protections against eviction because renters who live in municipallyrun social housing units would be able to assert their constitutional rights during a dispute. However, there is an open question regarding whether Denver can own and operate real estate at all. Both Lewis and Parady said they believe Denver’s ordinances allow the city to own and operate its own housing developments. CREDIT: HENRY BECERRA, UNSPLASH Land issues surrounding social housing may prove to be easier to navigate given Denver Mayor Mike Johnston’s willingness to try innovative housing programs. For example, Johnston is working to fulfill his campaign promise to create micro-communities of tiny homes and shelters to help people escape homelessness. However, land the city identified that could support such sites is primarily concentrated in historically underserved communities, Axios Denver reported. Lewis added that she is concerned about further concentrating poverty in places in Denver that “have a lot of affordable housing already.” Despite the disagreements, social housing supporters say the idea could help alleviate some of the pains caused by Denver’s unaffordable housing market. As of July 2023, there were just 563 homes for sale in Denver, a decline of 39% since July 2020, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, Denver’s median home price in Denver County was $696,500, which represents an increase of nearly 30% over the last three years. Similarly, the Metro Denver Apartment Association measured the city’s average rent at $1,870 in July, an increase of about 11% over three years. The average weekly wage in Denver, on the other hand, has only increased by 7.4% over the same time period, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows. Hoffman said that the city’s affordable housing challenges are also straining the local community. Teachers, firefighters, and service industry workers all struggle to afford housing in Denver, and the city wouldn’t function well without them. To that end, a social housing program in Denver could provide a safety net for workers who can’t afford the cost of living, she said. “We’re getting to the point where we don’t have much time left to sit back and think about this problem,” Hoffman said. “What we’ve been doing hasn’t worked, and we need to find new solutions.” ■ September 2023 DENVER VOICE 9
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COMMUNITY PROFILE BRINGING HIP-HOP TO DENVER TEENS BY FRANK DEANGELI OREN BREGMAN’S CONFIDENCE can be felt through the phone. His charisma and laid-back energy create an air of familiarity, almost like we’ve spoken before (we have not). While I record our call on my ancient microphone and bootlegged audio software, our conversation flows smoothly from music, to life, and back. Bregman has reason enough to be self-assured. Since his teenage years, he’s been making significant achievements in the world of hip-hop, signing to Detroit-based label Traxside at 19. His band Coast to Ghost, long buzzing in the Denver area, is headed to Detroit this fall to record their second album. Bregman lives and breathes music, and more recently, he’s found a way to bring his passion to youths in the Denver area. Mobile Studio, a nonprofit organization founded, owned, and operated by Bregman, has been making a concerted effort to give teens access to the world of music production. The concept is fairly straightforward – Bregman drives a large van, full of instruments, microphones, and computers to meet kids where they are, and Bregman teaches those kids about almost any musical concept they’re interested in. This includes lyricism, vocalization, instrumentation, and recording. Participants are given opportunities to perform their music live or release their songs on streaming platforms, and many branch out from the program to make music on their own. Bregman came up with the idea for Mobile Studio through unrelated nonprofit work in Northeast Denver schools. “Some of the kids we worked with out there were tremendously talented,” Bregman said. “I thought, ‘Wow, what a shame that they really don’t have musical resources or access to a studio. Someone should really be bringing the studio to them.’” With years of experience in hip-hop production, Mobile Studio seemed like a no-brainer for Bregman. According to Bregman, the cost barrier to music production is real, with many projects requiring a computer, microphone, and expensive software to get started. But in Bregman’s experience, this is the kind of music through which kids prefer to express themselves. COURTESY OF OREN BREGMAN, MOBILE STUDIO COURTESY OF OREN BREGMAN, MOBILE STUDIO 10 DENVER VOICE September 2023 COMMUNITY PROFILE PAGE TITLE DONATE YOUR CAR! Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. COURTESY OF OREN BREGMAN, MOBILE STUDIO “Being able to make music, specifically hip-hop and rap, is so refreshing to them,” Bregman said. “They don’t want to play the trombone, they want to do this.” According to Bregman, outside of the cost of equipment, hiphop can be an easily accessible art form. “You don’t need classical training, you don’t need a grand piano or a teacher,” Bregman said. “If you know how to count the beat, you can teach yourself.” He also noted how hip-hop, a historically Black art form, can be an empowering form of self-expression for the teens he works with, many of whom are Black or Latino. Bregman recalled being moved by a song that one of his pupils wrote about the Black Lives Matter movement, calling this a “magical” moment to witness. According to Bregman, the genre itself innately draws passion and truth from its creators. It gives students an outlet to speak out loud on things that are personal to them — to let their voices be heard through an exciting musical platform. He also said that hip-hop’s historically supportive culture allows this free expression in a tolerant environment. Bregman said his favorite part of the job is witnessing the kids he works with discover their passions for music. “For me, [a milestone] is the first time somebody creates their own song and hears it and thinks, ‘Wow, that’s me,’” Bregman said. He works to foster the creativity, leadership, and communication that students find through collaboration with one another. “Over time, you just see their confidence grow: They know how to record, they know how to make music collaboratively, [which is] really impressive,” he said. According to Bregman, when it comes to the future of Mobile Studio, he is thinking big: “Getting more equipment, going to more schools, maybe we’ll get another vehicle.” As the long-time sole employee, he’s also looking to bring more staff aboard. “It starts with growing our capacity,” Bregman said. “I’ve been doing this myself for a couple years now, and although it’s been really successful, [hiring] would be the next step.” Mobile Studio is currently in the process of revamping its website and social media profiles, and Bregman said he plans to capitalize on the momentum that Mobile Studio has generated so far. “Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll see Mobile Studio all over the country.” ■ To learn more about Mobile Studio, donate to the organization, or find out about upcoming events, visit https://mobile-studio-inc.org. VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to support our program coordination by helping with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe Dr.) from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at: program@denvervoice.org COURTESY OF OREN BREGMAN, MOBILE STUDIO September 2023 DENVER VOICE 11 The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community.
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS LESSONS LEARNED OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR FINDING THE DENVER VOICE I thank the Denver VOICE for how my life has changed! Most of my life, I was told, “You have no worth at all.” I was labeled dumb at school. Being labeled like that really holds children back. I never thought anyone would want to hear what I had to say, but because of the VOICE, I truly have found my voice. I just needed a little help. That’s what the people who buy the paper or read our stories and poems have given. I thought I would die homeless, and then, when I came to the Denver VOICE, and I can’t believe how far I’ve come after 16.5 years with the Denver VOICE. If it wasn’t for the Denver VOICE, I don’t even think I’d be alive. They gave me a job when no one else would. Having a job helped me believe in myself. I could never be where I am now without the support of the people who have bought the paper from me, so I will thank you now. RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: CORTNEY TABERNA AS I AM SITTING HERE, looking at the past 20 years, I cannot believe how far I’ve come! I made a list of the lessons I’ve learned during that time. It is a long list, so I’ve organized the lessons into categories, and I would like to share them. HOMELESSNESS When you’re homeless, you can’t wash your clothes, take a bath, or shower. You have no address or phone. How would anyone think of giving you a job? Having no home and no job is a hard cycle to break. The longer you are homeless, the harder your life gets. I wished years ago someone would want to find out why we are on the streets. HOPE When you’ve lived many years on the streets, things happen to you. You lose hope, the longer you are there. Drugs and alcohol help dull the pain. You might try drugs for fun, but over time, the drugs start to control you. You want them so badly, you’ll do anything for them. You’ll do anything you wouldn’t do if you were clean. Losing hope is a hard pill to take. Change can’t happen when you have no hope. A person needs hope and kindness shown to them in order to see they can change and to feel like they’re worth something. Once we learn that, our lives start to change. When we believe we deserve better, so we start to get better. SELF-ESTEEM Self-esteem was the hardest for me to get. Being homeless for most of your life makes it hard when people let you know you can’t do anything right, or that you’ve failed again. Your self-worth isn’t there, either. Self-esteem is hard because, if you are in pain for years, you lose your real self. We, as children who were abused ILLUSTRATION BY GIGI GALEN 12 DENVER VOICE September 2023 SHARING MY STORY THROUGH WRITING The only way you can help others is to go through hell, and then, you come out even stronger for it. Believe you me, it is or hurt, have lost our self-worth and self-esteem. We don’t even trust ourselves to hope for better. You become so lost. My self-confidence just keeps growing. My self-esteem is so high, nothing can hold me back. FINDING MYSELF/OVERCOMING THE PAST I have also had a chance to find myself. I wish I had found myself years ago. I wouldn’t have had so much pain to go through. One of the biggest things I learned is that most people don’t want to think about their past or all that they’ve overcome. They want to put the past behind them. I can understand why they would do that. It can be really hard to think of what we did to ourselves and others. We hurt people that we loved, but most of all, we hurt ourselves. hard to see anything but the pain you are in. Someone has to reach in to show you the way out! One of the best things about the VOICE is that I get to write for them. Looking back, it’s still hard to believe I’m a paid writer. I have chosen to share my story in case I can help someone to help themselves, even if I don’t know who I’ve helped, it doesn’t matter. As long as I can help. SETTING BOUNDARIES I know how to have real boundaries with how people treat me. I’ve learned to speak up if I don’t like something because if you don’t speak up for yourself, no one else will do it for you. I found that you have to want something better to change yourself. You have to tell yourself, “I can do anything I put my mind to.” You must not listen to anyone who tells you can’t do things Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do (unless it is your boss). Every time you think negatively, you bring negativity to you. Start thinking positively, and you bring good to you. This is one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned. LOVING MYSELF The biggest lesson I’ve learned was to really love myself. Once I learned to love me, my life started to change. I no longer wanted drugs or alcohol in my life. I love myself so much now, I control how or what in my life I will take in. No one else can ever take control of my life again. Control of your life is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. If you are being controlled by anyone else, you need to get help. If anyone is causing you pain, get them out of your life. At one point, I thought I would die from drugs and homelessness. I sometimes find it hard to believe I have owned a home now for over 13.5 years. I never thought I would have my own home. Boy, does it feel good to have a home! ■ EVENTS WHEN: Sep 2, 9, and 23, 9 a.m. COST: Free WHERE: Levitt Pavilion Denver, 1380 W. Florida Ave. INFO: levittdenver.org SUNNYSIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL Enjoy a family-friendly day in the park with live music, community vendors, activities for the kids, delicious grub, and local brews. This event is free and open to all. WHEN: Sep 9, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Chaffee Park, W. 44th Ave. & Tejon St. INFO: sunnysidemusicfest.org COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES YOGA ON THE LAWN Enjoy a free vinyasa yoga class on the lawn. Open to all skill levels and ages. Bring your own yoga mat, towel, or feel free to practice in the grass. COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW: STAND-UP COMEDY We all need more laughter in our lives. What the World Needs Now is a bi-weekly comedy showcase featuring some of the city’s best comedians, as well as its rising stars. This FREE event occurs every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. WHEN: Sep 14 and 28, 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: First Draft Kitchen & Taproom, 1309 26th St. INFO: firstdraftdenver.com ACROSS DOWN Across 1. Patronize, as a motel 7. Sudden reactions 13. Showy 14. Sets aside 16. Old Maid player, essentially 17. Means of supervision? 18. Set one’s sights 19. Referee’s mistake 21. Match part 22. Pole, e.g. 24. “___ flight to Miami Beach or to Hollywood” (Billy Joel lyric) JAMMING ON THE JETTY Jamming on the Jetty is a free, family-friendly event that includes live music, local food and drink, and community vendors. Bring your own chairs or blankets and discover your new favorite band. All proceeds go towards cleaning up the lake. WHEN: Sep 16, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. COST: Free entry WHERE: Sloan’s Lake, 4700 West Bryon Place INFO: jammingonthejetty.com 25. They may be drawn 26. Alien-seeking org. (anagram of TIES) 27. The two words that precede “Mama, just killed a man” in “Bohemian Rhapsody” 28. Citrus fruit 29. Paradise lost 30. Hit head-on 31. Beau 32. Niche-finding process 35. Intolerant sort 37. Scand. land 38. In that case 42. Nitpicky to a fault 43. Can 44. Kooky 45. Russian ruler: Var. 46. Snaps 47. Chimp in space (anagram of NOSE) 48. Stick one’s ___ in 49. Modern sing-along 52. Canadian area: Abbr. 53. Most flimsy and see-through 55. Unlike the White Rabbit 57. Poisonous salt 58. Temporary ride 59. Actors Charlie and Martin 60. Adjusts, as wheels 1. “I’m, like, over it” 2. Followed 3. Enliven 4. Shostakovich’s “Babi ___” Symphony 5. “Up and ___!” 6. Hatcher of “Lois & Clark” 7. Mexican shawl: Var. 8. Start of a refrain 9. ___ nitrate 10. “Norma ___” 11. “Here, have a bite!” 12. BBQ annoyance 14. Kick out of the Catholic church 15. Jet-setters’ jets, once 20. Sand bar 23. Oil’s partner in dressing 25. Put on a pedestal 27. Race pace 28. Head of England? 31. It may be barbed 33. Remote abbr. 34. Body of art? 35. Some charity events 36. Like the White Rabbit 39. Spreading (out) 40. Winter creations 41. Raw bar selections 43. New accomplishments 45. Robe for Caesar 46. Song of praise 49. Cattle, poetically 50. Kind of nut 51. Organic compound (anagram of LONE) 54. Last in a series 56. Chi preceder LET’S ROLL: 50+ BIKE CLUB Discover the joy of cruising through the city on two wheels in this bike club for folks age 50+. Whether you are an experienced cyclist or just rediscovering your bike after many years, this club is for you. Basic instruction on safety, navigation, and fixing flats is also provided. WHEN: Sep 23, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. COST: Free but registration is required and event is capped at 20 participants. WHERE: Meet-up location TBD INFO: denverlibrary.org/events/upcoming September 2023 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $25,000+ The NextFifty Initiative $10,000+ Anonymous Individual Donor The Christian Foundation Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. $5,000 - $9,999 Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Bank of America Charitable Foundation Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Francis Trainer and Trainer Family Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation Envestnet $1,000-$4,999 Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Katherine Standiford Walker Family Foundation Alexander Seavall Jill Haug Whole Foods Foundation Alex Salva Russell Peterson Chris and Susan Pappas Michael Dino Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Frederic K Conover Trust Megan Arellano Warren and Betty Kuehner Keyrenter Property Management Denver SEI Giving Fund Donald Weaver The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Gaspar Terrana Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Joshua Kauer Elsbeth Williams Mathew Rezek $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson James and Cyndi Lesslie Fire on the Mountain Christopher Boulanger Sheryl Parker Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Peter Iannuzzi Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Graham Davis Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity 14 DENVER VOICE September 2023 ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ACS COMMUNITY L.I.F.T. CareVan at Open Door Ministries, 1567 Marion St., Tues. 9am-12:30pm DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER 303-436-6000, 777 Bannock St. denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL A resource that features abundant information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community. detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA Addiction hotline: 866-716-0142. Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800; 112 E. 8th Ave.; Mon.-Fri., 9am-12pm. HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Our services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on how to properly dispose of dirty syringes. harmreductionactioncenter.org LIVE ANOTHER DAY Live Another Day believes in equal access to life-saving mental health and substance use resources. This website provides extensive information on the best resources available: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION 1325 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite B302. Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered. 800-522-4372, info@hepc-connection.org, liverhealthconnection.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER 303-296-1767, 3800 York St. Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Tues. 9am-5pm; Sat. 8am-2pm. Emergency walk-ins. SALUD CLINIC 6075 Parkway Drive, Ste. 160, Commerce City; Dental 303-286-6755. Medical 303-286-8900. Medical Hours: Mon.-Wed. 8am-9pm, Thurs.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Sat. (Urgent Care only) 8am-5pm; Dental Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Pharmacy Hours: Mon.-Fri. 1-5pm; After Office Hours: 1-800-283-3221 saludclinic.org/commerce-city SOUTHEAST ADDICTION CENTER Top 50 resources for Black men who are struggling with substance use and/or their mental health. southeastaddictiontn.com/50-addiction-mental-health-resources-for-black-men SOUTHEAST DETOX Updated in 2023, this guide features over 50 fully-vetted resources for Black women. southeastdetoxga.com/black-women-addiction-mental-health-support STOUT STREET CLINIC 303-293-2220, 2130 Stout St. Clinic hours for new and established patients: 7am-4pm Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri. The clinic is open Wed. 11am-7pm. coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH (YOUTH SERVICES) Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. 833-931-2484 sunshinebehavioralhealth.com VA MEDICAL CENTER 303-399-8020, 1700 N Wheeling St., Aurora va.gov/find-locations/facility/vha_554A5 WORKNOW 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER 303-783-3777; 2575 S. Broadway; Mon.-Thurs. 10am-2pm, Denver Works helps with employment, IDs, birth certs; mail services and lockers citysquare.org FATHER WOODY’S HAVEN OF HOPE 303-607-0855; 1101 W. 7th Ave.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-1pm. Six private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch & more thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE 303-321-4198; 1535 High St.; Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8:30am-5pm, Tues. 8:30am-1:30pm. Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals. Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, and more. tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800, 231 East Colfax; Mon.-Fri. 9am-12pm. Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harm-reduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes. harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH 1900 California St., help with lost IDs and birth certificates holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM 303-832-3354, 1555 Race St.; Mon.-Fri. 8am-4pm. For men and women with HIV. LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES 1567 Marion St.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-5:30pm. Drop-in center: bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, WIFI odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER 303-297-1576; 2323 Curtis St. 6am-6pm daily. Storage for one bag (when space is available). Satellite Clinic hours- Mon., Tues., Thurs, Fri. 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm sfcdenver.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES 846 E. 18th Ave. For those 60+. TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, and more. seniorsupportservices.org SOX PLACE (YOUTH SERVICES) 2017 Larimer St. Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30 years old. Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. Tues.-Fri. 12-4pm & Sat. 11-2pm. soxplace.com THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442. Drop-in hours Mon.-Fri. 8-11am. If you are a youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, please contact 303-974-2928 urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 303-447-1207, 3080 Broadway, Boulder. Open every day, 12:30-5pm, for anyone ages 12-24. Office: 303-447-1206. Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services to youth up to age 24 tgthr.org URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) Youth 14-24 in Denver and Colorado Springs. Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skills and training, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing. 730 21st St. 303-974-2900 urbanpeak.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES Go to mealsforpoor.org for meal locations CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee Mon.-Fri. 8:30am denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm. christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY Home-cooked meal; weekly Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd). christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER 303-783-3777, 2575 S. Broadway; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES Hot meals served at 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church), Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 11:45-12:15 mealsforpoor.org DENVER INNER CITY PARISH 303-322-5733, 1212 Mariposa St., VOA Dining Center for Seniors, free 60 yrs and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm. Food Bank, Wed.-Fri., tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm. dicp.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION 1130 Park Avenue West, 3 meals 7 days/week: 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm 303-294-0157 denverrescuemission.org FATHER WOODY’S HAVEN OF HOPE 1101 W. 7th Ave. 303-607-0855. Mon.-Fri. 7am-1pm. Not open weekends. Breakfast is at 8am, and lunch is served at 11am frwoodyshavenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY Food service on the second and fourth Thurs. of each month; locations found at feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH 910 Kalamath, community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the Month, 8-10am, women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am. hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH 1900 California St., sandwiches, Mon.-Sat., 10-10:30am holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH 29th and Milwaukee St., Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES 1567 Marion St., Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm) meal served at 6pm. 303-830-2201 odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY 126 W. 2nd Ave., dinner at 4pm on Tues. Also offer a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available. 303-722-8781 stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. on Auraria campus, 7 days/week, 11:00am; food, coffee. stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month). sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm. Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon. saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ 2023 E. Colfax Ave. Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen: Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays, 720-530-6853 soallmayeat.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES 846 E. 18th Ave. 3 meals, Mon.a-Fri. 7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm. 55+ seniorsupportservices.org/programs URBAN OUTREACH DENVER 608 26th St., Thurs. dinners, 6pm-7pm lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA 2877 Lawrence St., breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun. Food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs. voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetro-foodnutrition-themission CAREER SERVICES COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway. 720-865-1706. Hours: Mon. & Tues. 10am-8pm; Wed., Thurs., Fri. 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, wifi, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments. denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER Denver Department of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd., Mon.Fri., 7:30am-4:30pm; Services include: employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé preparation, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc. careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center September 2023 DENVER VOICE 15 DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13

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DIRECTOR’S NOTE WHEN WE EMBARKED ON THIS JOURNEY to introduce an art-focused initiative to our 27-year-old vending program, we envisioned something that would not only support vendors’ livelihoods but also foster a sense of community and appreciation for creative expression. The results have surpassed JAMES KAY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR our wildest expectations. The integration of art into the vending program has breathed new life into both our program and the Santa Fe Art District. The impact on our vendors has been remarkable. Through the art program extension, many, like Lando Allen and Rea Brown, have discovered a new sense of purpose and fulfillment. Many have found solace, healing, and empowerment through their artistic endeavors. The program has provided a platform for selfexpression, allowing vendors to share their unique perspectives and experiences with the world. Equally inspiring is the response from the community. The Santa Fe Art District, a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts, locals, and tourists alike, now buzzes with even more electric energy, attracting visitors who appreciate the rich tapestry of creativity that our vendors have to offer. The synergy between the art initiative and the vending program has sparked a renewed sense of interest and engagement from the public, creating a virtuous cycle that benefits both our vendors and the broader community. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to all the vendors who have embraced this addition wholeheartedly. Your artistic contributions have not only beautified our office space and area, they have also served as a catalyst for change and connection. Your resilience and willingness to step out of your comfort zones have inspired us all. I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to the neighborhood artists, volunteers, and community members who have supported this initiative since its inception. Your commitment to fostering an inclusive and vibrant arts community has been instrumental in the success of this extension. As we move forward, I am filled with hope and anticipation for what the future holds for all of us. Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey and making these ideas possible! ■ THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS GILES CLASEN is a freelance photojournalist who regularly contributes his work to the VOICE for editorial projects, fundraisers, and events. He has also served on the VOICE’s Board of Directors. ROBERT DAVIS is an award-winning freelance reporter for the Denver VOICE. His work has also appeared in Colorado Newsline, Business Insider, Westword, and Medium.com DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Aaron Sullivan Laura Wing ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Giles Clasen Gigi Galen Yvens Alex Saintil WRITERS John Alexander Michael Burkley Rea Brown WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. Cassandria Carmouche Giles Clasen Robert Davis David Gordon Raelene Johnson Jason Martin Jerry Rosen Larmarques Smith BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nikki Lawson, President Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, Treasurer Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Albert Bland Antonio Diaz Jennifer Seybold Julia Watson Cabal Yarne With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. 2 DENVER VOICE August 2023 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US VOICES OF OUR COMMUNITY AN OPEN LETTER TO MIKE JOHNSTON BY DAVID GORDON, DENVER VOICE VENDOR Dear Mr. Mayor: Congratulations on your election. You may be able to fill the shoes of the previous administration, but you have a tough job. You have inherited a stain left by your predecessor, that I hope you will be able to remove, because no matter how hard you scrub, it’s not going to come out easily. It’s an emotional stain. You said you wanted to get homeless people off the streets and get them the help they need. You have declared a state of emergency to address homelessness. What is your plan? Should we expect sweeps? When we are told to move our tents, where are we supposed to go? We are unhoused. That means we can’t just pick up our belongings and move to another street, only to have you come there and sweep us to somewhere else. When we asked your predecessor where we were supposed to go between sweeps, he didn’t have an answer. If we have a job, we can’t take our belongings with us, so who’s going to take care of our stuff if you sweep? These sweeps are emotional. They are demoralizing. They kill your spirit and murder your hope for a better life or situation. When you go through many of them, it creates a resentment for city government. It tears apart the relationships and families that you’ve developed within the unhoused community. It denies us the pursuit of happiness. TAKEN IN DENVER, 2016. CREDIT: CRAIG ELEVITCH If you don’t want to see us sleeping on the streets, can you tell us where to go or how to remain hidden so we remain safe and aren’t in the way? The last administration was not willing to talk to the people whose lives were affected by the former mayor’s decisions. I don’t recall your predecessor ever reaching out directly to any of the unhoused. Will you? How will you communicate with people like me? Will YOU talk to us? Will you include more than one unhoused person on your advisory board? Will you try to correct the negative perceptions people have of us, or will you double down, referring to us “those homeless people,” and treating us like outsiders who don’t belong? You have just started a very challenging job. Working to resolve homelessness is going to be a difficult task for you. I hope you will ask for help from unhoused people like me, because you can’t do it alone. I also hope you will include us in the conversation. We are more than bodies occupying public spaces. There are some really bright and talented people in the unhoused community. If given a chance, we will contribute to the betterment of society. Communicate with us. Talking to us and letting us talk to you is not going to end homelessness, but it will make it easier for us to understand each other and figure out where we go from here. Sincerely, David Gordon Denver VOICE Vendor HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. August 2023 DENVER VOICE 3
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PAGE TITLE VENDOR SPOTLIGHT SUMMER WISH LIST Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. VENDING WITH THE DENVER VOICE BY MICHAEL BURKLEY, VOICE VENDOR SINCE STARTING WITH THE DENVER VOICE IN 2010, I have been very fortunate to witness some of its growth. They’ve moved a couple of times and are now in the [Santa Fe] Art District, a very fitting location, to say the least. Over the years, many vendors and staff members have come and gone, as well. They will remain forever in my memory, and I’ll miss them dearly. Many of the old timers, like myself, have grown and changed in many ways. It’s an incredible thing to witness, and I’m glad that I have made these friends and business associates. Every year, the Denver VOICE celebrates NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant, chapstick, sunscreen Bottled water its vendors. They also do workshops and also throw parties for us. If you go into the Denver VOICE office, there is always food and refreshments, not to mention some of the coolest clothes [donated by community members] you’ve ever seen. During my journey with the VOICE, I’ve met a wide range of people – from everyday people like myself – to, believe it or not, a multimillionaire. (RIP to Robert Hatch Sr.) Many times, people from all walks of life have come up to me and said something nice. It feels great to know that people truly do GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets/shorts (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets/shorts (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables MICHAEL BURKLEY (2014).CREDIT: JESSE BORRELL MICHAEL BURKLEY (2022). CREDIT: DENVER VOICE STAFF VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! look up to the Denver VOICE. To close out, I would like to extend my gratitude to our new executive editor, James Kay, who hails from Atlanta, Georgia. He has taken the time to get to know each one of us individually. A list of the projects that he’s getting us involved with would be too extensive to mention here. Thank you, Denver VOICE, for allowing me to be part of your team. ■ FORMER DENVER VOICE OFFICE (2015). CREDIT: GILES CLASEN CURRENT DENVER VOICE OFFICE (2023). CREDIT: YVENS ALEX SAINTIL @DenverVOICE 4 DENVER VOICE August 2023 ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S QUESTION WAS SUGGESTED BY DENVER VOICE VENDOR LARMARQUES SMITH Q A Who was your childhood hero and why? Now that you’re an adult, are they still your hero? JERRY ROSEN I would say that Superman was my hero, as he did quite astonishing things that no one else could do. Yes, he still is my hero as he was quite an individual. LARMARQUES SMITH My mom and I watched a lot of cartoons together. My two favorites were Jonny Quest and Scooby Doo. Both shows were mystery-based, and I thought it was so cool that the cast of Jonny Quest was a family, and they worked on solving mysteries together. The Scooby Doo cast was essentially the same – a tight-knit group of friends solving mysteries together. Fast-forward some 30-odd years… Jonny Quest still is one of my heroes. The show’s theme song takes me back to a simpler time, when music was music, and full orchestras were used during the opening credits. Dr. Quest, Race Bannon, Jonny, Hadji, and most of all, their dog, Bandit, still are my heroes, along with those “meddling kids” and that “damn dog,” Scooby Doo. JASON MARTIN My childhood heroes were definitely Batman and Robin. I remember watching [the TV show] religiously every week. Then came the dreaded weekends. No Batman until Monday after school (Ugh)!!! Yes, Bruce Wayne could still be my hero, mentor, and god. Bruce Wayne was definitely [part of] the Illuminati, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and a Free Mason. He is the stand-up, philanthropic type of guy we need to save Mother Earth. MICHAEL BURKLEY My childhood heroes were my school teachers. I grew up in Tulsa, and later, I went to high school in Houston. I can’t stress enough how important they were. One teacher who sticks out is my music teacher in elementary school. She is still my mentor today. CASSANDRIA CARMOUCHE There’s only one man on this entire planet that will forever be my hero. He has been there to encourage, inspire, and motivate me my entire life. Even though I have caused him great pain at times with my poor decisions, he has never put me down or belittled me. My hero stands 5’9”, however, in my eyes, his stature is taller than Goliath. He has the faith of Job and seeks God’s heart like David. This man isn’t wealthy, but rich in spirit and love. He’s not a perfect man, but he is humble about the wrongs that he’s done in his own life and taught me not to make those same mistakes. If you are wondering the name of this incredible man, it is Casanovia Faircloth, however, I call him Daddy. REA BROWN Many heroes come and go as we grow some are made of steel, others are made of snow some move very fast, others can fly or glow. whatever the substance, though, they seem to always let us know in the end, good will win even if it’s just a show. JOHN ALEXANDER King Fonzer was my childhood hero, and today, some 68 years later, he is still my hero. He was a big, big, Black man, and he was built like Paul Bunyan. He lived in the South. I am not just speaking about a big Black man who lived in the Deep South. I’m speaking of a Black man who lived in Mississippi, raising his family in the 1930s, ‘40 and 50’s – during a time when racism, prejudice, segregation, lynchings, and other atrocities against Black people were the worst in the world. As the Ku Klux Klan oversaw these activities at record-breaking levels, King Fonzer faced them – often by himself. King Fonzer had very little knowledge of what was legal or illegal, but he had a great understanding of right and wrong. If any other kid – white, Black, or other – bullied his children, he would come looking for the offender. Once he tracked them down, he would grab that person and take them to their home, where he would explain to the parents what their bullying child had done, and why it would be best not to do it again. News of King’s actions got around fast. When the police, Klan members, and people from all walks of life heard about him, they would say, “Oh, yes. That’s King Fonzer. Don’t pay him no never mind. He’s just one of those crazy n-----! Don’t waste your time with him.” But King Fonzer was not crazy. He was a man who believed that when it came to defending right from wrong, nothing would stop him. He believed in a full and honest day’s work. He would arrive at work on time, and at the end of the day, he often would say, “Well, King is tired. Now, King is going home.” Sometimes, he would stay longer. When that happened, if the boss man saw him, he would tell King that everyone else had already gone home, and King would answer, “Well, today, King is going to work a little longer.” That was King Fonzer. He stood up for what was right, protected his family, and worked hard. King Fonzer, my hero, was also my grandfather on my mother’s side. At 2023 DENVER VOICAugust 2023 DENVER VOICE 5
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LOCAL FEATURE CREDIT: GILES CLASEN COMMITED TO SERVING BY GILES CLASEN PERSONAL GROWTH IS A COMPLICATED ENDEAVOR. It requires self-awareness and effort. Not everyone is willing to take those steps, but Ray isn’t one of those people. He isn’t afraid of what he may find as he digs deeper into his psyche because he has been on a quest for discovery for the past several years. Mostly, this self-examination process was forced upon him by circumstances, some of it was through personal pursuit – especially after realizing how his choices impacted those he cared about. Ray has lived on and off the streets throughout his life. Occasionally, he has found an escape from homelessness. These respites have involved good times, like his marriage. It has also involved his incarceration for drug and theft charges. “I know I’m a bum,” Ray said. “I look at myself, and I hate myself. I hate who I am and where I’m at. When I take a shower, I take it really quick. I get dressed fast. I can’t look in the mirror. I can’t do this anymore. I say to God, ‘Take me, I’m done.’ I don’t think about it; it just comes out.” After explaining this, Ray takes a beat and reminds himself that his belief in God means he can’t give in to his emotions, and he can’t give up. “There are times I want to give up,” Ray said, but when he gets to that point, he remembers that his faith in God gives him something to keep him going. Ray also believes he must persevere to help others. “That is why now I live for other people,” Ray said. Ray’s service to others comes in many forms. He has developed an incredible capacity for empathy and is considered a counselor for others living in tents and shelters. He will talk nonstop once you get him started. But his real gift is to listen and care for others. That gift has earned him the moniker “The Counselor,” among many on the street. “I’m a strong person. I want to keep going. I want to give to people – to my friends, and my family, to others who have less than me. I want to help them,” Ray said. “The people on the street, they love me because I help them,” Ray said. “I’m honest, and I’m genuine. People ask me ‘Where did you come from?’ I say, ‘I’m here for the work of the Lord.’” Ray’s commitment to faith and service is a big change from who he once was. He came from an abusive home. 6 DENVER VOICE August 2023 LOCAL FEATURE When Ray was a child, his father, who was never around, died in prison. Ray’s mother, whom he described as a gangster and drug dealer, abandoned him when he was five years old. He was left alone in a house for over a week. He tried to start a fire to cook something, but the fire raged out of control and burned down the house. Ray was saved by firefighters and was then placed in foster care. After years in a group home, Ray was placed back in the care of his mother. He wasn’t with her for more than a month before he ran away and was returned to foster care. “I didn’t know how to love [my mother]. She didn’t know how to love me, either,” Ray said. “I found a family in foster care.” Through it all, Ray remained steadfast. He learned to drive a semi-truck, got married, and did his best to piece together his own version of a happy life. Ray never learned to be “normal” though. That was partly because he never had the support to understand how to build stability. He was very much a slave to his desires and emotions. “I have never felt love in my life,” Ray said. “The love you get from your mom and dad, I never got that. Where do you learn love, if not from your mom and dad, when you’re young?” Ray doesn’t blame others for where he has ended up. He is pensive and thinks frequently about what he has missed out on, and how he can thrive despite that. “In prison, I didn’t get one letter. No one cared enough about me to send me even one letter,” Ray said. “That was a wake-up call. I decided if I was going to connect with others I had to learn to love myself. So, I started trying.” When Ray got out of prison, he tried to repair his relationship with his wife. “I was abusive. I never hit her, and I never yelled at her or called her names,” Ray said. “But I was selfish and I stayed out all night and slept with anyone I wanted. It was abusive behavior, in my mind.” His wife died of a fentanyl overdose before they really had a chance to mend their relationship. Ray was able to reconnect with his mother before she died of Cirrhosis. According to Ray, his mother’s doctor had told her she had less than a year to live, but she went on to live for many more years. Ray said it was during his time in prison and also while he was living on the streets that he learned to care for others. Today, Ray aims to live in service to others, even as he hustles to find a way off the streets. Recently, Ray talked a stranger into lending him a lawn mower, so he could mow lawns to make a few bucks. Once he got the machine, Ray went door to door and explained his situation to those who answered. He offered to mow people’s lawns for whatever amount of money they were comfortable paying. And if the person couldn’t pay, he cut their lawn for free. “Sometimes people need a little help,” said Ray. “If I can cut their lawn and help them when they have nothing to pay – well that is enough for me,” he added. Ray watches out for his friends and others experiencing homelessness. He listens to them and shares what insight or helpful opinions he has. Ray is tired of the ever presence of drugs. He said he knows people only turn to drugs as an escape from their misery, but he has seen too many individuals die from drugs. Ray carries Narcan with him, and he has used it on several occasions to revive individuals who overdosed. He wants to help heal people’s bodies and spirits, and he is willing to do whatever is necessary for them. So, he tries to always be prepared for anything the streets may throw at him. “I think the Lord is with me,” Ray said. “I’ve had people treat me like a dog. But God, he’s been with me. I am trying to surrender to him. That’s the path. The only thing I can do is to try and to serve others.” ■ CREDIT: GILES CLASEN CREDIT: GILES CLASEN August 2023 DENVER VOICE 7
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LOCAL STORY CREDIT: DILLON WANNER, UNSPLASH INSIDE THE DENVER TENANT POWER MOVEMENT BY ROBERT DAVIS ABIGAIL ESPINO STARTED ORGANIZING A TENANT UNION at the Edge26 apartment complex in Edgewater after the landlord Trion Properties—a multifamily real estate investment firm headquartered in Hollywood, California—increased her rent by more than 55% from $900 to $1,400 per month. She said she had also heard from Hispanic families at the complex that white families were getting their maintenance issues first, sometimes a month or two ahead of Hispanic families that filed similar work tickets. Some Hispanic families even resorted to fixing their own dishwashers and showers because of it, Espino added. Some households, like Espino’s, lived without hot water for a week or more last winter, she said. Those testimonies hit home for Espino, who told Denver VOICE that part of the issue was that Trion didn’t have someone in the front office who spoke Spanish. “I couldn’t believe that some people were living like that and the apartment managers weren’t doing anything to fix it,” Espino said. So, the Edge26 tenants started organizing a union with the help of Edgewater Collective, a local nonprofit organization. They showed up to city council meetings and told the community about their living conditions. At first, Espino said a lot of people showed up, and that seemed to push Trion to hire an employee who spoke Spanish. But then attendance at the tenant meetings started to dwindle. Espino said she suspected people stopped coming because the union couldn’t address the community’s main concern—rent increases. “We are here to help, but there are some things that we just can’t address. And unfortunately, rent is one of them,” Espino said. Espino’s situation at Edge26 is similar to the experiences that many tenants in Denver face as the city’s multifamily market continues to soar. Commercial real estate firm Marcus and Millchap’s Q2 2023 Denver Multifamily Market Report found that the city’s 90% rent payment fulfillment rate and high average yields continue to draw out-of-state investors to the market. Out-of-state investors accounted for nearly half of all transactions over the last 12 months and that investment activity is one reason why the city’s average rent has increased by more than 28% since March 2020 up to nearly $2,000 per month, according to the report. Trion Properties is just one company that sees huge profit potential in the Denver metro area’s multifamily market. Since 2020, Trion has acquired properties such as The View at North Peak Apartments, a 288-unit community in Northglenn, for $38 million; the 402-unit Terra Village in Edgewater (which was later rebranded as Edge26) for $109 million, and a 198-unit complex in Aurora called Trailpoint on Highline for about $28 million. Trion also offers its more A WORKER BUILDING A MULTIFAMILY TOWNHOUSE SITS ON THE FRAMING IN ARVADA, COLORADO. CREDIT: REUTERS 8 DENVER VOICE August 2023 LOCAL STORY than 1,200 investors an average internal return rate of 18% over the 18-plus years that the company has been operating, according to its website. Denver VOICE reached out to Trion Properties for comment about the allegations made against the company but did not receive a reply before press time. Some tenants also say that the staggering rent increases some landlords are instituting are putting them at risk of losing their homes. Denver led the nation with a 71% gap between local median rents and household income between 2009 and 2021, according to a recent study by Witch, a subsidiary of the real estate platform Clever. In turn, tenants across the Denver metro area have formed unions to try and slow rent increases and provide better living conditions for renters. Although many of the issues these unions are trying to address exist at the individual building level, some union organizers say the organizations are driven by the same issues. Namely, that local lawmakers seem eager to engage tenants about the issues they face but don’t show the same enthusiasm when it comes time to passing legislation that could stop the issues from happening in the first place. “There seems to be a lack of awareness from the people in power, who are oftentimes not renters themselves,” Shannon Hoffman, a member of Denver’s Democratic Socialist party and former city council candidate, told Denver VOICE in an interview. “They’re not in close proximity to the people who are facing eviction or who are unable to pay rent, and that precludes them from being able to see the human side of the issue and making the link between a lack of affordable housing and the increasing rates of homelessness that we’re seeing.” ROOTS THAT RUN DEEP The roots of the frustrations some Denver renters feel predate the coronavirus pandemic, but the event seemingly served to exacerbate their concerns. Rents followed the demand for non-congregate shelter upwards at a startling pace. At the same time, low-wage workers like cooks, housekeepers, and cashiers were “disproportionately displaced” from the labor market at the onset of the pandemic, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. In turn, local governments across the metro area instituted eviction moratoriums to prevent as many people as possible from losing their homes because of pandemicinduced job losses or work-hour reductions. They also used federal funds to dramatically expand rental assistance programs, and some counties like Denver created eviction legal defense programs for renters. Over the past three years, lawmakers in the General Assembly have also passed a wide range of progressivestyle bills that prohibit source of income discrimination by landlords, housing discrimination based on someone’s hair type, and gave tenants more power to address issues in their rental contracts. So why do some renters say these efforts haven’t been enough? Hoffman said one reason is that the programs that lawmakers have created are not large enough to meet the scale of need. For example, Denver has its own eviction defense program but there were still more than 1,200 evictions filed in May, which is 35% higher than the number recorded in May 2019 before the pandemic began, Denverite reported. However, Denver only spends about $1.5 million annually on its eviction defense program, a total that has remained stagnant over the last two years, according to city budget documents. Hoffman added that lawmakers have also failed to pass legislation that directly addresses some of the tenant organizations’ concerns like requiring just cause in an eviction case. The bill sought to limit the instances where a CREDIT: XUEHUAI HE, UNSPLASH landlord could legally evict a tenant, but was ultimately laid over before the last legislative session ended. Eighteen anti-poverty organizations including the ACLU of Colorado, Colorado Poverty Law Project, and the Colorado Village Collaborative penned a letter asking newly elected Denver Mayor Mike Johnston to implement many of the requirements of the just cause eviction bill such as ending evictions for unpaid rent and increasing funding for eviction legal defense programs. These organizations also called on Johnston to increase eviction defense funding by up to $10 million annually. “There’s a real lack of trust, and we’re starting from lessthan-zero on many of these issues,” Melissa Mejía, the state and local policy director for the Community Economic Defense Project, a nonprofit that also signed the letter to Johnston, told Denver VOICE in an interview. Another issue that Hoffman said needs to be addressed is Colorado’s ban on rent control, which stems from the 2000 Colorado Supreme Court decision in Town of Telluride v. Lot Thirty-Four Venture, LLC, also known as the “Telluride decision.” Lawmakers introduced a bill during the 2023 legislative session that sought to repeal local rent control prohibitions, but the bill was subsequently laid over after a strong lobbying effort from groups like the Associated Builders and Contractors of the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Apartment Association, and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. TAKING MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS While the disconnect between renters and lawmakers has some tenants taking matters into their own hands by organizing, landlords in the courtroom. In early June, five tenants filed a class action lawsuit against Tschetter Sulzer, P.C., a law firm in Denver that specializes in eviction cases. Each plaintiff described situations where they were charged attorneys fees and costs by the law firm after it represented their landlords in eviction cases against the plaintiffs for nonpayment of rent. Carol Kennedy, an attorney with the Colorado Poverty Law Project who is representing the plaintiffs, told Denver Voice that Colorado law prohibits these fees from being assessed in cases that are settled out of court, as each of the class action plaintiffs did. The lawsuit also represents an urgent question for lawmakers about how they will enforce new laws aimed at protecting renters as debates about tenant rights spill over into the next legislative session. “This is just an effort to enforce the laws as they are currently written, and make the system work in the way that it is supposed to work,” Kennedy said. Kinsey Hasstedt, the senior state and local policy program director at Enterprise Community Fund, told Denver Voice that she sympathizes with the frustration of renters because the past few years have been “a decidedly mixed bag” in terms of policy. Hasstedt said renters can take some solace in the fact that tenants’ rights and affordable housing issues will remain the top issue for state lawmakers for the foreseeable future. There is also a growing coalition of lawmakers under the Gold Dome that seem committed to prioritizing those issues, she said. “It used to be that you couldn’t get anyone to talk about it also has pitted some tenants against their affordable housing but now no one can stop talking about it,” Hasstedt said. “People are running on it, and they’re telling their constituents about it. Affordable housing and renters’ rights issues aren’t going anywhere.” ■ August 2023 DENVER VOICE 9
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NATIONAL STORY PROTESTERS GATHER OUTSIDE THE SUPREME COURT BUILDING ON THE DAY ROE V. WADE WAS OVERTURNED BY THE JUSTICES, JUNE 24, 2022. CREDIT: FLICKR USER TAEDC THIS SUPREME COURT SESSION TOOK THE COUNTRY ON A SHARP TURN IN THE WRONG DIRECTION BY ASHLEY ARCHIBALD THE SUPREME COURT has generated quite a bit of earned media in the past few years. There was the passing of Justice Samuel Alito, leading Sen. Mitch McConnell to hamstring the court with eight justices as he and the Republican-held Senate refused to approve President Barack Obama’s candidates on the thinnest of pretexts. He successfully held the seat open in the hopes that a Republican would assume office, and his gamble paid off. That domino knocked over the next: the appointment of three conservative justices during the Trump administration (and the resultant addition of terms like “boof,” “Devil’s triangle” and “squee” into the Congressional record). And, as of the end of the 2022-2023 term, that six-to-three conservative majority has done what conservative activists have worked for decades to accomplish: the end of federally protected abortions; the gutting of affirmative action; and the ability to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. The fact that the court managed to kill a Biden-era program to help 43 million student loan borrowers? That was icing. Those activists paved the route to our current jurisprudential reality in painstaking fashion. They picked the plaintiffs — the Asian students at the heart of the affirmative action case were preceded by Abigail Fisher. They picked the path — there are jurisdictions in Texas with a single judge whose decisions can be appealed to the most conservative appellate court in the country and then straight to the Supreme Court. They’ve picked the justices — former President Trump was handed a list of conservative jurists from which to choose and a seat he shouldn’t have been able to fill. By 2022, this long, patient process bore fruit. The Dobbs decision came down on June 24, 2022. The end of this Supreme Court sitting gave us the affirmative action decision on June 29 followed by the decisions about student loans and Creative 303 — allowing business owners to deny services to LGBTQ+ people on the basis of their religion — both on June 30. It has been remarkable, horrific, and yet entirely unsurprising to see decades of work expanding rights for people (specifically those who can’t afford to buy them) undone in just more than one year. There is no reason to think this court will be done any time soon. After all, these unelected justices, who are bound to no system of ethics but their own, also have lifetime appointments. Several of the conservative justices are relatively young, in judge-adjusted terms. The three newest justices — Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh — are 51, 55, and 58, respectively. The potential persistence of the conservative majority leaves a lot on the table, from attempts to gut the administrative state to decisions that relied on the Fifth and 14th Amendment’s substantive due process rights, which Justice Clarence Thomas helpfully listed in his concurring opinion on the abortion case: access to contraception (Griswold), gay marriage (Obergefell) and even a prohibition against outlawing gay sex (Lawrence). He left one out, but fully accounting for anything — his thinking, ethical boundaries, and vacation costs — has apparently never been Thomas’ thing. I won’t speak to Real Change’s thoughts on these sorts of things in any kind of “royal we.” I can describe my own political project, such as it is. It’s pretty simple. I want everyone in this country to have what I have always had through luck but as a matter of right. I want people to have housing and health care. I want people to access the education they want without fear of crushing debt. Sure, this past year some of my rights have been curtailed and more are threatened, but I believe I’ll be okay. What I want — and what this paper stands for — is for everyone to be okay. The potential that stability and security would unlock from people far better, far more innovative, and far more creative than I am is hard to imagine. I truly believe we would all be better for it. It all feels a bit disempowering. Residents of the United States have little recourse when it comes to the supremacy of these judges and their judicial activism. We don’t, but our elected representatives do. Theories that I’ve heard bandied about by people more knowledgeable than myself involve constraining this court through ethical standards, something floated by Democratic members of Congress. Life terms were meant to make justices unassailable, unaffected by the political winds — that hasn’t exactly worked out, but term-limiting them might. Rotating justices out of a pool of available candidates is a possibility. It would be hard to know which justice to take out to a private club, say, or who needs a spot on your private jet. Congress could do any of these things, and the country deserves at least the discussion of our options. Because for the first time in a long time, Americans are losing rights faster than they’re gaining them, and traditionally we haven’t been a nation that accepts that without a fight. ■ Courtesy of Real Change / International Network of Street Papers 10 DENVER VOICE August 2023 INTERNATIONAL STORY PAGE TITLE FINLAND IS SAYING GOODBYE TO HOMELESSNESS BY VEERA VEHKASALO ISO NUMERO: The aim of the Sanna Marin government 2019–2023 was to eradicate homelessness by 2027. Is this a realistic goal? JUHA KAAKINEN: Yes, it is. We know the ways to make it possible. Homelessness has decreased in Finland, mainly because of a strong political consensus that homelessness is an important human rights issue. Earlier this year you completed a report for the Ministry of the Environment on how to achieve this. So, how? Now that the number of homeless people has decreased, we can say that the majority of the remaining ones have more challenging problems. They need more intensive and longer-lasting support. We must ensure that this support is organized and that resources are allocated for it. Since 2008, the number of homeless people living alone has decreased by 54% and the number of long-term homeless by 68%. What is the explanation for this? Above all, the fact is that decreasing homelessness has been prioritized, and state, officials, municipalities, and organizations have been persistently working together. In concrete terms, it has of course meant that a significant number of apartments have been assigned to people and supported living units have been built. The explanation for the progress in the country as a whole is driven by the fact that the numbers of homeless people living alone and long-term homeless in Helsinki have decreased by as much as more than 70%. But more needs to be done in terms of prevention. The best option would be that a situation is not allowed to go so far that a person ends up homeless. How has homelessness changed in recent decades? Has the number of homeless in need of significant support increased? The picture of homelessness has changed rapidly. In 2008, the target group was still mainly people living in hostels or on the street who were abusing alcohol. Now the core group is made up of socially excluded people with multiple problems and drug addictions. But being homeless is not an attribute of a person; it is a situation they end up in. Currently, many different kinds of situations lead to it. And with the total number of homeless having decreased, there are more people who are in need of more intensive support. When the target is eradicating homelessness, it means that we must be able to get rid of all homelessness, regardless of the reasons behind homelessness or what kinds of problems a person might have. We must find solutions that work. But it is impossible to solve problems without housing, regardless of whether people’s issues are related to health or social care. The target was to halve homelessness by 2023 [the government has also made a commitment to completely eradicate homelessness by 2027]. Why has this been unsuccessful? Good question. Regardless of having found housing and support solutions for people, too many new homeless people have still been appearing. There must be more of a focus on earlier intervention and more intensive support during the process of housing being organized. More support is needed during the transition period. There are good frameworks to ensure a person gets the correct services they need. The importance of an exchangeable and portable principle has been confirmed by the fact that health and social care services in Finland are being widely reformed. So, does reducing homelessness remain a challenge, particularly as a result of the current economic situation and the need for reform? In general, the challenge is within health and social care services. The problem with drug and substance abuse, for example, is a big social issue and only partly affects homelessness. Drug and substance abuse should not be treated as one issue. The problem of homelessness is limited enough now, in terms of its scale, that it can be solved if the will is there. There was a very similar situation in 2008 when the project to reduce long-term homelessness was launched. The economy was crashing pretty badly then too; it wasn’t in any way opportune timing. But when it comes to eradicating homelessness, the timing is always economically opportune, as it pays for itself quickly. It’s clear that you are very optimistic that eradicating homelessness is possible. What feeds your hopefulness? When I see how many genuinely dedicated people there are in the field. And we have examples of this kind of positive progress being possible. I trust that the decisionmakers understand the issue, as they have done so far. My perspective on this starts in the 80s when the situation was quite different. During my career, I have seen xa huge change in the homelessness situation. Because of this, I trust that when the decision is made to eradicate homelessness, it will be possible. The current situation does not require an unreasonable number of resources. ■ Translated from Finnish via Translators Without Borders Courtesy of Iso Numero / International Network of Street Papers JUHA KAAKINEN. CREDIT: LAURA OJA DONATE YOUR CAR! Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to support our program coordination by helping with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe Dr.) from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at: program@denvervoice.org August 2023 DENVER VOICE 11
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS SELF, WHEN YOU LET THE PAIN GO YOU’LL SEE A CHANGE! BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR GUESS WHAT, SELF? Life is good because we got it together. Life for many years was hard because Self couldn’t love Self. Guess what, Self? Things changed once we learned to love Self. We learned to put Self first, because if we are happy, then we make others happy. When that happens, we make life great for Self and others. Guess what? You have to have the power to do good or bad. The choice is within you. If you are in pain and do not let it go, it keeps you in pain. Pain makes bad choices when Self is hurting, but guess what? Once you let go of the pain, things change. Holding on to bad things keeps bad things coming your JOHN ALEXANDER. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN BACK ON THE STREETS: COPING WITH THOUGHT AND EMOTION BY JOHN ALEXANDER, VOICE VENDOR SOME FOLKS BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE LIKE ME – like the many people that are homeless and living on the streets today – that our actions, past and present, were crazy and are crazy still. But crazy as our craziness is, it has kept many, many of us from crossing over the borders of going insane. What is the meaning of “home”? Home is having a safe place to stay, a residence, a house, a place to have a family, a place to raise a family. But, people like myself often are confronted with the fact of being homeless – or people who were homeless, were able to get housing but can no longer afford their rent. What does that mean? It means not having any of those things I mentioned above about what a home is. It means just living and existing – and ending up back on the streets. ■ This “Back on the Streets” piece is in homage to Brian Augustine, who passed away in January. When he died, Augustine was writing a monthly column about what it was like to return to living on the streets when he could no longer afford his rent. Through the end of this year, various VOICE vendors intend to contribute something in honor of Brian Augustine’s legacy. ILLUSTRATION BY GIGI GALEN way. Flip your way of thinking. Think of good coming, because when you start to think of good things, good will come to you. (Funny how that works.) Guess what? At some point, you have to choose. Hold on tight to pain and keep calling that to you. Or, say, “I can’t change the past, so I’m letting go of the pain. I choose to live and love Self and others.” By doing this, Self, you will end up in a life you never thought would happen. Let go, Self. With love. ■ RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: CORTNEY TABERNA 12 DENVER VOICE August 2023 EVENTS WHEN: Aug 4, doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Five Points Plaza, 2736 Welton St. INFO: eventbrite.com COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES FIRST FRIDAY: JAZZ IN THE PLAZA Free jazz in the plaza, featuring Brothers of Brass. Event also features local food vendors, craft beer, and cocktails. COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 WHEAT RIDGE CARNATION FESTIVAL This 54th annual community festival will feature live music, classic cars, a parade, circus, carnival rides, vendors, food, beer and wine, fireworks, and more. WHEN: Aug 11 – Aug 13 COST: Free entry WHERE: Anderson Park, 4355 Field St. INFO: thecarnationfestival.com FAMILY PROGRAM: ICE CHALK Get creative with ice chalk! The museum will provide a variety of ice chalk to color and draw on the Museum’s outdoor walkway. Feel free to drop in any time; all ages are welcome. WHEN: Aug 12, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Clyfford Still Museum, 1250 Bannock St. INFO: clyffordstillmuseum.org ACROSS DOWN 1. Branch of engineering: Abbr. 5. Get out of Dodge 10. Boar’s mate 13. Straight parent at a Pride parade, e.g. 14. Put to rest, as fears (or 13-Across with a letter added) 15. Certain type of healthcare grp. 16. Control (someone) 18. Not good-looking, in Spanish COLORADO NATIVE: A NATIVE AMERICAN COMEDY SHOWCASE MCA Denver and DeadRoom Comedy presents Colorado Native, a Native comedy show with local and national Indigenous comedians. Colorado Native is one of the only Native American comedy showcases in the country and is built on the simple premise that Natives are funny. WHEN: $5 for students, $20 for general admission. COST: Aug 24, 7 p.m. WHERE: Holiday Theater, 2644 W 32nd Ave. INFO: mcadenver.org 19. PBS funder 20. List enders 21. Announce 23. Doesn’t help at all 25. CPAs, e.g. 26. Like foamy seas 27. Disaster 28. Boat propellers 29. “___ Lot” (King novel) 30. Fleur-de-___ 31. Lemonlike fruits 33. The Face of ___ (Doctor Who character) 36. “I get to roll now!” 37. Director Gus Van ___ 38. Popular sport drink 41. “___, She Wrote” 43. Involves 44. Not even close to hip 45. Maya Angelou poem “___ Rise” 46. Piglet’s pal 47. Sue Grafton’s “___ for Alibi” 48. Feel awful 49. Take it easy...or a phonetic description of the circled letters? 52. Type of credit MDs may get for attending conferences or peerreviewing manuscripts 53. Like some mobile purchases 54. Missing a deadline 55. “For ___ a jolly...” 56. Insured’s contribution 57. Pooped 1. Seizes a golden opportunity 2. Roosevelt and Powell 3. The Cavs, on scoreboards 4. Heavily promote 5. Bass in a boy band? 6. Building additions 7. “Prince ___” (“Aladdin” song) 8. David Lee Roth’s band 9. Tests that start out easy and then may become a strain? 10. African trip 11. Spotted wildcat 12. Like a pine fragrance 17. Teeny 19. Actor Williamson (whose name anagrams to the first name of actor Firth) 22. Tach readings 24. Photo or black finish? 25. Eagle’s claw 27. Spy novelist John le ___ 29. Drywall supports 31. Alphabet used for Russian 32. Certain Romance language, to its speakers 33. 2003 Coen brothers Christmas movie 34. Like unrequited love 35. French beings (anagram of TREES) 36. Happy or square thing? 37. Madrid Mrs. 38. Passover, in the Haggadah 39. Not 54-Across 40. There are 2 in an English-language Scrabble set, each worth 4 points 41. Drop anchor 42. Support, as a ruling 44. In a lather? 46. Salt’s partner, in hip-hop 50. Cook in the microwave 51. Dubai’s country, for short JAPAN FEST 2023 WITH LYRICS BORN Japan Fest 2023 is a community-driven and multi-disciplinary festival of Japanese culture featuring headliner, Lyrics Born. The festival will also feature a market of artists and vendors, additional performances, and food trucks. WHEN: Aug 27, doors at 4 p.m., show at 5 p.m. COST: Free for general admission; $35 for VIP seating WHERE: Levitt Pavilion Denver, 1380 W. Florida Ave. INFO: levittdenver.org August 2023 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $25,000+ The NextFifty Initiative $10,000+ Anonymous Individual Donor The Christian Foundation Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. $5,000 - $9,999 Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Bank of America Charitable Foundation Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Francis Trainer and Trainer Family Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation Envestnet $1,000-$4,999 Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Katherine Standiford Walker Family Foundation Alexander Seavall Jill Haug Whole Foods Foundation Alex Salva Russell Peterson Chris and Susan Pappas Michael Dino Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Frederic K Conover Trust Megan Arellano Warren and Betty Kuehner Keyrenter Property Management Denver SEI Giving Fund Donald Weaver The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Gaspar Terrana Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Joshua Kauer Elsbeth Williams Mathew Rezek $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson James and Cyndi Lesslie Fire on the Mountain Christopher Boulanger Sheryl Parker Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Peter Iannuzzi Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Graham Davis Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity 14 DENVER VOICE August 2023 ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ACS COMMUNITY L.I.F.T. CareVan at Open Door Ministries, 1567 Marion St., Tues. 9am-12:30pm DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER 303-436-6000, 777 Bannock St. denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL A resource that features abundant information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community. detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA Addiction hotline: 866-716-0142. Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800; 112 E. 8th Ave.; Mon.-Fri., 9am-12pm. HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Our services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on how to properly dispose of dirty syringes. harmreductionactioncenter.org LIVE ANOTHER DAY Live Another Day believes in equal access to life-saving mental health and substance use resources. This website provides extensive information on the best resources available: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION 1325 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite B302. Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered. 800-522-4372, info@hepc-connection.org, liverhealthconnection.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER 303-296-1767, 3800 York St. Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Tues. 9am-5pm; Sat. 8am-2pm. Emergency walk-ins. SALUD CLINIC 6075 Parkway Drive, Ste. 160, Commerce City; Dental 303-286-6755. Medical 303-286-8900. Medical Hours: Mon.-Wed. 8am-9pm, Thurs.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Sat. (Urgent Care only) 8am-5pm; Dental Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Pharmacy Hours: Mon.-Fri. 1-5pm; After Office Hours: 1-800-283-3221 saludclinic.org/commerce-city SOUTHEAST ADDICTION CENTER Top 50 resources for Black men who are struggling with substance use and/or their mental health. southeastaddictiontn.com/50-addiction-mental-health-resources-for-black-men SOUTHEAST DETOX Updated in 2023, this guide features over 50 fully-vetted resources for Black women. southeastdetoxga.com/black-women-addiction-mental-health-support STOUT STREET CLINIC 303-293-2220, 2130 Stout St. Clinic hours for new and established patients: 7am-4pm Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri. The clinic is open Wed. 11am-7pm. coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH (YOUTH SERVICES) Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. 833-931-2484 sunshinebehavioralhealth.com VA MEDICAL CENTER 303-399-8020, 1700 N Wheeling St., Aurora va.gov/find-locations/facility/vha_554A5 WORKNOW 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER 303-783-3777; 2575 S. Broadway; Mon.-Thurs. 10am-2pm, Denver Works helps with employment, IDs, birth certs; mail services and lockers citysquare.org FATHER WOODY’S HAVEN OF HOPE 303-607-0855; 1101 W. 7th Ave.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-1pm. Six private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch & more thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE 303-321-4198; 1535 High St.; Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8:30am-5pm, Tues. 8:30am-1:30pm. Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals. Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, and more. tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800, 231 East Colfax; Mon.-Fri. 9am-12pm. Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harm-reduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes. harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH 1900 California St., help with lost IDs and birth certificates holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM 303-832-3354, 1555 Race St.; Mon.-Fri. 8am-4pm. For men and women with HIV. LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES 1567 Marion St.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-5:30pm. Drop-in center: bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, WIFI odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER 303-297-1576; 2323 Curtis St. 6am-6pm daily. Storage for one bag (when space is available). Satellite Clinic hours- Mon., Tues., Thurs, Fri. 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm sfcdenver.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES 846 E. 18th Ave. For those 60+. TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, and more. seniorsupportservices.org SOX PLACE (YOUTH SERVICES) 2017 Larimer St. Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30 years old. Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. Tues.-Fri. 12-4pm & Sat. 11-2pm. soxplace.com THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442. Drop-in hours Mon.-Fri. 8-11am. If you are a youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, please contact 303-974-2928 urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 303-447-1207, 3080 Broadway, Boulder. Open every day, 12:30-5pm, for anyone ages 12-24. Office: 303-447-1206. Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services to youth up to age 24 tgthr.org URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) Youth 14-24 in Denver and Colorado Springs. Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skills and training, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing. 730 21st St. 303-974-2900 urbanpeak.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES Go to mealsforpoor.org for meal locations CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee Mon.-Fri. 8:30am denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm. christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY Home-cooked meal; weekly Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd). christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER 303-783-3777, 2575 S. Broadway; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES Hot meals served at 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church), Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 11:45-12:15 mealsforpoor.org DENVER INNER CITY PARISH 303-322-5733, 1212 Mariposa St., VOA Dining Center for Seniors, free 60 yrs and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm. Food Bank, Wed.-Fri., tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm. dicp.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION 1130 Park Avenue West, 3 meals 7 days/week: 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm 303-294-0157 denverrescuemission.org FATHER WOODY’S HAVEN OF HOPE 1101 W. 7th Ave. 303-607-0855. Mon.-Fri. 7am-1pm. Not open weekends. Breakfast is at 8am, and lunch is served at 11am frwoodyshavenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY Food service on the second and fourth Thurs. of each month; locations found at feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH 910 Kalamath, community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the Month, 8-10am, women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am. hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH 1900 California St., sandwiches, Mon.-Sat., 10-10:30am holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH 29th and Milwaukee St., Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES 1567 Marion St., Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm) meal served at 6pm. 303-830-2201 odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY 126 W. 2nd Ave., dinner at 4pm on Tues. Also offer a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available. 303-722-8781 stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. on Auraria campus, 7 days/week, 11:00am; food, coffee. stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month). sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm. Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon. saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ 2023 E. Colfax Ave. Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen: Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays, 720-530-6853 soallmayeat.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES 846 E. 18th Ave. 3 meals, Mon.a-Fri. 7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm. 55+ seniorsupportservices.org/programs URBAN OUTREACH DENVER 608 26th St., Thurs. dinners, 6pm-7pm lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA 2877 Lawrence St., breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun. Food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs. voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetro-foodnutrition-themission CAREER SERVICES COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway. 720-865-1706. Hours: Mon. & Tues. 10am-8pm; Wed., Thurs., Fri. 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, wifi, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments. denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER Denver Department of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd., Mon.Fri., 7:30am-4:30pm; Services include: employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé preparation, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc. careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center August 2023 DENVER VOICE 15 DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13
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EDITOR’S NOTE WHENEVER I WORK WITH our graphic designer, Hannah Bragg, and our team of contributors, I’m excited to see how our readers will receive the latest issue of the VOICE. This July issue has been especially fun to put together because so many of our vendors and contributors have participated. I asked the contributors to come ELISABETH MONAGHAN MANAGING EDITOR up with performance venues or performers that area residents and visitors should know about. Robert Davis wrote about the Skylark Lounge at 140 South Broadway and introduced us to singer Rachael McCuag, as well as Orin Bregman, who fronts the funk-rock band Coast to Ghost. Giles Clasen spent time at The Clocktower Cabaret with owners Selene and Jeff Arca along with burlesque dancer Ande Sailer and aerial artist Marguerite Endsley. When I heard that my friend Jennifer Sutherland was hosting the monthly “Clean-ish Comedy Showcase” at Brewability in Englewood, I had a hunch that any of the lineups would be great. Even though the set I saw in early June took place during one of the Nuggets’ playoff games, the four comics that night brought their A-game and were genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. For this issue, our newest contributor, Sam Blum, profiled Control Group Productions, its founder Patrick Mueller, and its associate director Caroline Sharkey. Grace Thorburn, who is on summer break after finishing her sophomore year at CU Boulder, introduces us to the Colorado Springs-based Pikes Peak food pantry. While the pantry is not a performance venue off the beaten path, it is an organization that continues to make a difference to individuals and families, and people should know how much the pantry benefits the community. Whether or not you are familiar with these venues or the talented individuals spotlighted in this issue, I hope you will be inspired to check them out. ■ THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS SAM BLUM is a writer, musician, and aspiring chef. He grew up in Baltimore and studied English and arts leadership at the University of Maryland. Blum wants to use his writing to show people new and exciting art, and to give its creators the recognition they deserve. GILES CLASEN is a freelance photojournalist who regularly contributes his work to the VOICE for editorial projects, fundraisers, and events. He has also served on the VOICE’s Board of Directors. ROBERT DAVIS is an award-winning freelance reporter for the Denver VOICE. His work has also appeared in Colorado Public Works Journal, Fansided, Colorado Journal, and Medium.com. YVENS ALEX SAINTIL is a multidisciplinary artist born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Saintil currently resides in Denver and is an outspoken advocate for justice. His work focuses on challenging the power dynamics and norms that have historically favored whiteAmerica and groups associated with whiteness. GRACE THORBURN is a journalism student at the University of Colorado Boulder. She hopes that her writing will make a difference in the community by covering social justice issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, homelessness, and racial equity. DENVERVOICE.ORG E.ORG @deeOCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Aaron Sullivan Laura Wing ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Giles Clasen Robert Davis Yvens Alex Saintil Gigi Galen WRITERS John Alexander Sam Blum WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. Michael Burkley Giles Clasen Robert Davis David Gordon Raelene Johnson Jason Martin Jerry Rosen Larmarques Smith Grace Thorburn BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nikki Lawson, President Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, Treasurer Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Albert Bland Donovan Cordova Antonio Diaz Raelene Johnson Jennifer Seybold Julia Watson Cabal Yarne With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. 2 DENVER VOICE July 2023 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S QUESTION WAS SUGGESTED BY DENVER VOICE VENDOR DAVID GORDON. Q A Do you do anything to celebrate July 4? JOHN ALEXANDER Do I do anything to celebrate July 4th? No. Do you want to know why? Over the years, I have been to and lived in many cities on the 4th of July. But Denver is the first and only city that I have been to, where so many of the residents – and it seems like all of them – are lighting fireworks. I mean all over the city! And they’re shooting REAL guns. No matter which corner of the house I retreat to, it sounds like I am on the front lines in the middle of a war zone. MICHAEL BURKLEY I normally don’t celebrate on the 4th of July. When I lived in the Curtis Park Housing Project (1989 – 1997), the sound of fireworks every year was more of an annoyance than a celebration. That was also a dark period in my life, and I had trouble overcoming the obstacles that were facing me at the time. Now that I’m a lot older and the world has changed, fireworks bring back memories connected to the good times, as opposed to the bad ones. DAVID GORDON I usually do a lot of relaxing during the day, and at night, I enjoy the fireworks. Sometimes, I get together with family, and after we watch fireworks, we have our own fireworks display for the kids. Everyone pitches in for the best fireworks. The last time we did this was before COVID-19. That’s how we did it. I loved it. RAELENE JOHNSON Usually, on the 4th of July, it’s a cookout with the neighbors. Then, we go to the back of the lake by where I live and hang around and light fireworks when it gets dark. From where I live, I can see fireworks across the sky, from all directions. JASON MARTIN I used to celebrate the 4th a lot, due to being in a military family. Our freedom was a thing to celebrate on this day. Nowadays, since 9/11, my outlook on our freedoms and liberties has changed because I believe we are told lies and are led to believe a financially-motivated political agenda. JERRY ROSEN I usually watch the fireworks, as they are really beautiful with so many fantastic colors. I also usually go to barbecues with my brother to get some hotdogs and hamburgers. I also vend some Denver VOICE papers. LARMARQUES SMITH The ideal 4th of July celebration always began with setting up the grill, prepping all the meats and delicious grillables for the barbecue, spending time by the pool, grilling with family and friends, having a juicy, ripe watermelon (with salt), enjoying my grandmother’s homemade ice cream, playing “war” with Roman candles, and smoking a blunt behind all the grownup’s backs (even though I’m also a grownup, LOL). Good times! RODNEY WOOLFOLK I wait ‘til the night comes to watch fireworks and eat hotdogs. HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. July 2023 DENVER VOICE 3
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SUMMER WISH LIST NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant Chapstick, sunscreen Bottled water GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s raincoats/jackets (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s raincoats/jackets (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! @DenverVOICE 4 DENVER VOICE July 2023 SPOTLIGHTING VENUES & PERFORMERS CREDIT: WIKICOMMONS/PAUL SABLEMAN $82,000 in 1998. Heron told Westword at the time that he didn’t think the bar would sell anytime soon because the coronavirus pandemic was just getting started. But the sales tag caught the eye of one well-connected local, Bob Ashby, who has been living in Baker for almost 20 years. Ashby contacted his long-time friend Nathaniel Raetliff (yes, the one who makes music with The Nightsweats), and the two formed a partnership of investors to take over the venue in 2021, Westword reported. “It was kind of a no-brainer,” Ashby told Westword. “We CREDIT: YVENS ALEX SAINTIL SKYLARK LOUNGE HOLDS ITS OWN AGAINST DENVER’S MORE FAMOUS VENUES BY ROBERT DAVIS MANY MUSICIANS DREAM OF PLAYING at Denver’s famous venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Mission Ballroom, and the historic Paramount Theater. But locals say several smaller venues are just as noteworthy, if not more so. One such place is the Skylark Lounge in the Baker neighborhood. The Skylark first opened in 1943 at 58 South Broadway as a bar for local workers. It stayed in the same building for almost 60 years before moving down the street to its current location at 140 S. Broadway in 2003, according to city property records. Locals know Skylark for its well-stocked horseshoe bar and the checkerboard floor that decorates the upstairs concert hall known as the Bobcat Club. The bar was put up for sale in May 2020 by its previous owner, Scott Heron, who had purchased the bar for about both love this neighborhood. It’s been really important to us, and we really want to add something back to it.” After some light renovations, the Skylark reopened in January 2022 and has provided both upstart musicians and touring acts a place to perform for a Denver audience. The venue hosts live music most nights of the week, and ticket prices often range between $5 and $15, according to Skylark’s website. Rachael McCuaig, a local musician who performs under the pseudonym Lonely Choir, told Denver VOICE in an interview that the Skylark offers an “encouraging environment” that makes it easy to book recurring gigs there. One way it promotes that kind of environment is by separating the live music from the bar crowd. When Skylark first opened, the live music stage was tucked into a cramped corner of the room, which made it uncomfortable to play and easy for the bar crowd to tune out the entertainers. Now, the live music stage is upstairs in the Bobcat Club, where the room is oriented around the stage, and concertgoers have their own bar. “It’s just one of those places you walk into and you see how it’s a peaceful and safe environment,” McCuaig said. McCuaig added that the attention local acts receive from Skylark’s sound technicians during gigs is another thing that separates it from other venues in Denver. McCuaig said she has played at venues where it felt like the staff was rushing her up on stage to sing into a half-working microphone for a half hour before getting rushed back out the door. She added that those kinds of situations don’t happen at Skylark. “The Skylark is definitely a place that has pushed me to continue to want to play around Denver and to pursue music as a career,” McCuaig said. Orin Bregman, the vocalist for local funk-rap group Coast to Ghost, told Denver VOICE that the Skylark helped his band network with other local acts, get exposure to new fan bases, and pay their rent on time. Bregman added that Skylark stands out among the other venues along Broadway because of how close it is to neighborhood restaurants like Voodoo Donuts and Illegal Pete’s. That makes it easy for local acts to get a good bite to eat after they perform, Bregman said, and for concertgoers to continue their night out after seeing a concert. “They know how to cultivate a vibe at Skylark,” Bregman said. “It’s a great spot to grab some drinks and see a show. And it has this institution-like identity here in Denver. It’s really a hidden gem.” ■ You can check out who will be performing at Skylark by visiting their website https://www.skylarklounge.com/events. CREDIT: ROBERT DAVIS July 2023 DENVER VOICE 5
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SPOTLIGHTING VENUES & PERFORMERS CLOCKTOWER CABARET’S BURLESQUE IS TAKING OFF BY GILES CLASEN ELVIS PRESLEY DIDN’T WRITE THE SONG “Hound Dog.” He made it famous, but the song was written and originally performed by Big Mama Thornton, a Black R&B singer. Selene Arca wants to make sure her audiences know this historic detail before Coco Bardot dances and undresses on The Clocktower Cabaret stage to a remix of Thornton’s version of the song. “We have the microphone, and we have the opportunity to bring to light things that society either doesn’t want to talk about or is not sure how to talk about. And that’s kind of what burlesque has always been,” Arca said. Arca owns The Clocktower Cabaret with her husband Jeff Arca, and the two have been including subtle and notso-subtle messages about acceptance, empowerment, and diversity since they took ownership of the venue. As the original MC and a writer for The Clocktower Cabaret, Jeff Arca helped set the tone for the theater, as it was finding its identity. Some cabaret performances are all fun and undressing. The Arcas realized burlesque could be something more. The performers at The Clocktower Cabaret are a diverse group of individuals and body styles, who bring different dance genres, messages, and motivations to the stage. To Ande Sailer, who performs at The Clocktower as Bender Flames, burlesque can help bring personal change for those who see the show and also may help push communities toward a wider acceptance of all people. “I think people have a very narrow idea of what change is,” Sailer said. “Often, people think change is this big, crazy, and sexy thing. But, I think change is something that happens in small incremental steps. Over time, it adds up, and you look back and see how you were different or how society was different years ago, and that can be mind-blowing.” Burlesque is an art form that blends satire, comedy, and provocation with extravagant costumes, dance, and strip tease. Sailer simply describes The Clocktower performances to his audiences as “a bunch of former theater kids taking their clothes off.” Sailer, who is gay, said he tries to be his authentic self on and off the stage. It wasn’t always safe for the LGBTQ+ community to be out, and there are environments where it still isn’t completely safe. But Sailer said he feels he can be himself because if there is pushback to his being queer, there is a whole community in Denver that supports him. “I’ve been given acceptable space as a white cisgendered gay man because of what others fought for,” Sailer said. “I think my role now is to push that space [to be] big as possible. Our job then is to help make room for those that haven’t been accepted yet.” These heavy ideas don’t weigh down the shows at The Clocktower. If anything, they enhance the fun. AERIAL ARTIST MAURGUERITE ENDSLEY SWINGS FROM CHAINS AT THE CLOCKTOWER CABARET. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN 6 DENVER VOICE July 2023 SPOTLIGHTING VENUES & PERFORMERS LANA LUSH, ANDE SAILER, AND PRUDENCE DEVILLIERE PERFORM AT THE CLOCKTOWER CABARET. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN AERIALST MAURGUERITE ENDSLEY. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN CLOCKTOWER PERFORMER COCO BARDOT PERFORMS TO THE SONG “HOUND DOG.” CREDIT: GILES CLASEN Sailer often tells audiences about Marsha P. Johnson, who many credit with throwing the first brick at the Stonewall Riots. Sailer follows this up by pointing out that a pink cloth, draped on the stage, looks like a clitoris. He jokes that he could be wrong about that, given that he has never actually seen one. The audience eats it up cheering, laughing, and screaming – pulled in by a whiz-bang of bright colors, humor, and movement. Sailer is ready to find off-color humor about anything, at a moment’s notice. He is known to walk into the crowd, which is usually predominantly women, who are at the show to celebrate bachelorette parties, birthdays, anniversaries, and divorces. During one show, Sailer asked an audience member celebrating a birthday how old she was. When the person told him she was 69, Sailer’s face lit up with glee before he went on to make an adult-themed joke. He then asked the next person celebrating their birthday, who was clearly in their 20s, if they, too, were turning the magical age of 69. The Clocktower’s message isn’t only about challenging perceptions and accepting others. It is also about selfacceptance. Some of the performers have bodies Hollywood might idealize. Others have bodies that are less “Hollywood.” But at The Clocktower Cabaret, all bodies are celebrated as sexy. The message of encouragement, acceptance, and creative expression is deeply personal to Marguerite Endsley. Endsley, who performs as an aerialist at The Clocktower, swings from chains, poles, and silks hanging from the ceiling. Endsley’s background is in tap and hip-hop dance, and she worked as a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer in Los Angeles. She happened upon pole dancing after a night out with friends at a strip club. “I remember [being at the club] thinking, ‘That’s so cool, I want to do that someday,’” Endsley said. She couldn’t get pole dancing out of her head. It wasn’t that she was drawn to stripping, but instead, Endsley was fascinated by the form and strength of the performance. Endsley talked with her boyfriend about her desire to learn to pole dance. His response was discouraging and blunt. “You’re not strong enough to do that.” BURLESQUE DANCER ANDE SAILER DESCRIBES CLOCKTOWER PERFORMANCES AS “A BUNCH OF FORMER THEATER KIDS TAKING THEIR CLOTHES OFF.” CREDIT: GILES CLASEN SELENE ARCA, CO-OWNER AND MC OF THE CLOCKTOWER CABARET. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN “I just heard that I couldn’t do it. I believed that. It stuck with me. I still think about that today,” Endsley said. The call to learn something new only grew louder for Endsley. She and her boyfriend broke up, and Endsley took up a new art form. Shortly after she moved to Denver, Endsley went with a friend to The Clocktower. Inspired by the show, Endsley wanted to bring her aerialist skills to the stage, and she began performing at The Clocktower not long after. “As I evolved here, I started seeing not only just what was on stage but who [was] backstage, that there’s a community, there’s forgiveness and acceptance,” Endsley said. “It helps me feel strong and powerful because everyone’s really supportive.” Many of the acts at The Clocktower are developed in Endsley’s backyard dance studio. She helps other performers learn to be aerialists or develop new choreography. Endsley also teaches adult dance classes at her business, Denver Dance. Endsley sees the shared purpose of the performers reciprocate with the audience. “When you’re on stage, it’s the crowd that brings something really powerful,” Endsley said. “When they’re screaming and they’re having a good time, there’s something in me that gets lit up even more.” Endsley believes that when the audience sees her swinging from chains or another artist belly dancing, or any other performance, it arouses a “you can do it attitude” in the audience. After each show, The Clocktower Cabaret performers walk off stage to talk with the audience. Most nights, someone in the crowd shares how the performances embolden them. Some go one step further and ask how they, too, can learn to do burlesque or become an aerialist. “I think [audiences] love us because we’re celebrating each other and celebrating all of our differences and the things that we have the same, which is these weird, awkward bodies that don’t need to be hidden and don’t need to be something that people feel ashamed of,” Selene Arca said. ■ Visit Clocktower’s website to learn more about the venue or its upcoming shows, https://www.clocktowercabaret.com. July 2023 DENVER VOICE 7
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SPOTLIGHTING VENUES & PERFORMERS BREWABILITY’S CLEAN-ISH COMEDY SHOWCASE: INCLUSIVE FUN FOR EVERYONE BY ELISABETH MONAGHAN BREWABILITY is an Englewood, Colorado-based brewery and pizzeria, where anyone, including individuals with disabilities, can eat and work. Since its inception in 2016, the establishment has received media coverage from the likes of Colorado Public Radio and Westword, as well as national and international media outlets like the BBC, Forbes, and LA Times. Tiffany Fixter, who launched Brewability and Pizzability, went from special education teacher to business owner. While her restaurant is known for its made-to-order pizza and craft beer, Brewability has become a popular spot because it is a safe and inclusive space . It’s also a welcoming venue for community gatherings and free events, including drag bingo, goat yoga, book signings, and trivia nights. Recently, Brewability added to its roster of events with its Clean-ish Comedy Showcase. The idea for the comedy show came from Denver-based comic Jennifer Sutherland, who has been a regular at Brewability since it opened its South Broadway location. “Brewability has been my local hangout for years,” said Sutherland. “I knew there were events, but I wasn’t sure if they offered an open mic night, and asked Tiffany. She told me a story about one open mic night they hosted, where someone told a hurtful joke. That’s when I suggested a comedy showcase, so I could steer the comics in the right direction.” Fixter liked Sutherland’s idea and agreed to try a couple of approaches before including the showcase as a recurring event. According to Sutherland, the first comedy showcase was more of a talent show for Brewability employees. She then began to reach out to local comics whose work she enjoyed. COMIC JENNIFER SUTHERLAND HOSTS CLEAN-ISH COMEDY SHOWCASE. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN In February of this year, Sutherland hosted the first monthly Clean-ish Comedy Showcase, and so far, comedians have eagerly accepted invitations, or they have asked Sutherland if they could participate. Lisa Lane, who has done stand-up comedy for about seven years, is among those who contacted Sutherland directly. “I saw my comedy friend Jennifer promoting the show on social media, loved the idea, and reached out to her for a spot,” she said. Lane said she appreciated that the showcase focused on clean comedy and saw it as an opportunity to build an inclusive set that appeals to a variety of audiences. “I have been actively working this year on developing my clean material because when something is funny (without being dirty) to a broad spectrum of people, I know it’s a really good joke,” said Lane. Veteran comic Ralph Grate, who was a writer for comedian George Wallace and opened for both the O’Jays and The Isley Brothers, accepted Sutherland’s invitation to perform at Brewability because he has experienced a dearth of available opportunities for clean, clever comedians in Denver, especially if they’re Black. “[P]eople expect the same type of racial vulgar material that they see most Black comics doing on social media,” Grate said. The Clean-ish Comedy Showcase was the perfect chance for Grate to get paid to perform in a venue that offers comedy the entire family can enjoy. When Sutherland asked comedian Jake Cambron if he would participate in the showcase, he said yes, even though he wasn’t familiar with the venue. “I had no idea that Brewability was such an inclusive place and employed people all across the neurological spectrum,” said Cambron. “I’m autistic, so it instantly put me at ease and let me know what kind of material would be appropriate for the audience.” Given the opportunity to return to the showcase, Cambron said he would do so in a heartbeat. And to anyone who isn’t sure what to expect, Cambron said people should approach the show with an open and kind heart. “They should see the show because it’s a joy to see so many neurodiverse people able to come together and laugh in a positive environment. It’s definitely the kind of place where you leave your poor attitude at the door,” he said. According to Sutherland, Brewability employee Michael Newland, who participates in almost every showcase, is a crowd-pleaser. For his set, Newland draws from his repertoire of over 400 impressions, including Donald Duck, Oscar the Grouch, and Grover. Newland, who started doing impressions as a hobby, said he likes getting a chance to make people happy and smile. “Being on stage is a great, great thing,” said Newland. “It makes me feel proud to do something like this.” Sutherland said she is excited to see how well the Cleanish Comedy Showcase is taking off, but it is the reaction of her fellow comics who point to why Sutherland’s idea is a win for the comics and audience alike. “[Brewability offers] great food and drink, loving service, with brilliant adaptations that make the experience fun and accessible for EVERYone,” Lisa Lane said. “Sharing the stage with comics — and performing for an audience of various abilities is thrilling. When we laugh together, we seem far more alike than different.” ■ The Clean-ish Comedy Showcase takes place on the first Wednesday of the month at Brewability, 3445 S. Broadway. Tickets are free, but donations are appreciated. For more information on Brewability, Clean-ish Comedy Showcase, or other upcoming events, visit https://brew-ability.com BREWABILITY EMPLOYEE AND COMEDIC IMPRESSIONIST MICHAEL NEWLAND. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN COMEDIAN RALPH GRATE. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN 8 DENVER VOICE July 2023 SPOTLIGHTING VENUES & PERFORMERS POSITIVE CHANGE THROUGH IMMERSIVE THEATER BY SAM BLUM IN 2008, after spending years performing internationally, Patrick Mueller returned to Lakewood, Colorado, where he grew up. He believed he could use his background in contemporary dance and theater to position Denver as one of the country’s top performance art scenes. So, Mueller used all of his savings on a warehouse space in the Globeville neighborhood and created Control Group Productions. For several years, Control Group was based primarily in this performance space, where artists were given the opportunity to produce their original work. However, according to Mueller, the venue-based model was not sustainable, and he searched for other ways Control Group could have a greater impact. The limitations that came with working in such a small space meant that Mueller had to be creative in conceptualizing Control Group’s shows. Being able to rehearse and perform in the same space, Mueller explained, allowed them to plan not only how the performers would interact with the space, but also how the audience would. The advantage of controlling how the audience was integrated was Control Group’s first step toward immersive theater, and from there, their work grew into increasingly interactive performances that gave the audience roles in the productions. A few years after Control Group Productions was established, Caroline Sharkey, who had been studying and performing all over the country, decided to relocate to Denver. “Denver [seemed like] a place where you could be an artist and a human,” said Sharkey. “You could have a life alongside your artistic pursuits,” and that’s what drew her here. When she arrived, Sharkey looked into which groups were doing innovative work in the performing arts scene, and it didn’t take long before she came across Control Group. She reached out to Mueller, and they have been working together since. Sharkey now serves as the associate director of the company. Together, Sharkey and Mueller decided to fully transition Control Group away from operating in the warehouse venue, and instead, commit the company to immersive theater. They began doing what Mueller calls which he describes as taking people to specific locations for performances that would challenge the audience’s understanding of those spaces. Control Group continued its nomadic, interactive performances for several years before the COVID pandemic changed the performing arts landscape. “In general, [once the pandemic ended], we thought that audiences would be excited to return to the theater. That’s not the case. Everywhere, people are fatigued of going and sitting down,” said Sharkey. “Everyone [was] craving things to do. Our work is a thing to do rather than a thing to see.” So, Control COURTESY OF CONTROL GROUP PRODUCTIONS “nomadic, site-based work,” COURTESY OF CONTROL GROUP PRODUCTIONS Group leaned into their passion for immersive theater because they felt it was what the community needed. In 2020, only a few months into the pandemic, Mueller coined the term Expeditionary Performance, and it has been a guiding principle for Control Group’s work ever since. Expeditionary performances must be transportive; they must take the audience on a journey that engages their relationships with the environment. “Even though it’s expeditionary, it’s taking you into places that are familiar, places that you have context for,” said Sharkey. “It imbues your memory and your experience much deeper than a traditional performance would because you are getting and being in the context of the experience.” “The work isn’t just site-specific, but it’s site-invested,” Mueller added. According to him, the location provides the context for the art, and the art tells the location’s story, which strengthens the relationship between community and place. Additionally, Expeditionary Performance allows the audience to develop relationships with the art itself. It invites collaboration. It encourages each audience member to engage, and as Mueller explained, “They don’t have to reject values or identities, past history…to participate.” According to Sharkey, this mutual exchange of values and ideas informs all of the work Control Group creates. “And that’s the important thing,” Mueller said. The performance, the art, the experience, it all grows from not only the location of the performance but from the interaction between the artists and the audience. This perspective evolved into another guiding principle for Control Group’s work. They want to reframe people’s perception of art in general. Rather than the long-held view that art is solely a creation of the artist, a final, decisive product, Control Group wants people to see art as an experience meant to be shared. “Most art has incredible capacity to breed empathy. Immersive experiences, I believe, expand that capacity,” Mueller said. Performing within the framework of immersion and engagement allows Control Group to create art that can have a more profound impact on people. Sharkey explained that this impact can shift “how we value the world, the people around us, and the art.” Mueller explained that this framework also allows Control Group to challenge people’s views “in a non-prescriptive way.” Allowing and encouraging the audience to contribute fosters introspection and deeper thinking within the context of the experience. It also fosters dialogue, and this gives them the capacity to create positive change in the community. The pursuit of change has been deeply rooted in the company from the beginning. Control Group was founded, not only on the desire to create innovative art but also on the desire to help people, to help other artists. “We have always been both a company and an artist services programming arm,” Mueller explained. According to Mueller, when he founded the company, artists were not being paid fairly for their work, and “there weren’t pathways to emergence or growth.” Remedying that has always been a driving goal for Control Group. “It all comes from caretaking,” Sharkey said. “Giving artists space to make their own decisions, while still allowing them, and asking them, to create boundaries, has been really vital to the community that we are creating.” Control Group has always been equally devoted to service and creation. And that framework has extended into every aspect of the company. Part of their artist services programming is the Guest Artist Presenting Initiative, which helps emerging performers by providing them with the necessary resources to turn an idea into a production. Mueller said he makes a point to always take meetings with anyone who reaches out to him because Control Group strives to create opportunities for artists who have not found paths to emergence. Adjacent to its broad goal of helping artists, Control Group uses its artist services programming to challenge Denver’s larger perception of the landscape, to change how the community values not only the art, but the people creating it. “Paying fair wages, offering opportunities to other organizations, is both living out our values, but also modeling behavior that we hope spreads,” said Mueller. According to Mueller, there have not been any other theater companies in Denver that have found the same success that Control Group has. “That is absolutely not a brag, that’s a complaint,” Mueller explained. “[As part of my mission], I need to go back and blaze those trails so that other people don’t have to take 15 years to have a paycheck that they can live on.” Through the immersive experience, Control Group takes people on journeys through familiar places, shown in new ways, introspective journeys that challenge the way they see the world. They immerse their audiences in their art and invite them to engage with it. In doing so, they can pursue real, positive change in the community. But Control Group also embodies their model of change through immersion in the way they serve artists. They immerse the company itself into a new framework for the artistic community, one that centers on the livelihood of the artist. It gives artists more value as members of society, and it encourages people to value artists the same way — as people, not just creators. By immersing the company into this framework, Control Group has started to make it a reality. Through immersion, they are changing the artistic community for the better. ■ To learn more about Control Group and their upcoming works, visit controlgroupproductions.org. July 2023 DENVER VOICE 9
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT, SELF BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR BACK ON THE STREETS: FEAR! BY JOHN ALEXANDER, VOICE VENDOR living on the streets when he could no longer afford his rent. Through the end of this year, various VOICE vendors intend to contribute something in honor of Brian Augustine’s legacy. I DON’T KNOW WHICH IS MORE FRIGHTENING, the known or the unknown. Before I became homeless and on the streets, I had heard about people having no home, sleeping in parks, on bus benches, etc. But today is 35 years later. Based on my experience, I now have some idea of which is more frightening, and I know one thing for sure. I do not want to ever return to being on the streets, homeless again. Down by the river, or over by the railroad tracks, in dark, empty vacant houses or condemned buildings are no places anyone dreams of sleeping each night. I have walked down many alleys and streets, passing by people, stepping over people – some of who were drunk and passed out. I have seen a few individuals lying still from the overdose of drugs. During my 35 years of living homeless, I have passed by many people lying motionless, and they were dead! That sounds awful and shocking to some people, but to me, I remember the thought that no matter what I have seen, or who’s injured or dead, I have to find someplace out here to rest and sleep for the night. RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: CORTNEY TABERNA DON’T WORRY about what he or she said to you to try to hurt you. Just let it go. Don’t worry about what people think about you, when you know they are not saying anything good about you. Let it go. Don’t worry about who likes you, or who doesn’t like you. Live your life for yourself, not for other’s approval Self, you need to love Self, so you will know what to let go of. Do not take on other people’s problems, when you know you don’t want them. When you know you can’t handle them, speak up and say, “I’m sorry. I can’t help you with your problem.” Don’t worry about what others think about you because you have your life to live. Other people’s opinions of you shouldn’t matter at all. You can’t make everyone happy, so don’t try. Self, you should only care about people who know you and are truly there for you. Let everyone else go. Self, stop worrying about everything because worrying won’t change anything. Deal with it, or let it go. Don’t sit and worry every day about things that really don’t matter, and then, your life, Self, will be a lot better. Worrying will kill your health and age you faster Try, every day, to worry less and not hold on to anything you can’t change. So, Self, let go and free yourself from worrying. ■ JOHN ALEXANDER. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN Editor’s note: This “Back on the Streets” piece is in homage to Brian Augustine, who passed away in January. When he died, Augustine was writing a monthly column about what it was like to return to Being homeless is hell, pure hell! Many times, I have heard people say, “I have been to hell and back,” and that statement impressed me. I often wanted to meet people who said that, until I realized that going to hell, turning around, and going back was NOT the same as a person that has been to hell and come out on the other side. ■ ILLUSTRATION BY GIGI GALEN 10 DENVER VOICE July 2023 LOCAL FEATURE PAGE TITLE LITTLE FREE PANTRY STRIVES TO IMPROVE LIVES BY GRACE THORBURN PIKES PEAK LITTLE FREE PANTRY started as two thrift store drawers on the front lawn of Hailey Radvillas’ residence. Today, the pantry includes a minifridge, drawers, and refurnished shelves – all donated by community members. Radvillas was inspired to create the pantry in 2020, during a time of civil unrest and as the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing. By January 2021, Radvillas’ idea came to fruition, and today, it is open 24/7 365 days a year. “When you’re seeing unrest everywhere, you’re seeing people getting killed by cops, you’re seeing people hungry, seeing people on the streets,” said Radvillas. “Then, you vote and feel like [your vote] is not doing anything.” After seeing the success of the Denver Community Fridges and The Love Fridge based in Chicago, Radvillas believed a similar project could benefit her own community. Every month, the pantry – which is based solely on donations – provides fresh produce, homemade meals, or other needed food for hundreds of people, and thousands of people have benefitted from the pantry since it opened. “We’ve gotten to know neighbors…not only neighbors coming to give and take at the pantry, but our own neighbors,” said Radvillas. As word of the pantry spreads, more food becomes available, but according to Radvillas, increased awareness of the pantry means they will need to meet growing demand. “[The pantry] is empty a lot of the time… the need is way higher than expected, and it just keeps growing because of the cost of groceries, the cost of housing, the cost of everything,” Radvillas said. When Radvillas and her husband first moved from Chicago to Colorado Springs, the district where they relocated was the only blue district in the City of Colorado Springs. “We have neighbors who don’t like [the pantry], want it gone,” said Radvillas. “They claim it brings people into the neighborhood, even though they already were here.” Aside from a few individuals, who have expressed their opposition to the pantry, Radvillas said she’s been amazed by the support the pantry has received. “It’s not just our neighborhood; it’s people from all over the city who found us, and who give.” Despite the misconceptions of some, Radvillas said the majority of people who come to the pantry aren’t individuals experiencing homelessness. “Of all the stories I’ve heard, not a single one wanted to live on the streets,” Radvillas said. She continued by saying there are many misconceptions about homelessness. “When you’ve gotten so low, there’s no social safety net and you don’t have anyone to help you climb your way back up, which costs so much more money than people think,” said Radvillas. Hannah Bragg, a Colorado Springs resident and the graphic designer for the Denver VOICE, has been a champion for the pantry since its inception. COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LITTLE FREE PANTRY July 2023 DENVER VOICE 11 “I think the folks who’ve created the pantry have worked hard to communicate and demonstrate to both their housed and unhoused neighbors that this is a safe and necessary form of mutual aid,” said Bragg. “I’ve lived in the Westside neighborhood since 2019 – and having this pantry start up was a game-changer for me.” Bragg said that the practice of giving what you can and taking what you need is freeing. “It gave me a way to help my community without being involved in a religious entity, which can exclude individuals who aren’t comfortable praying before receiving a hot meal or walking into a faithbased location to receive canned goods,” she said. Radvillas hopes the rest of the community echo Bragg’s sentiment about the pantry. “The little things seem so minor, but they’re huge hurdles when you have nothing to your name,” said Radvillas. Her goal for Pikes Peak Little Free Pantry is to continue to make sure her fellow community members’ needs are met. According to Radvillas, since she launched the pantry, multiple people have come to her and said, “Without you, I’d probably be dead.” In October of last year, the pantry was nearly permanently closed due to being in supposed violation of a bear can ordinance. This is because the pantry is located across from a restaurant where a code enforcement officer had been dining. After coming out of the restaurant, he noticed that a carton of raisins had spilled on the ground and that a squirrel was eating the raisins. According to Radvillas, she was unaware that there was a code stating that anyone who lives on the west side of Colorado Springs is supposed to have bear-proof cans. Despite this regulation, Radvillas explained that unless they live in the mountains, few people have bear-proof cans. This includes local parks in the area that are run by the city. After facing media pressure and shifting their focus to supplying toiletries for a weekend, Radvillas received a call from the head of code enforcement, letting her know that Pikes Peak Little Free Pantry was not in violation. “We have no plan to shut down at all unless we are forced to,” said Radvillas. “Even then, we will fight it tooth and nail.” Pikes Peak Little Free Pantry has not only changed Radvillas’ perception but also that of her friends and family. “When people know you’re telling a first-person account, it helps their mindset [about those in need],” she said. Radvillas wants others to realize that they can make a difference in the way she has because we don’t know what our neighbors are going through. According to Radvillas, the takeaway is to listen to people. “These are human beings,” Radvillas said. “These are our neighbors.” ■ Pikes Peak Little Free Pantry is located at 516 W. Pikes Peak Ave., just west of downtown Colorado Springs. They are listed on littlefreepantry.org. VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to support our program coordination by helping with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe Dr.) from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at: program@denvervoice.org DONATE YOUR CAR! Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community.
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EVENTS Tourism Edition At last, summer is here! And it has a lot to offer. Check-out the below events for your summer-of-fun bucket list. Courtesy of Deborah Lastowka. LIVE MUSIC FREE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES The Levitt Pavilion is quickly becoming the darling of Denver’s live music scene. Round up your friends and family, bring your blankets and chairs, and kick back for a night of eclectic music performances. WHEN: Various dates through September WHERE: Levitt Pavilion, 1380 W Florida Ave. CITY PARK JAZZ Jazz in the park is back! Enjoy live music, sunsets, food trucks, cute dogs, and community at this beloved annual event. WHEN: Sundays through August 6, 6 – 8 p.m. WHERE: City Park Pavilion, 2001 Steele St. PERFORMANCES IN THE PARK Free family-friendly outdoor concerts in Wheat Ridge. WHEN: Wednesdays through August 2, 6:30 – 8 p.m. WHERE: Anderson Park Pavilion, 4355 Field St. B-SIDE MUSIC FRIDAYS Experience intimate musical performances while enjoying craft beverages and sweeping views from one of Denver’s sweetest rooftops. Free show for teens on July 28! WHEN: Fridays in July & August; doors 6:30 / show 7 p.m. WHERE: MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany St. COST: Tickets start at $25 INFO: mcadenver.org RIVERFRONT PARK SUMMER SESSIONS Check-out Denver’s newest music series, also featuring food & drink. Dogs welcome. WHEN: July 20 and August 17, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. WHERE: 19th Street Bridge, S. Platte River Dr. COST: Free INFO: riverfrontparkevents.com WHEN: July 6, 10, 24, August 21 / doors 6:30 p.m. WHERE: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W Alameda Pkwy. THE UNDERGROUND MUSIC SHOWCASE (UMS) Discover your new favorite band at this 3-day “mess” of a festival. One of Denver’s best weekends – hands down. WHEN: July 28 – July 30 WHERE: Various venues along Broadway/South Broadway COST: Tickets start at $65 INFO: undergroundmusicshowcase.com VISIT 5280COMEDY.COM FOR AN ONGOING LIST OF FREE/LOW-COST COMEDY SHOWCASES & OPEN MICS. 12 DENVER VOICE July 2023 COMEDY COST: Tickets start at $20 INFO: denverfilm.org COST: Free, donations accepted INFO: cityparkjazz.org COST: Free INFO: levittdenver.org SUNSET CINEMA Bring your own chairs, blankets, family, and friends to the Performing Arts Complex and enjoy the show. There will be pre-show performances presented by Dazzle, along with themed food trucks, drinks, and other cinema snacks available for purchase. WHEN: July 11, 18, 25 / doors 6:30 p.m. COST: Free INFO: denverfilm.org WHERE: Denver Performing Arts Complex - Galleria, 16th St. & Arapahoe St. COST: Free INFO: rootedinfun.com NORTHGLEN SUMMER MOVIE SERIES Free summer movie series, featuring Top Gun: Maverick and Hook. Bring a blanket and snacks or purchase food from on-site food trucks. WHEN: July 12, 19, at dusk WHERE: Festival Lawn, 1 E Mem Pkwy INFO: northglennarts.org/programs/summer-movie-series COST: Free AVANTI SUMMER MOVIE SERIES Watch a whole slew of movies this summer while enjoying food + drink specials on Avanti’s patio. WHEN: Thursdays through August 14, 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Avanti Food & Beverage, 3200 Pecos St. FILM ON THE ROCKS Film on the Rocks is back, baby! Come watch contemporary classics in the coolest outdoor venue around. COST: Free INFO: avantifandb.com MUSIC & MOVIE NIGHT Free Monday night music/movies series. Selections include Top Gun: Maverick, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and DC League of Super-Pets. WHEN: July 10, 17, 24 / gates 6 p.m. WHERE: Infinity Park, 4599 E Tennessee Ave. COST: Free INFO: infinityparkatglendale.com/events FILM ART FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK The Santa Fe Arts District comes alive every Friday night, offering a great opportunity to contemplate art and to people watch. WHEN: First Fridays, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: The bulk of the galleries is along Santa Fe Drive, between 5th and 11th Aves. INFO: denversartdistrict.org FARMERS MARKETS HEAD TO A LOCAL FARMERS MARKET FOR FRESH PRODUCE AND UNIQUE WARES. GOLDEN FARMERS MARKET, 1019 10th St. Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., through October 7. CITY PARK FARMERS MARKET, City Park Esplanade Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., through October 28. CHERRY CREEK FARMERS MARKET, 3000 E 1st Ave. Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., through August 16 and Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., through November 4. UNIVERSITY HILLS FARMERS MARKET, 5505 W. 20th Ave. Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., through October 28. LAKEWOOD FARMERS MARKET, Mile Hi Church, 9077 W. Alameda Ave. Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., through September 30. ARVADA FARMERS MARKET, 5700 Olde Wadsworth Blvd. Sundays, 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., through October 1. HIGHLANDS FARMERS MARKET, Lowell Blvd. & W. 32nd Ave. Sundays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., through October 15. SOUTH PEARL STREET FARMERS MARKET, South Pearl St. between E. Iowa Ave. & E. Arkansas Ave. Sundays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., through November 12. MISCELLANEOUS MIXED TASTE Mixed Taste is a long-running, beloved program where even the most mismatched subjects fi nd unexpected common ground in an interactive lecture series. WHEN: Wednesdays July 12 – August 16 / doors 6 p.m. WHERE: Holiday Theater, 2644 W 32nd Ave. DPL EVENTS The Denver Public Library is your friend, offering a variety of free/low-cost workshops on writing, meditation, current events, history, film, English and Spanish language classes, U.S. citizenship, and more! WHEN: Various dates/times WHERE: Denver Public Library branches DPR ACTIVITIES Denver Parks & Recreation offers a number of free/low-cost activities for the entire family, including tennis lessons, standup paddleboarding, kayaking, group hikes, youth sports, dancing, arts and crafts, and more! Be sure to also check out their summer pool schedule as well. WHEN: Various dates/times COST: Free or low-cost WHERE: Various locations INFO: denvergov.org/Government/Departments/Parks-Recreation July 2023 DENVER VOICE 13 COST: Most events are free INFO: denverlibrary.org/events COST: $5 students / $20 GA INFO: mcadenver.org Aioli Au jus Caramel Cheese Chutney Compote Cream Dip Gravy Honey Hummus Icing Jam Jelly Karo Lemon Mayo Miso Mustard Nutella Paste Pepper Pesto Powder Preserves Relish Salsa Salt Sambal Soy sauce Spread Syrup Tabasco Tahini Tartar Toppings Vegemite PUZZLES COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $25,000+ The NextFifty Initiative $10,000+ The Christian Foundation Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. $5,000 - $9,999 Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Bank of America Charitable Foundation Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Francis Trainer and Trainer Family Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation $1,000-$4,999 Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Katherine Standiford Walker Family Foundation Alexander Seavall Jill Haug Whole Foods Foundation Alex Salva Russell Peterson Chris and Susan Pappas Michael Dino Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Frederic K Conover Trust Megan Arellano Warren and Betty Kuehner Keyrenter Property Management Denver SEI Giving Fund Donald Weaver The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Gaspar Terrana Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Joshua Kauer Elsbeth Williams Mathew Rezek $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson James and Cyndi Lesslie Fire on the Mountain Christopher Boulanger Sheryl Parker Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Peter Iannuzzi Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Graham Davis Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper 14 DENVER VOICE July 2023 RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ACS COMMUNITY L.I.F.T. CareVan at Open Door Ministries, 1567 Marion St., Tues. 9am-12:30pm DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER 303-436-6000, 777 Bannock St. denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL A resource that features abundant information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community. detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA Addiction hotline: 866-716-0142. Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800; 112 E. 8th Ave.; Mon.-Fri., 9am-12pm. HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Our services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on how to properly dispose of dirty syringes. harmreductionactioncenter.org LIVE ANOTHER DAY Live Another Day believes in equal access to life-saving mental health and substance use resources. This website provides extensive information on the best resources available: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION 1325 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite B302. Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered. 800-522-4372, info@hepc-connection.org, liverhealthconnection.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER 303-296-1767, 3800 York St. Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Tues. 9am-5pm; Sat. 8am-2pm. Emergency walk-ins. SALUD CLINIC 6075 Parkway Drive, Ste. 160, Commerce City; Dental 303-286-6755. Medical 303-286-8900. Medical Hours: Mon.-Wed. 8am-9pm, Thurs.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Sat. (Urgent Care only) 8am-5pm; Dental Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Pharmacy Hours: Mon.-Fri. 1-5pm; After Office Hours: 1-800-283-3221 saludclinic.org/commerce-city SOUTHEAST ADDICTION CENTER Top 50 resources for Black men who are struggling with substance use and/or their mental health. southeastaddictiontn.com/50-addiction-mental-health-resources-for-black-men SOUTHEAST DETOX Updated in 2023, this guide features over 50 fully-vetted resources for Black women. southeastdetoxga.com/black-women-addiction-mental-health-support STOUT STREET CLINIC 303-293-2220, 2130 Stout St. Clinic hours for new and established patients: 7am-4pm Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri. The clinic is open Wed. 11am-7pm. coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH (YOUTH SERVICES) Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. 833-931-2484 sunshinebehavioralhealth.com VA MEDICAL CENTER 303-399-8020, 1700 N Wheeling St., Aurora va.gov/find-locations/facility/vha_554A5 WORKNOW 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER 303-783-3777; 2575 S. Broadway; Mon.-Thurs. 10am-2pm, Denver Works helps with employment, IDs, birth certs; mail services and lockers citysquare.org FATHER WOODY’S HAVEN OF HOPE 303-607-0855; 1101 W. 7th Ave.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-1pm. Six private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch & more thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE 303-321-4198; 1535 High St.; Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8:30am-5pm, Tues. 8:30am-1:30pm. Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals. Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, and more. tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800, 231 East Colfax; Mon.-Fri. 9am-12pm. Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harm-reduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes. harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH 1900 California St., help with lost IDs and birth certificates holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM 303-832-3354, 1555 Race St.; Mon.-Fri. 8am-4pm. For men and women with HIV. LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES 1567 Marion St.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-5:30pm. Drop-in center: bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, WIFI odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER 303-297-1576; 2323 Curtis St. 6am-6pm daily. Storage for one bag (when space is available). Satellite Clinic hours- Mon., Tues., Thurs, Fri. 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm sfcdenver.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES 846 E. 18th Ave. For those 60+. TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, and more. seniorsupportservices.org SOX PLACE (YOUTH SERVICES) 2017 Larimer St. Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30 years old. Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. Tues.-Fri. 12-4pm & Sat. 11-2pm. soxplace.com THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442. Drop-in hours Mon.-Fri. 8-11am. If you are a youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, please contact 303-974-2928 urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 303-447-1207, 3080 Broadway, Boulder. Open every day, 12:30-5pm, for anyone ages 12-24. Office: 303-447-1206. Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services to youth up to age 24 tgthr.org URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) Youth 14-24 in Denver and Colorado Springs. Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skills and training, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing. 730 21st St. 303-974-2900 urbanpeak.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES Go to mealsforpoor.org for meal locations CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee Mon.-Fri. 8:30am denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm. christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY Home-cooked meal; weekly Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd). christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER 303-783-3777, 2575 S. Broadway; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES Hot meals served at 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church), Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 11:45-12:15 mealsforpoor.org DENVER INNER CITY PARISH 303-322-5733, 1212 Mariposa St., VOA Dining Center for Seniors, free 60 yrs and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm. Food Bank, Wed.-Fri., tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm. dicp.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION 1130 Park Avenue West, 3 meals 7 days/week: 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm 303-294-0157 denverrescuemission.org FATHER WOODY’S HAVEN OF HOPE 1101 W. 7th Ave. 303-607-0855. Mon.-Fri. 7am-1pm. Not open weekends. Breakfast is at 8am, and lunch is served at 11am frwoodyshavenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY Food service on the second and fourth Thurs. of each month; locations found at feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html FOOD NOT BOMBS Wed. 4pm/Civic Center Park facebook.com/ThePeoplesPicnic HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH 910 Kalamath, community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the Month, 8-10am, women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am. hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH 1900 California St., sandwiches, Mon.-Sat., 10-10:30am holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH 29th and Milwaukee St., Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES 1567 Marion St., Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm) meal served at 6pm. 303-830-2201 odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY 126 W. 2nd Ave., dinner at 4pm on Tues. Also offer a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available. 303-722-8781 stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. on Auraria campus, 7 days/week, 11:00am; food, coffee. stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month). sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm. Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon. saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ 2023 E. Colfax Ave. Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen: Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays, 720-530-6853 soallmayeat.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES 846 E. 18th Ave. 3 meals, Mon.a-Fri. 7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm. 55+ seniorsupportservices.org/programs URBAN OUTREACH DENVER 608 26th St., Thurs. dinners, 6pm-7pm lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA 2877 Lawrence St., breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun. Food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs. voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetro-foodnutrition-themission CAREER SERVICES COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway. 720-865-1706. Hours: Mon. & Tues. 10am-8pm; Wed., Thurs., Fri. 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, wifi, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments. denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER Denver Department of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd., Mon.Fri., 7:30am-4:30pm; Services include: employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé preparation, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc. careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center July 2023 DENVER VOICE 15 DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13
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DIRECTOR’S NOTE AS I REFLECT ON MY FIRST FEW MONTHS here at Denver VOICE, I can’t help but feel fortunate that the vendors, board members, staff, and all our supporters, who put so much energy into this organization, have embraced me and shown nothing but support and love for the work we do. While the program has impacted JAMES KAY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR so many lives for much longer than I’ve been affiliated with the VOICE, it was not long after I started that our team began highlighting additional vendor needs we could meet. Through feedback from the vendors, we realized that our safe space on Santa Fe was a lot more to people than a place to pick up papers. Based on conversations with several Denver VOICE vendors, who are also visual artists, Connie Gaitan, our program coordinator, and I began purchasing supplies and then set aside space in our office for vendors to work on their art. Our location in the Santa Fe Art District gave us an opportunity to give these vendor artists a way to showcase their art and receive additional income for their work. Our very own Lando Allen’s efforts helped inspire what we hope will become a successful art program. Earlier this year, Lando got his sales license, and with the assistance of our volunteer Daniel Chavez, who is a web designer, Lando now has a website for his art. In the two months since Lando’s website was launched, several art collectors have purchased his work, and others have commissioned additional pieces from him. The result of our effort and the vendors’ engagement with the art program has already proven to be powerful, and we believe this opportunity is worth pursuing even further - which is why we are asking the community to help. On the back cover of this issue, you will find information about our Summer of Color Campaign, and we are asking for your help with creating a more extensive program for our Denver VOICE vendors. Your donations will go a long way in helping us establish this program. If you are interested in learning more or providing a donation match, please email me at james@denvervoice.org. Thank you all for your amazing support of our program and our mission! View Lando Allen’s artwork at lando-paints.square.site/. ■ DENVERVOICE.ORG CE.ORG @deeOCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Aaron Sullivan Laura Wing ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Gigi Galen WRITERS John Alexander Lando Allen Raelene Johnson Jason Martin Jerry Rosen Larmarques Smith WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nikki Lawson, President Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, Treasurer Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Albert Bland Donovan Cordova Antonio Diaz Raelene Johnson Jennifer Seybold Julia Watson Cabal Yarne EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. 2 DENVER VOICE June 2023 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S ASK A VENDOR CAME FROM DENVER VOICE VENDOR JOHN ALEXANDER. Q A In what ways do you see the Denver VOICE’s value in the community, neighborhoods, and city? How do you see its value in your own life? JOHN ALEXANDER Since becoming a VOICE vendor, I have seen many ways the Denver VOICE has changed lives. As far as seeing the values of the Denver VOICE in my own life, it is similar to how I’ve seen the program help other vendors. I have greater goals because of those changes. For a successful, blessed vendor of the VOICE, the changes that people experience are automatic because we are enjoying a new and better way of life. LANDO ALLEN The VOICE gives me independence in a couple of ways: It keeps me away from the food line, and it keeps me away from people who want to do me harm. The income I make from vending also allows me to be a consumer and buy things like food, parts for my RV, and art supplies. JASON MARTIN I see the Denver VOICE doing a lot of good in the community by giving people a voice. It employs people daily and gives people a chance. Now, I am not only seen, but I also have a VOICE, so I am heard. JERRY ROSEN The Denver VOICE helps people in many ways: It gives them an income when they need to make money. It helps individuals by giving them an opportunity to do something worthwhile in the community. It has also allowed me to make an income and helped me gain self-confidence by knowing I’m doing something useful. LARMARQUES SMITH I started vending the Denver VOICE in June 2018. I was still relatively new to Denver and most definitely new to the homeless experience. I have seen the value of the paper in many ways, from other vendors who have used the paper as their primary source of income, to customers who actively read and support our organization. I have seen customers who did not know the VOICE existed become serious supporters. The Denver VOICE’s impact on my life cannot be measured. You cannot put a price on safety… well, not in a dollars and cents-type of way. The VOICE office is my safe space. When I need a place to go, or someone just to hear my side of any story, the VOICE is that place for me, which is priceless. HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. June 2023 DENVER VOICE 3
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PAGE TITLE VENDOR SPOTLIGHT SUMMER WISH LIST Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant, chapstick, sunscreen Bottled water LANDO ALLEN (LEFT) RECEIVES HIS VENDOR OF THE YEAR AWARD FROM SPECIAL GUEST AT DENVER VOICE’S RISE AND THRIVE, BREE DAVIES (RIGHT). CREDIT: GILES CLASEN VENDOR SPOTLIGHT: LANDO ALLEN GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets/shorts (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets/shorts (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! BY ELISABETH MONAGHAN, MANAGING EDITOR LANDO ALLEN DOESN’T LIKE A LOT OF ATTENTION. But when it came time for the Denver VOICE vendors to nominate the vendor of the year for 2022, it was Allen who received the most votes from his peers, so he didn’t have a choice. And if you don’t know him, keep reading to understand what he’s been up to over the past year — then you’ll get why he was nominated. Since 2009, Allen has vended the VOICE and has been among the top vendors every month since. A primary reason for Allen’s success is the way he connects with people. He may be getting over a cold or having a rough day, but you wouldn’t know it. That’s because he makes a point of focusing on the positive attributes of the people or situations he encounters throughout the day. One way he manages whatever challenges he may be facing is to paint, and it turns out, his paintings are pretty darn good! About a year ago, Allen brought a piece he had recently completed to show his fellow vendors and the Denver VOICE staff. It wasn’t his first painting, but it was the first time many of us were aware of Allen’s artistry. Because the reception of his artwork was so positive, Allen was encouraged to bring in more of his artwork. It wasn’t long after that Allen wondered if he could make additional income from selling his art. He then applied for and received his sales license. He also continued to bring in more paintings, which we hung on the walls of the VOICE office. Our location in the Santa Fe Art District presented an ideal opportunity for people participating in the First Friday Art Walks to recognize Allen’s talent. With the support of VOICE Program Coordinator Connie Gaitan and volunteer web designer Daniel Chavez, Allen now has a website where people can view his art, purchase his paintings, or explore the possibility of commissioning his work. While the positive feedback he has received has spurred him to create more, it is the opportunity to vend the paper that Allen credits with enabling him to have his own place and take care of his basic needs. He also says the organization has helped him maintain his dignity. For the past few years, Allen has spoken of getting a houseboat and living somewhere with water and a warmer climate. When that happens, he will leave a void at the Denver VOICE, but he has taught us all the valuable lesson that, despite life’s greatest challenges, if we get out of our own way, keep moving forward, and continue to learn and create, we can live more fulfilling lives. Given Allen’s attitude, determination, and past success, @DenverVOICE LANDO ALLEN SHOWS OFF A RECENT PAINTING. CREDIT: ELISABETH MONAGHAN there is no doubt he will continue to stand out as a skilled artist and exemplary human being. And even though he may not like drawing attention to himself, it would not be a surprise if his future included more than just a few additional minutes in the spotlight. ■ 4 DENVER VOICE June 2023 PROGRAM UPDATE HOW TO RECOGNIZE A VENDOR BY CONNIE GAITAN, PROGRAM COORDINATOR THE DENVER VOICE HAS BEEN MADE AWARE OF FRAUDULENT INDIVIDUALS POSING AS DENVER VOICE VENDORS. To ensure you are getting your paper from an authorized vendor, here are some things to look for: • Denver VOICE vendors must wear their badges at all times. The badge must be visible with a recent photo and the current year highlighted on the front of the badge. • (Note: If the vendor has a temporary badge, their photo will not be on the badge, but their number and the current year will be visible. Once a new vendor returns a second time and purchases more papers, they will receive a badge with their photo on it.) • Denver VOICE vendors are trained with specific language and operate under specific rules for earning. They will never ask you for donations that come back to the Denver VOICE. (Your donation goes to that individual directly and is not tax-deductible as it is a gift to that person.) • If you do not have cash, you can pay directly through the @DenverVoice Venmo account. Be sure to include the vendor’s name or badge number in the notes, so they receive the payment. • There are specific rules about how vendors can go about their work. They will never have tables or booths set up with signage or donation boxes for payments. They should never sell other products alongside the paper. • While vendors are permitted to give away old issues free of charge, they should only be vending the current issue of the paper. Before they can participate in our program, Denver VOICE vendors receive training to understand our program, resources, important programmatic guidelines, and city laws and regulations. The Denver VOICE and its vendors take pride in the work we do, and we appreciate community supporters like you! If you have any questions, concerns, or positive comments about a specific vendor, email our program coordinator at program@denvervoice.org or call us at (720) 320-2155. ■ June 2023 DENVER VOICE 5
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INTERNATIONAL STORY QUEEN MOTHER SQUARE. CREDIT: DUCHY OF CORNWALL POUNDBURY: HOW DOES THE KING’S VISION STACK UP IN A HOUSING CRISIS? BY LIAM GERAGHTY POUNDBURY IS KING CHARLES’S PET PROJECT. Located on Duchy of Cornwall land just west of Dorchester in Dorset, the monarch has spent more than three decades carving out his vision of what Britain should look like across its 400 acres. A model village designed to show how building development can enhance the English countryside, to “break the mold of conventional housing development”, as the King put it, he has been overseeing Poundbury’s development since 1993. Originally laid out by architect Léon Krier, the project is due to be completed in 2027, with 2,700 homes built, meaning one for every job in the area. To some detractors, Poundbury is a sort of “feudal Disneyland”, a prince’s plaything existing outside the realms of reality. But Poundbury’s unique royal origins make it a place of intrigue and curiosity in the context of the longrunning housing crisis. Françoise Ha is one of around 4,500 people living there and is chair of the Poundbury Residents Association. “It’s interesting seeing which countries are interested,” says Ha. “Certain countries like France are very interested, Canada, the Dutch, and America, as well. “I don’t think people are particularly royalist or republican here. I think we’re here because it’s a beautiful place to live and the vision that he’s made is quite different from other places. “Poundbury is an interesting idea. It’s been like Marmite 6 DENVER VOICE June 2023 before because it was green fields, but I think it’s good at what it’s trying to do.” What Poundbury is trying to do is be more than the sole preserve of the rich. Sure, take a cursory browse on Rightmove and you’ll see the first-floor apartment overlooking Queen Mother Square on the market for a cool £1.25 million. But a couple of pages later there are sub-£200k flats, with some available for shared ownership. One of the principles behind Poundbury is a mix of affordable homes alongside less affordable properties, and 35% of the homes being built are affordable housing for rent, shared ownership, or discounted sales. The Duchy also has a Discount to Open Market scheme running in Poundbury, which allows first-time buyers to purchase properties at a 25-30% discount which is then passed on to the next owner. There is a mix in the styles of houses on offer too. Take a walk around Poundbury and King Charles’s beloved classical architectural style is on show alongside country cottages built to echo the local area, mixed in with Italian villa-inspired homes. The mix attracts a similarly varied populace of people. This is key to Poundbury’s success and is one of the areas where it has been able to innovate, says Ben Murphy, the Duchy of Cornwall’s estate’s director. “To look back, it’s quite shocking to think now that Poundbury was the first place that integrated affordable housing with market housing. That has influenced national planning policy,” says Murphy. “Developers would think, ‘Oh no, it will detract from the value of private homes’; perhaps there was a stigma and I think it’s been proven to be untrue and incorrect. “All the places that really work well, that have a strong social cohesion, are diverse. It brings vibrancy and vitality to a place, and I think it benefits the community at large by having a well-balanced mix of tenures and people from all walks of life. I’m very proud that we delivered 35% affordable housing but when they’re not just integrated but indistinguishable, I don’t think you can really underestimate how important that is.” Ha has lived in Poundbury for five years after making the move from Exeter. She has yet to bump into King Charles while walking around town but says “he likes to know what’s going on”. But she agrees that variety is the spice of life in Poundbury. “It’s a very cosmopolitan place, compared to other places,” says Ha. “You’ve got people from Northampton, from Scotland, you’ve got people from all around that are coming here to retire or because they just think it’s a nice place to be for families as well. I think there is a difference between perception and reality here. It’s supposed to be a place where people of all generations can live together.” King Charles has never been shy about chiming in with his thoughts on architecture. He famously raised eyebrows when he described an expansion to the National Gallery as a “monstrous carbuncle” while addressing the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1984. Four years later he wrote and presented his first documentary, A Vision of Britain, showcasing his housing ideas for the future to millions watching on the BBC. In a book of the same name that was published the following year, the future king says he was moved to share his thoughts after seeing the “wanton destruction which has taken place in the name of progress”. “The sheer, unadulterated ugliness and mediocrity of public and commercial buildings, and housing estates” INTERNATIONAL STORY AN AERIAL VIEW OF POUNDBURY. CREDIT: DUCHY OF CORNWALL POUNDBURY, DORCHESTER, CREDIT: CG FY & SON. raised his ire. As did the “dreariness and heartlessness” of urban planning. King Charles, it is fair to say, does not care much for modernist design. Neither has he been shy to intervene in planning decisions. In 2009 the then-Prince of Wales was accused by Ruth Reed, RIBA president at the time, of “an abuse of his position” for attempts to block planning decisions, including plans to develop the former Chelsea Barracks in West London. But it’s the foundations laid out in A Vision of Britain that underpin Poundbury to this day. While much of its design ethos looks to the past, Poundbury has also been a demonstration of having amenities within a 15-minute walking distance. The idea of a ‘15-minute city’ has proven controversial in recent months with conspiracy theorists painting the idea as a war on cars or a method to control people’s movements. That’s nonsense, of course. But the issue was on the mind of notoriously green-focused King Charles 30 years ago. “It’s not about denying the existence of cars or containing people within an area, it’s more about giving people choice,” says Murphy. When you live in Poundbury we’re just saying, chances are you don’t need one because we’ve everything you need – offices, retail, restaurants, cafes, a pub, a doctor’s surgery – and it’s all accessible.” However, there is something of a catch for residents – the Duchy’s hand is never far away. If you want to live in Poundbury you are subject to certain rules designed to keep it beautiful. Want to take your rubbish out to be collected? It has to go out the back of your home, not the front. Want to paint your front door a different color? You’d best ask the Duchy for permission and, even then, you’ll only have a choice of a few approved colors. Want to swap the wooden window frames for PVC? No chance. “You have to be careful that it’s not going to be an issue for you and if you think it will be, then maybe it’s not going to be the right place for you,” says Ha. “There are people who come here because they want that uniformity. They want ARCHITECT LEON KRIER’S ORIGINAL POUNDBURY PLANS (1988) certain rules in place, and they’ve been in places where they didn’t have them and they were frustrated.” But what can other areas of the UK learn from Poundbury? Murphy says that building quality homes even if it means a wait for profit is fundamental to an area’s success. Perhaps that’s easier for an operation with the resources of the Duchy of Cornwall than it is for a major housebuilder with shareholders to answer to. But, then again, perhaps not. “It’s totally scalable. I mean, it’s really just taking the lessons of the past about what we know and love about our historic towns and cities, what makes a successful place,” says Murphy. “It’s not really been a model followed by the volume house builders in the UK because they’re just not set up as businesses to deliver a mix of uses and they’re looking at a much shorter return on investments on an annual or even quarterly basis. “Whether it be a local authority or a developer, if they are more patient about their capital return, they will reap greater dividends. We are a land and property business, it’s not a charitable endeavor, but I think His Majesty absolutely understood that if you build quality and deliver local needs it will create value and commercial success. You’ve just got to have the stomach for it. You’ve got to be a bit more patient about those returns.” The Duchy of Cornwall is trying to demonstrate Poundbury’s scalability firsthand with another planned community in Nansledan on the outskirts of Newquay in Cornwall. Dubbed “Poundbury’s big brother” by Murphy, 630 homes have currently been built in the development over the past five years and it is projected to be completed in around 2045, offering 4,000 homes and 4,000 jobs. Murphy says it is an attempt to deal with Cornwall’s welldocumented shortage of affordable housing. “We’re very much bolstering the town of Newquay and making sure that we remain part of the solution when it comes to the housing crisis,” he adds. For Ha, it’s clear what other places could learn: “For me, it’s building beautifully. I think there are too many places that aren’t built with beauty in mind. They’re built with profit in mind. “I think Poundbury has a lot of thought that has gone into the architecture, how it looks, and how it feels for people. If people are happy in a place, they’re going to want to do more to support their community.” In this sense, King Charles’s vision for Britain has already had a big impact on housing policy. Housing Secretary Michael Gove said last year that “people do not want ugliness imposed on them” and vowed to step in to block ugly housing developments. Last month he did just that, blocking a plan for 164 homes in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Crane Valley, near Tunbridge Wells, citing the “generic” look of the designs. Perhaps the dream of building beautiful homes is the clearest sign of all that King Charles’s vision for Britain and strong views on housing are alive and well outside Poundbury. It might not solve the housing crisis, but it will make a street party more pleasant at least. ■ Courtesy of the International Network of Street Papers / The Big Issue UK bigissue.com @BigIssue June 2023 DENVER VOICE 7
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INSP INSIGHTS of the common stereotypes of homeless people you refer to?”, replying: “A homeless person can be described as someone who lacks a permanent place to live, they may be staying in a shelter, transitional housing, sleeping on the street or in a makeshift shelter like a tent or a car. They could have lost their job, be facing mental health or addiction issues, or have experienced other events such as a natural disaster, domestic violence, or a medical emergency, that have left them without a stable home. They may be trying to access services such as job training, mental health counseling, or substance abuse treatment, to improve their situation. It’s worth noting that homelessness can happen to anyone, regardless of their background and it’s a complex issue that requires multiple solutions.” That spurs a conversation about how hereditary privilege PHOTO BY JONATHAN KEMPER ON UNSPLASH WHAT CAN AI TELL US ABOUT PERCEPTIONS OF HOMELESSNESS? BY TONY INGLIS IMBUING AN AI CHATBOT with human characteristics doesn’t seem so ridiculous at a time when such technology is showing uncanny steps forward in its ability to learn and adapt, with some reports of their sentience verging on the most pessimistic predictions of sci-fi. If you’re aware of their existence, the progression shown by generative language models like ChatGPT seems to have come on leaps and bounds, as the Microsoft-backed OpenAI has released a version of its creation into the public domain and has been all the rage. AI like this, in the most basic terms, consumes information it’s been fed – mainly from the internet – and, via a complex algorithm, regurgitates an answer in response to a prompt. The AI uses the information at its disposal to essentially guess the most appropriate next word in a sequence. That process is why it is emerging as such a powerful tool, one that is even being integrated into online search systems that its creators hope may rival a behemoth like Google. But this is also a sign of the limits of this technology. “Much evidence exists of the strong role that perception can play in shaping reality,” writes the Centre for Homelessness impact at the top of a report outlining its findings around public perceptions of homelessness earlier this year. The report goes on to highlight statistics that show public awareness of homelessness as an issue that needs to be addressed is high. However, later it reads: “Of greatest concern are the continuing misconceptions highlighted by our surveys. Asked about the characteristics of people experiencing homelessness, the average answer was that 53% are living with a drug or alcohol dependency. The actual figures are between 5% and 7%. Another mean answer was that 34% are immigrants to this country, which is more than twice the figure (14%) of people from outside the UK who apply for homeless assistance from a local authority.” With this in mind, could AI divulge a more accurate perception of homelessness, with all of the power and tools at its disposal? Across numerous conversations with ChatGPT, it was clear that some of society’s most entrenched prejudices persist within AI too. *** With the prompt “draw a picture of a street paper vendor”, ChatGPT is quick to put you in your place – it is an AI language model and therefore does not create images. But its description of a picture it would draw gets to the heart of the matter: “The street paper vendor is a homeless man or woman, standing on a busy street corner. They have a stack of newspapers in their hand and a worn expression on their face. They are wearing ragged clothes and a look of determination in their eyes.” A “worn expression.” “Ragged clothes.” “A look of determination in their eyes.” It’s a picture of struggle, devoid of nuance. Asked “What does a homeless person look like?”, the AI promisingly replies that “there is no one specific ‘look’ of a homeless person”, but then goes on again to describe them as maybe being “dressed in dirty of worn clothes”, carrying “all their belongings in a backpack or shopping cart”, and might be “sitting on a sidewalk with a cardboard sign asking for money.” As the conversation continues, many of the chatbots initial observations are pushed back on. In response to the prompt “If not all homeless people beg or panhandle, why was it one of the first descriptors you used for a scene involving a homeless person?”, it replies: “I apologize if my previous response suggested that all homeless people panhandle. That is not accurate, and I apologize for any confusion. Panhandling is one way that some homeless individuals try to acquire resources to meet their basic needs, but it is not the only way, and not all homeless people panhandle.” After some back and forth, it responds to the prompt “Could you describe a homeless person without using some and the makeup of society is weighted against certain people and communities. By constantly drilling down, the AI is learning to delve further into its system to provide a more relevant response. It is not capable of opinion and provides little pushback when it generates responses that play into common stereotypes. Eventually, it is prompted with: “Having now had this discussion, how would you answer the question ‘what does a homeless person look like’?” It replies: “It is important to remember that homelessness affects people from all walks of life and can happen to anyone. There is no one specific “look” of a homeless person. People experiencing homelessness may come from diverse backgrounds and may have a wide range of appearances. They may be young or old, male or female, and may have a variety of physical and mental health conditions. They may be dressed in a range of clothing styles. It is not appropriate to make assumptions about a person’s situation based on their appearance. “It is important to focus on the underlying issues that lead to homelessness and not to stereotype or stigmatize people who are experiencing homelessness. Rather than asking what a homeless person looks like, it is more important to focus on understanding and addressing the systemic issues that contribute to homelessness, such as poverty, lack of affordable housing, and lack of access to healthcare and mental health services.” Later it replies: “As an AI, I do not have personal experiences or emotions, and my knowledge is based on the text data that I have been trained on. My responses are generated based on patterns in this data, and while I can provide information and answer questions, I don’t have the same level of understanding and empathy as a person who has directly interacted with or experienced homelessness.” *** Conversations with AI chatbots may be au courant at the moment, and many of its uses seem frivolous. However, its potential practical uses in homeless outreach and activism – predictive modeling, automation, as learning and reporting tools, language processing, and data analysis – may have an impact on public perceptions of homeless people and their communities that will ultimately feed back into AI language models and make their outputs more informed and accurate. But, with its current capabilities, AI can give us little insight into how people experiencing homelessness are perceived beyond parroting back known and ingrained stigmas that we as human beings have of them. In fact, it is disheartening to read the frenzied reporting around AI that seems quick to humanize these machines – perhaps more willingly than many are to see humanity in people on the streets. ■ Courtesy of the International Network of Street Papers 8 DENVER VOICE June 2023 NATIONAL STORY CAN PUBLICLY OWNED INTERNET CLOSE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE IN US CITIES? BY CAREY L. BIRON SOFTWARE ENGINEER DAN SHUHLER spent 15 years frustrated with patchy internet service while living in apartments in Arlington, Virginia – and having no recourse. Each of those complexes contracted with just a single internet provider, leaving residents with no option for other services – a common situation, he said. “I’d probably rather have the water go out than the internet – I can get bottled water, but trying to find another place to work isn’t doable,” said Shuhler, 40. Shuhler has since bought a house, but he supports an effort to push Arlington to copy a strategy backers say has proven successful elsewhere: publicly owned, locally controlled internet service. “Especially now with everything online, it’s basically a requirement to function in society,” Shuhler added. Supporters say a public option could create more local competition, prompt increased investment, drive down prices – and reach those without internet connections. Such debates are happening across the country, bolstered by the COVID-19 pandemic moving key services such as healthcare, grocery shopping, and government processes online, and now by preparations for a massive federal program to close the digital divide. About a fifth of the country lacks internet access, particularly in poor, rural, and Native American communities, according to public records. “Treat it like a public utility – then everyone is getting proper access to it and hopefully improving service,” said Tim Dempsey, a member of the ArlFiber Collective, a volunteer group that has been pushing the issue in Arlington. The county is conducting a study on addressing the digital divide that will include a community broadband option, with recommendations due this year. “Robust broadband connectivity has become a driver of progress in ... economic development, affordable healthcare, public security, transportation, education, and much more,” said Jim Baller of the Coalition for Local Internet Choice, an umbrella group of public and private entities. Not making such investments “isn’t just a matter of a dropped Zoom call,” he said. “You’re retarded in your ability to stay current in all of those areas.” Yet some worry the new federal funding efforts place too much emphasis on public initiatives – and say their worth is unproven. “At the very least, this should be a level playing field, with those forming the best proposals receiving the grant money,” said Johnny Kampis, director of telecom policy for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, a watchdog group. The alliance in April released a report citing “unprecedented interest” in publicly owned networks but warning that such projects have often proved wasteful, redundant, and inefficient in closing the digital divide. YEAR OF THE ‘PUBLIC OPTION’? Community broadband networks now serve more than 20 million homes, according to the recently formed American Association for Public Broadband, a nonprofit founded by state and local officials. “The time for public broadband has come,” Gigi Sohn, the association’s first executive director, said in an interview following her appointment this month. “This is the right thing at the right time, with money flowing and people sick of not having affordable choices,” said Sohn, a former nominee for commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission. About 600 communities are served by some form of municipal network, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s community broadband networks initiative. Dozens more such projects are in the pipeline, said Sean Gonsalves, communications lead for the initiative, pointing to Knoxville, Tennessee; Pharr, Texas; Waterloo, Iowa, and elsewhere. “For decades the market has been broken. Most Americans get internet service through a monopoly cable provider, and here all these years later ... we still have this digital divide,” said Gonsalves. Some cities are creating their own internet provider, while others are simply putting in high-speed infrastructure and allowing providers to use it. Municipal systems have tended to result in more affordable rates and some of the fastest options available, Gonsalves said, citing efforts in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Wilson, North Carolina; Fairlawn, Ohio, and elsewhere. Yet these systems have been contentious, and 16 states have restricted such a “public option”, according to research group BroadbandNow, after Colorado this month rolled back its barriers. Nonetheless, 2023 “could be the year that things begin to change”, it said in an April report, fueled by the massive new federal funding available. The government last year created a $65 billion “Internet for All” initiative aiming to build out high-speed internet infrastructure and bring down costs, with money expected to start flowing in the coming months. Regulators have been explicit that local governments should be eligible. “We want to get the best possible networks built,” said a spokesperson with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in emailed comments. “To do that, we’ve asked states to create a level playing field on which municipalities; cooperatives; and small, medium, and large companies can all compete for these funds.” Still, draft guidance requires financial letters of credit from applicants, which could be an obstacle for local governments, said Jake Varn, a principal associate with Pew’s Broadband Access Initiative. It is “an outstanding question” as to whether a waiver or other process could be put in place, he said, given that municipal governments “don’t necessarily operate on that same financial plane as a for-profit provider”. INVISIBLE PROBLEM Los Angeles County is using pandemic relief money to build what could become one of the largest municipal broadband projects in the country. The effort was motivated by residents’ problems during the pandemic accessing telehealth, applying for jobs, and engaging in financial transactions, said Selwyn Hollins, director of the county’s internal services department. About 400,000 county households lack home internet – a figure so large as to have a generational impact, Hollins said, but one that is relatively invisible. The new program will allow selected companies to use publicly owned roofs, towers, and other infrastructure to bring free broadband to low-income households, with thousands likely connected by the end of the year. “In parts of the county, there’s only one provider, so there’s no other option for people,” Hollins said. “This is a very expensive place to live, so the choice has become difficult for a lot of families.” While still new, the effort fits in with any county’s responsibility to support the most vulnerable, Hollins said. “This is what we do.” Elsewhere, nonprofits are working to fill this role. Price is also the main obstacle in Baltimore, Maryland, where 40% of homes do not have a broadband subscription, said Samantha Musgrave, director of Project Waves. The nonprofit works to bring free broadband to tenants in apartment complexes, currently serving around 1,000 low-income households – and with a long list of interested properties. “The internet is a utility, the same as water or electricity,” Musgrave said. “And we need to be really serious about the way that we’re providing access to this utility.” ■ This article first appeared on Context, powered by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Courtesy of the International Network of Street Papers. PHOTO BY JOHN SCHNOBRICH ON UNSPLASH June 2023 DENVER VOICE 9
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NATIONAL FEATURE HOLISTIC DOULA CIARA CLARK, 34, RECEIVES A KISS FROM HER MOTHER ELLE T PARKER, 53, WHILE SHE LABORS IN HER BIRTHING POOL AT HER HOME BIRTH IN TOMS RIVER, NEW JERSEY, U.S., SEPTEMBER 11, 2022. REUTERS/JOY MALONE BLACK MOTHERS IN THE U.S. SPEAK OF CHALLENGES AND RESILIENCE BY JOY MALONE AND CORINNE PERKINS CIARA CLARK, A BLACK DOULA, labored for more than nine hours at home before making a last-minute switch to go to the hospital to give birth. With her own Black doula and mother by her side, Clark had hoped to have her baby at home with no medical assistance at all. She wanted to have a “wild” pregnancy - one that is medically unassisted. “I wanted to go through this birth without having any medical intervention,” said Clark, age 34. After four cesarean sections with her previous pregnancies, Clark said she feared that her birth plan would not be supported by the medical staff. But after a long labor, Clark said she became anxious and decided to go to the hospital, where she gave birth to a healthy son. Clark is not alone in her distrust of medical intervention in the birthing process. Nine Black pregnant women and new mothers voiced similar comments. All of the women spoke of feeling unseen and unheard at times through their pregnancy and postpartum period. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) April data shows that Black women in the United States are three times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white HOLISTIC DOULA CIARA CLARK, 34, LOOKS LOVINGLY AT EVAN, HER SLEEPING NEWBORN, IN TOMS RIVER, NEW JERSEY, U.S., SEPTEMBER 18, 2022. REUTERS/JOY MALONE 10 DENVER VOICE June 2023 NATIONAL FEATURE PAGE TITLE women. The CDC said this was a result of multiple factors, including variations in the quality of healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias. For Chelsea Ward, 32, a nursing student from Fords, New Jersey, who recently gave birth to twins, the state of Black maternal health in the United States is “inadequate.” “It’s challenging when you’re fighting and advocating for your maternal health rights, and having to educate your peers as well,” Ward said. Obtaining knowledge and self-advocating is key to making informed decisions, Ward added. RESILIENCE AND JOY Despite their challenges, the women described their resilience as they navigate maternal healthcare and motherhood. Soyal Smalls, 37, from Poughkeepsie, New York, who was pregnant when photographed in August 2022, believes increasing the number of Black healthcare providers would help Black mothers, along with having more hospitals with birthing units to support the mother and allow for more vaginal births. Ashlee Muhammad, 37, agreed, saying her doctors had assumed she would have a cesarean and she had to advocate for herself to have a vaginal birth for her twins. Many of the women also emphasized the importance of postpartum care. “If we are not whole as mothers, I don’t know how anyone expects us to care for these children,” Clark said. Ward said she thought more education for the Black community on innovations in birthing, postpartum care, and parenting would be beneficial. “I truly believe that if we know better, we would do better,” she said. Shariah Bottex, a 30-year-old program manager in Flushing, New York, pumped milk while her fiance fed their newborn son when photographed her in March. She said her biggest hope for her children is that they will feel comfortable in their skin and that they get to enjoy their childhood. “My greatest joy as a mother is seeing my baby smile so big and knowing that I’m the cause of that smile and his happiness,” Bottex said. ■ Courtesy of Reuters / International Network of Street Papers Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to support our program coordination by helping with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe Dr.) from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at: program@denvervoice.org HOLISTIC DOULA CIARA CLARK, 34, RECEIVES SUPPORT FROM HER HUSBAND ANTHONY CLARK, A 38-YEAR-OLD VIP ASSOCIATE FOR A SPORTS BETTING COMPANY, WHILE SHE LABORS IN HER BED AT HER HOME BIRTH IN TOMS RIVER, NEW JERSEY, U.S., SEPTEMBER 11, 2022. REUTERS/JOY MALONE June 2023 DENVER VOICE 11 DONATE YOUR CAR!
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS STOP SAYING I CAN’T, SELF BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR SELF, STOP SAYING, “I CAN’T!” When you do that, it gives you permission to not do anything. Every time you say you can’t, what you’re really doing is giving up on Self. You, and no one else, can do anything for Self. You have the power over Self to fail or succeed – even when others keep telling you, “You can’t do this,” or “You know you can’t do that because it will not come out right,” or “You will mess it up, you know you will fail,” or other statements like that. It is up to you to change how you react when people tell you such things. You either believe them when they tell you that you can’t, or you tell Self, “I don’t care if they tell me I can’t. I believe in Self, and Self doesn’t care what they say. If it is not something good, I don’t have to listen to them. The only person who can help me make it in life is SELF!” RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: CORTNEY TABERNA Be your own voice for Self. No one but Self can think, feel, or speak for Self. Don’t ever tell Self you can’t. Love your Self enough so you don’t believe those negative words because they are not true. You don’t want to fail Self. You can do anything you put your mind to. Believe in Self because no one can believe in Self but YOU. No one can live your life, but Self. So, LOVE SELF and ONLY TAKE IN GOOD THINGS! Let go of hateful words from others. Always tell Self, “I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT TO DO!” You can do it, Self. I believe in you. Always say, “I CAN,” to SELF! ■ DENVER VOICE CONTRIBUTORS, CLASEN, DAVIS, RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR WORK BY ELISABETH MONAGHAN, MANAGING EDITOR DURING THE FIRST HALF OF 2023, longtime Denver VOICE contributors Giles Clasen and Robert Davis each received awards for their stellar journalistic efforts. In April, Davis, who received his Master of Science in journalism this past December from New York University, picked up two Top of the Rockies awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). In addition to winning third place in the Climate Reporting category for an article he wrote for Yellow Scene magazine, Davis also placed first in the Enterprise Reporting category for his work on the Chasing Progress series, which was a project coordinated by the Colorado News Colaborative (COLab). Additionally, Davis won first place from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing for his work on an Insider’s Warehouse Nation package. Giles Clasen has received several awards for one of the photos he took for “RV Living on the Road to Housing,” which was the cover story for the Denver VOICE’s October 2022 issue. This includes first place in the SPJ’s Top of the Rockies awards in the Feature Photography/Videography category. The photo will also be included in the Colorado GILES CLASEN’S COVER PHOTO FOR THE OCTOBER 2022 ISSUE OF THE VOICE HAS RECEVED SEVERAL AWARDS. IMAGE COURTESY OF AI-AP 39. 12 DENVER VOICE June 2023 Photographic Arts Center Annual Juried Members’ Show later this summer. Perhaps the most prestigious coverage Clasen’s recent work received is the inclusion of his photographs in the American Photography 39 annual award book. Of more than 7000 entries, the jury — which is composed of distinguished photographers, artistic directors, and creative directors from outlets like ProPublica, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times — selected 443 images representing the best pictures from 2022. Two of the 443 were taken by Clasen. According to Clasen, he is thrilled with the recognition that his work has earned, but what means even more is that the people in the photographs are just as excited about the attention and hope the coverage will instill a better understanding of those experiencing homelessness. The Denver VOICE may be among the smallest papers in the International Network of Street Papers, but our exceptional team of award-winning contributors continues to position us as one of the very best. ■ EVENTS COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES 2ND ANNUAL SUMMER BOOK SWAP Grab a drink and search for your next great read at the 2nd annual summer book swap. WHEN: June 3, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. COST: Event is free - just bring a book! WHERE: Western Sky Bar & Taproom, 4361 S. Broadway INFO: westernskybar.com CITY PARK JAZZ Jazz in the park is back! Enjoy live music, sunsets, food trucks, adorable dogs, and a sense of community at this beloved city event. WHEN: June 4, 11, 18, and 25, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. COST: Free but donations accepted. WHERE: City Park Pavilion, 2001 Steele St. INFO: cityparkjazz.org COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 REGIRAMA SUMMER MOVIE SERIES: VIVO Come on out for a free outdoor screening of Vivo. Guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets, chairs, and picnics. A couple of food trucks will also be on-site. WHEN: June 9, doors open at 6:30 p.m., movie begins at dusk COST: Free entry. WHERE: Regis University – Boettcher Commons, 3333 Regis Blvd. INFO: regis.edu REACH 4 PEACE PICNIC The Struggle of Love Foundation is hosting their 16th annual Reach 4 Peace Picnic, which is a free family event celebrating outstanding fathers in the community. Free food will be provided along with free activities for the whole family, including face painting, pony rides, a car show, live entertainment, haircuts, and health screenings. WHEN: June 18, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Silverman Park, 12875 Andrews Dr. INFO: struggleoflovefoundation.org ACROSS DOWN 1. Cousin of “ahem” 5. Locker room supply 9. Savory flavor 14. Duo before do 15. Time piece 16. Like oak leaves... or brains 17. Inoffensive 20. Plumber of note 21. Mexican turnover 22. Accounts ___ 25. Musical aptitude 26. Lite 28. Word spelled out in a Nat King Cole classic 32. “It looks like it’s all over for me” 36. Recipe phrase 37. Rebuttal 40. Spanish others 41. Hawk trainer 42. Shipshape 43. Seder staple 45. Address book abbr. 46. Come (from) 51. Pressing needs? 56. Started eating 57. Realm of fantasy 60. “The Little Engine That ___” 61. Parade spoiler 62. Stead 63. Hold in reserve 64. Sea bird 65. Like some decisions 1. Well-rounded? 2. Yemen’s capital 3. Narrative 4. Leg part 5. Not just any 6. Green New Deal proponent, initially 7. Pear-shaped instrument 8. Black Sea region 9. Of an arm bone 10. Bellyache 11. “Dancing Queen” quartet 12. Pinochle combo 13. It comes to mind 18. Merchandise odds and ends 19. Milky gem 23. Word before star or ranger 24. Decorative pitcher 27. Skill 28. Airport pickup 29. The yoke’s on them 30. Tarzan’s transport 31. ___’acte (intermission) 32. Clickable image 33. Bit of dust 34. Ambience 35. Itsy-bitsy biter 36. Shakespeare title starter 38. Bulldoze 39. Grab (onto) 43. Sporty Spice, by another name 44. Magnetism 45. ___ bear 47. Cancels 48. From the top 49. Athlete’s foot 50. Eventually become 51. Secretly loops in: Abbr. 52. Natural balm 53. Defeat decisively 54. Onion, for one 55. Slash mark? 58. Relations 59. Four quarters DENVER PRIDE Denver Pride 2023 is back with two full days of entertainment and fun! Attendees can enjoy the Pride Parade, Pride Fest, 5K, live entertainment, local vendors, and a number of other pride-related activities! WHEN: Jun 24 and Jun 25, times vary. COST: Free + open to the public. WHERE: Civic Center Park, 101 W 14th Ave. INFO: denverpride.org June 2023 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $25,000+ The NextFifty Initiative $10,000+ The Christian Foundation Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. $5,000 - $9,999 Bank of America Charitable Foundation Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Francis Trainer and Trainer Family Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation $1,000-$4,999 Katherine Standiford Walker Family Foundation Alexander Seavall Jill Haug Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Whole Foods Foundation Alex Salva Russell Peterson Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Chris and Susan Pappas Michael Dino Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Frederic K Conover Trust Megan Arellano Keyrenter Property Management Denver SEI Giving Fund The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Warren and Betty Kuehner Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Gaspar Terrana Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Joshua Kauer Elsbeth Williams Mathew Rezek $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson James and Cyndi Lesslie Fire on the Mountain Christopher Boulanger Sheryl Parker Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Donald Weaver Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Peter Iannuzzi Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Graham Davis Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois Mr B’s Liquor Wines For Humanity • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper 14 DENVER VOICE June 2023 RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ACS COMMUNITY L.I.F.T. CareVan at Open Door Ministries, 1567 Marion St., Tues. 9am-12:30pm DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER 303-436-6000, 777 Bannock St. denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL A resource that features abundant information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community. detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA Addiction hotline: 866-716-0142. Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800; 112 E. 8th Ave.; Mon.-Fri., 9am-12pm. HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Our services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on how to properly dispose of dirty syringes. harmreductionactioncenter.org LIVE ANOTHER DAY Live Another Day believes in equal access to life-saving mental health and substance use resources. This website provides extensive information on the best resources available: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION 1325 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite B302. Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered. 800-522-4372, info@hepc-connection.org, liverhealthconnection.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER 303-296-1767, 3800 York St. Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Tues. 9am-5pm; Sat. 8am-2pm. Emergency walk-ins. SALUD CLINIC 6075 Parkway Drive, Ste. 160, Commerce City; Dental 303-286-6755. Medical 303-286-8900. Medical Hours: Mon.-Wed. 8am-9pm, Thurs.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Sat. (Urgent Care only) 8am-5pm; Dental Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Pharmacy Hours: Mon.-Fri. 1-5pm; After Office Hours: 1-800-283-3221 saludclinic.org/commerce-city SOUTHEAST ADDICTION CENTER Top 50 resources for Black men who are struggling with substance use and/or their mental health. southeastaddictiontn.com/50-addiction-mental-health-resources-for-black-men SOUTHEAST DETOX Updated in 2023, this guide features over 50 fully-vetted resources for Black women. southeastdetoxga.com/black-women-addiction-mental-health-support STOUT STREET CLINIC 303-293-2220, 2130 Stout St. Clinic hours for new and established patients: 7am-4pm Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri. The clinic is open Wed. 11am-7pm. coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH (YOUTH SERVICES) Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. 833-931-2484 sunshinebehavioralhealth.com VA MEDICAL CENTER 303-399-8020, 1700 N Wheeling St., Aurora va.gov/find-locations/facility/vha_554A5 WORKNOW 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER 303-783-3777; 2575 S. Broadway; Mon.-Thurs. 10am-2pm, Denver Works helps with employment, IDs, birth certs; mail services and lockers citysquare.org FATHER WOODY’S HAVEN OF HOPE 303-607-0855; 1101 W. 7th Ave.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-1pm. Six private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch & more thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE 303-321-4198; 1535 High St.; Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8:30am-5pm, Tues. 8:30am-1:30pm. Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals. Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, and more. tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800, 231 East Colfax; Mon.-Fri. 9am-12pm. Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harm-reduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes. harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH 1900 California St., help with lost IDs and birth certificates holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM 303-832-3354, 1555 Race St.; Mon.-Fri. 8am-4pm. For men and women with HIV. LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES 1567 Marion St.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-5:30pm. Drop-in center: bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, WIFI odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER 303-297-1576; 2323 Curtis St. 6am-6pm daily. Storage for one bag (when space is available). Satellite Clinic hours- Mon., Tues., Thurs, Fri. 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm sfcdenver.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES 846 E. 18th Ave. For those 60+. TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, and more. seniorsupportservices.org SOX PLACE (YOUTH SERVICES) 2017 Larimer St. Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30 years old. Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. Tues.-Fri. 12-4pm & Sat. 11-2pm. soxplace.com THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442. Drop-in hours Mon.-Fri. 8-11am. If you are a youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, please contact 303-974-2928 urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 303-447-1207, 3080 Broadway, Boulder. Open every day, 12:30-5pm, for anyone ages 12-24. Office: 303-447-1206. Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services to youth up to age 24 tgthr.org URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) Youth 14-24 in Denver and Colorado Springs. Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skills and training, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing. 730 21st St. 303-974-2900 urbanpeak.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES Go to mealsforpoor.org for meal locations CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee Mon.-Fri. 8:30am denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm. christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY Home-cooked meal; weekly Lunch in the Park is on Wednesdays from 12-1 at Benedict Fountain Park (Tremont and 22nd). christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER 303-783-3777, 2575 S. Broadway; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES Hot meals served at 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church), Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 11:45-12:15 mealsforpoor.org DENVER INNER CITY PARISH 303-322-5733, 1212 Mariposa St., VOA Dining Center for Seniors, free 60 yrs and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm. Food Bank, Wed.-Fri., tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm. dicp.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION 1130 Park Avenue West, 3 meals 7 days/week: 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm 303-294-0157 denverrescuemission.org FATHER WOODY’S HAVEN OF HOPE 1101 W. 7th Ave. 303-607-0855. Mon.-Fri. 7am-1pm. Not open weekends. Breakfast is at 8am, and lunch is served at 11am frwoodyshavenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY Food service on the second and fourth Thurs. of each month; locations found at feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html FOOD NOT BOMBS Wed. 4pm/Civic Center Park facebook.com/ThePeoplesPicnic HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH 910 Kalamath, community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the Month, 8-10am, women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am. hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH 1900 California St., sandwiches, Mon.-Sat., 10-10:30am holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH 29th and Milwaukee St., Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES 1567 Marion St., Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm) meal served at 6pm. 303-830-2201 odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY 126 W. 2nd Ave., dinner at 4pm on Tues. Also offer a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available. 303-722-8781 stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. on Auraria campus, 7 days/week, 11:00am; food, coffee. stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month). sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm. Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon. saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ 2023 E. Colfax Ave. Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen: Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays, 720-530-6853 soallmayeat.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES 846 E. 18th Ave. 3 meals, Mon.a-Fri. 7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm. 55+ seniorsupportservices.org/programs URBAN OUTREACH DENVER 608 26th St., Thurs. dinners, 6pm-7pm lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA 2877 Lawrence St., breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun. Food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs. voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetro-foodnutrition-themission CAREER SERVICES COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway. 720-865-1706. Hours: Mon. & Tues. 10am-8pm; Wed., Thurs., Fri. 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, wifi, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments. denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER Denver Department of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd., Mon.Fri., 7:30am-4:30pm; Services include: employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé preparation, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc. careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center June 2023 DENVER VOICE 15 DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13
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EDITOR’S NOTE REGULAR READERS of the Denver VOICE, or anyone familiar with the street paper model, knows our monthly publication is only a part of the Denver VOICE’s mission. As the managing editor of the paper, my job is to produce a paper written by journalists or journalism students. The Denver VOICE is not a ELISABETH MONAGHAN MANAGING EDITOR resource provider, meaning, we do not offer services like shelter, daily meals, or medical services. While we have consistently provided our Resource List both in the paper and on our website, it is only recently that we’ve implemented programs to provide our vendors with more than that resource list. Since joining the VOICE, Program Coordinator Connie Gaitan has established new, or built upon existing relationships with our community service providers. By doing this, she can reach out to professionals, if a vendor is struggling with addiction or other mental health issues. If a vendor needs a medical doctor, or needs other assistance, Connie helps them track down whatever resource may be the best avenue to get vendors the care they need. She also makes sure there is always a supply of hand and feet warmers, socks, hats, clothing, or toiletries for vendors who could use them. As important as it is to publish a quality street paper that features articles by professional journalists, while including sections dedicated to VOICE vendors, the program is the primary reason for the VOICE’s existence. Sometimes, it can be easy to overlook the people working behind the scenes to keep a mission-driven organization like ours on track and ensure that it is fulfilling its potential. Connie is not one to seek attention and would probably tell you she’s just doing her job, but in the six months since she joined the VOICE, Connie has made an immeasurable difference, which is why I wanted to acknowledge her. ■ THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS ASHTON BROWN graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in convergent journalism and a minor in cinema studies. She and her fiance currently live with their two cats in Lakewood. is trying to find housing, GILES CLASEN is a freelance photojournalist who regularly contributes his work to the VOICE for editorial projects, fundraisers, and events. He has also served on the VOICE’s Board of Directors. DENVERVOICE.ORG CE.ORG @deeOCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg GRACE THORBURN is a journalism student at the University of Colorado Boulder. She hopes that her writing will make a difference in the community by covering social justice issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, homelessness, and racial equity. VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Aaron Sullivan Laura Wing ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Giles Clasen WRITERS WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. John Alexander Lando Allen Zakiyyah Brooks Ashton Brown Rea Brown Giles Clasen Bree Davies Raelene Johnson Jacob Marsh Steve Szloboda Grace Thorburn BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nikki Lawson, President Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, Treasurer Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Albert Bland Donovan Cordova Antonio Diaz Raelene Johnson Jennifer Seybold Julia Watson Cabal Yarne With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. 2 DENVER VOICE May 2023 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S ASK A VENDOR CAME FROM DENVER VOICE VENDOR JOHN ALEXANDER. Q A Do you have a different opinion of the Denver VOICE since you fi rst became a vendor? LANDO ALLEN When I first heard about the VOICE, I thought it would be easy to vend papers, but it wasn’t. I thought I could save money and start another business while doing the VOICE. The mistake I made was getting into relationships with people that didn’t bring anything to the table. So, I was stuck taking care of people who didn’t do things for themselves. Today, I feel I have the skills for the VOICE and to not make the same mistakes I made before. I’ll try to save money, so I can build a houseboat. ZAKIYYAH BROOKES Yes. I thought [the VOICE] was just getting the word out about the stories that people tell and write, but it’s more than that. It’s your voice that does good work because you act on not only helping someone be heard, but you’re also being heard. JACOB MARSH I first started in 2009 with the Denver VOICE. I have met a lot of good people at the VOICE. We have lost some of those people, due to weather, starvation, self-inflicted harm, or something unforeseen. I have seen several directors come and go, and several staff members as well, but every time I come into the office, I am welcomed in like family. Yes, a lot has changed, but in some ways, it is still very much the same. STEVE SZLOBODA Over time, the community has gotten to know me. A few months ago, someone even gave me a Facebook shoutout to support me as a vendor. I also recently brought in a volunteer to help at the Denver VOICE office. JOHN ALEXANDER My opinion of the Denver VOICE was really based on just meeting this non-profit. I felt it was just an organization that helps people if it could – nothing special, though. But today, I have a much different opinion. The Denver VOICE is a lifechanging open door to unlimited opportunities. RAELENE JOHNSON My life has changed since coming to the VOICE. I was sleeping under a bridge when I started. The paper gave me a job when no one else would. We have more [resources] to help vendors now. We now have an art program [to help vendor artists get their sales licenses and sell their artwork on their own.] Now, they help [by connecting vendors] with mental health providers. I wish we had everything 16 years ago. I now have been with the VOICE for 14 years and lived in my home for 13 years. Your support of the VOICE goes to keep us working. HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. May 2023 DENVER VOICE 3
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PAGE TITLE GUEST EDITORIAL SPRING WISH LIST Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. WHO GETS TO TELL OUR STORIES? BY BREE DAVIES, HOST OF CITY CAST DENVER WHO GETS TO TELL OUR STORIES? Who is chosen as an “expert” or source when the reporters show up asking questions about your community? Who gets to be the reporter in the first place? As a journalist, I know who I’ve been instructed to seek out as a source. But sometimes, the source in a story isn’t the one who should be interviewed; they’re the person who should be writing the story. As a journalist, I also know that journalism itself has been consumed by academia, abducted and abused by capitalism, and dominated by newsrooms often full of reporters with similar economic situations and backgrounds. But at its root, journalism is a medium by and for the people. The Denver VOICE embodies that root. That place where journalism should come from. That foundation from which communities can tell their stories because they are the experts. When I first met a VOICE vendor on the street in Capitol Hill many years ago, I bought a paper because I was curious. I had no idea the VOICE would become a crucial part of my media consumption and a go-to source for information, perspective, and opinion on my community and my city. But my favorite part? Chatting with a Denver VOICE NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant, chapstick, sunscreen Bottled water BREE DAVIES SITS AT BREAKFAST KING. PHOTO COURTESY OF BREE DAVIES vendor while grabbing a paper, then getting home, opening it up, and finding a piece written by that vendor. That’s onthe-ground journalism. That’s community-first journalism. That’s real journalism. That’s the Denver VOICE. ■ Editor’s note: On May 7, Bree Davies will be the guest speaker at the Denver VOICE’s Rise and Thrive breakfast fundraiser. She will also present the Denver VOICE Vendor of the Year award at the event. Davies is a long-time champion of the VOICE and the individuals we serve. GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets/shorts (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets/shorts (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! @DenverVOICE 4 DENVER VOICE May 2023 INTERNATIONAL STORY A MAN SEARCHES FOR RECYCLABLE MATERIALS AS SMOKE BILLOWS FROM BURNING GARBAGE AT A LANDFILL IN THE OUTSKIRTS OF BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN MARCH 31, 2023. CREDIT: REUTERS/PAVEL MIKHEYEV KYRGYZ ECO-ACTIVIST’S ‘TRASHION’ TACKLES A BURNING PROBLEM BY OLZHAS AUYEZOV A KYRGYZ ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST has found a way to combat toxic fumes choking her city by literally turning trash into treasure, and sewing clothes out of the waste that would otherwise be burned in a landfill or someone’s stove. Garments are a major industry in the Central Asian nation of 7 million, but manufacturers often discard scrap material in landfills outside the capital, Bishkek, to be burned or scavenged to heat people’s homes. Those fumes make the air even more toxic in Bishkek, which is already one of the world’s most polluted cities, thanks to its widespread use of coal. But artist Cholpon Alamanova A SEAMSTRESS WORKS ON A PIECE IN THE KYRGYZ TRADITIONAL PATCHWORK SEWING TECHNIQUE, KURAK, IN A WORKSHOP IN BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN MARCH 30, 2023. KYRGYZ ARTIST AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST CHOLPON ALAMANOVA AND HER TEAM OF MORE THAN 80 WOMEN USE THE KYRGYZ TRADITIONAL PATCHWORK SEWING TECHNIQUE, KURAK, IN ORDER TO RECYCLE THE TEXTILE WASTE, USUALLY BURNED IN LANDFILLS, INTO COLOURFUL BLANKETS, CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES. CREDIT: REUTERS/PAVEL MIKHEYEV came up with a solution that makes use of a traditional patchwork sewing technique, called kurak, to recycle the textile waste into colorful blankets, clothes, and accessories. In doing so, her workshop has become part of a global “trashion” trend promoting the use of recycled, used, thrownout, and repurposed elements to create garments, jewelry, and art. The task engenders a warming feeling that motivates her to keep doing it, said Alamanova, while helping to keep alive the tradition. “Every single item that we make with students imparts a very pleasant feeling that at least, for a tiny bit, we have made Kyrgyzstan cleaner and helped maintain the purity of its air, water, and land,” she added. Her team, which has grown to more than 80 women aged between 25 and 79, has processed 300 kg (661 pounds) of fabric within a few months, winning public acclaim for fighting pollution while popularising kurak. Works by Alamanova and her students, displayed at an art show in neighboring Kazakhstan last month, have inspired Kazakh women to follow suit, with one of her Kazakh students vowing to start a similar project there. ■ Courtesy of Reuters / International Network of Street Papers May 2023 DENVER VOICE 5
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COMMUNITY PROFILE ‘BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND’ Changing the Way We View Art BY GRACE THORBURN BORN AND RAISED IN DENVER, Alessia Redwine aspires to become a successful art curator and artist. As she wraps up her junior year at the University of Colorado Boulder, her main focus lies within the medium of painting, but she also enjoys exploring mixed media. “I started painting my freshman year of college, and stopped since,” Redwine I haven’t stated. “There is a misrepresentation of Black women in the art industry. When Black women are showcased, they are often shown as less than,” Redwine said. “As a 21-year-old, I feel like I’m still seeing a lot of lack of representation. So, I’d say representation plays a big part in my art, and just expressing myself unapologetically and not apologizing for taking up space and being who I am.” Reframing artistic history to be more inclusive was a driving force in Redwine’s first painting series titled “Black by Popular Demand.” Taking historical pieces like “The MAMA LISA (2022) This rendition of the Mona Lisa (1503) was inspired by both Leonardo da Vinci and Ebonee Davis. Davis is one of Redwine’s favorite models. “My hope is that Black women see this piece and know our hair can be formal and elegant, no matter the shape, size, or stature.” PHOTO COURTESY OF ALESSIA REDWINE 6 DENVER VOICE May 2023 COMMUNITY PROFILE REBIRTH OF AFRODITE (2022), is a rendition of Alexandre Cabanel’s Birth of Venus (1863). “Here, Afrodite is sitting in her shell. I did this as a reminder that I, along with all Black women, will not stand to be disrespected, overlooked, or taken advantage of. For this painting, I drew from one of SZA’s many iconic photo shoots.” Birth of Venus” and “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” which center around what she referred to as “the elegance of white women,” Redwine’s paintings are abstract renditions that represent the subjects as Black women, instead. Inspiration for her series struck while Redwine was attending an art history lecture. According to Redwine, she noticed the misrepresentation of Black women in great historical works of art and observed that when they were featured in paintings, elegance, and grace were often reserved for white models. Redwine uses art to process various feelings such as grief, liberation, and acceptance. While finding her voice as a Black woman in America — in spaces that are predominantly white — she is also in the process of finding her artistic voice. “My purpose is figuring out how to create work I’ve always wanted to see growing up. I think representation is so important, and growing up, I didn’t see enough representation,” Redwine said. “I went to a predominantly white high school, and now, I go to a predominantly white university. My paintings focus on the experience of a Black woman in places that aren’t normally diverse. I like to focus on the perspective of Black people and women, more specifically.” People in Redwine’s life have inspired her work. This includes her family and the artists she looks up to. Vincent van Gogh, Winslow Homer, and Long Beach-based artist Torin Ashtun are all Redwine’s primary artistic influences. According to Redwine, she hopes to own an art gallery, where she can showcase her work while also emphasizing the work of other BIPOC artists. She also said that as she grows as an artist, her work will continue to reflect and shine a light on the uplifting aspects of being a Black woman. ■ AFRODITE (2021) The first piece in “Black by Popular Demand” is Redwine’s rendition of “Birth of Venus” (1486) by Sandro Botticelli. “I was inspired by Ebonee Davis’ January 2020 Essence magazine photoshoot. I purposely changed the pose of Afrodite’s body so she would embody confidence with her arms stretched at her side rather than covering her body with shame.” PHOTO COURTESY OF ALESSIA REDWINE I’M THAT GIRL (WITH THE PEARLS) (2022) is a rendition of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665). “This piece was inspired by Zendaya’s 2020 Essence cover. I wanted to challenge myself with using materials that were 3D, seeing as though I felt unsure on how to paint so many pearls on her headwrap.” May 2023 DENVER VOICE 7
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COMMUNITY PROFILE CREDIT: GILES CLASEN CREATIVELY OPTIMISTIC BY GILES CLASEN SCOTT RODGER HAS CONSTRUCTED a creative arrangement to avoid sleeping on the streets. After losing his security jobs with nightclubs and dispensaries during the pandemic, Rodger became homeless. When the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and other programs in the American Rescue Plan Act expired, he found himself unable to pay his rent and slept his first nights in a tent, under overpasses, or anywhere else he could find shelter. Then, he had the idea to find a safer path forward by turning to his old love and working as a tattoo artist. “I’m couch surfing right now and trying to get by,” Rodger said. “I go over [to their homes] and tattoo, and we have a few beers. It gives me a place to sleep. At the end of the day, I’ve got a roof over my head and a safe place to sleep, rather than under the stars in the park.” Rodger has no shortage of clients. He has tattooed other unhoused individuals living in trailers and found a steady stream of housed clients. All of them let him crash on their floor or couch after lengthy tattoo sessions. Rodger is fastidious about cleanliness and safety. He buys his single-use tattoo needles from mainstream tattoo supply shops. After donning gloves, Rodger shows his clients the unopened needles and fresh ink. He also uses an antiseptic to clean the skin he plans on tattooing and then begins to freehand his work. “I always feel honored that individuals let me decorate their bodies. We don’t buy art anymore. It is crazy expensive,” Rodger said. “Tattoos are the art people invest in. It is more than art. Tattoos are an expression of who we are, it is the art we carry on our bodies for the rest of our lives. It has meaning.” Rodger’s life has been defined by two things: art and hockey. He walked on as a hockey player at the University of Denver and played for a year at the University of Colorado, too. His official position was defenseman, but his real job was to be the enforcer on the ice. He was good at hitting opponents and protecting his teammates. Rodger found his greatest success playing on a couple of semipro teams around the Midwest. He played 47 games as a defenseman for the Minot Muskies in North Dakota. He also played 41 games for the Great Falls Americans in Montana. The hits that he sustained started feeling like daily car crashes, slamming against his body, and he decided to pursue his other love – working with pen and ink and calligraphy. Rodger received a degree from the Art Institute of Colorado. While at the Art Institute, Rodger found his groove doing etchings in bone, then metal. He briefly contemplated pursuing a career as an engraver for the United States Mint. Ultimately, Rodger landed an apprenticeship at Celebrity Tattoo, where he found a bit of stability needling ink into skin. He was learning his craft and not making a lot of money yet, but he was assured that working as a tattoo artist would bring him security. “Money has always been hard for me,” Rodger said. “Money has been tight since I tried to make it in hockey. While I don’t have much paper to show, I have memories for days.” Rodger finds it difficult to stay on one career trajectory. He has attention deficit disorder and gets bored quickly. He also talks fast, verbally sprinting, from one subject to the next as quickly as he moved in and out of penalty boxes. 8 DENVER VOICE May 2023 COMMUNITY PROFILE CREDIT: GILES CLASEN CREDIT: GILES CLASEN His need to chase new interests led him away from tattooing full-time, and he moved into drawing art and caricatures of children and families at the Denver Zoo and Elitch’s. He worked security jobs, as well, to stay afloat. Just before the pandemic hit, Rodger was hired by Casa Bonita. He was certain it would give him a new purpose and creative outlet. He hopes the new owners will still honor the old offer. According to Rodger, he recently stopped by the Casa Bonita construction site and has been told repeatedly that they will call the old staff back sometime soon. But it is far from a secure job offer. Until then, Rodger continues to find individuals interested in trading a good night’s sleep for a new tattoo. He doesn’t think he will qualify for an apartment any time soon because the eviction after the pandemic has locked him out of the apartment market. It is a nonstarter everywhere he looks. But Rodger is a creative optimist and believes he has found a solution. He is in the process of buying an RV to give him a secure place to lay his head. It is the only option he sees for himself. “I’ve lived a very nice life, but I’m homeless right now,” Rodger said. “There are a lot of us living in a new reality after COVID and in places, we never expected to be.” ■ CREDIT: GILES CLASEN May 2023 DENVER VOICE 9
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LOCAL FEATURE CREDIT: PARENT ROCKER ORGANIZATION PARENT ROCKER ORGANIZATION: PROVIDING YOUNG MUSICIANS THE CHANCE TO LEARN AND PERFORM BY ASHTON BROWN ONE OF THE BEST CHILDHOOD MEMORIES is performing on a stage, knowing friends and family are in the audience, watching. For many, without being part of a performance group like a choir, dance troupe, or band, getting to that stage may never happen. Parent Rocker Organization (PRO) provides opportunities for children to learn and become proficient musicians and performers. PRO offers scholarships, so children ages 7 to 18 can participate in the after-school music program at the School of Rock. Participants attend one lesson a week for three months. At the end of the three months, the students perform in front of a live audience. Parent Rocker Organization was established in 2013 and raises $20,000 in scholarships each year. Leading the organization is Melissa Hourigan, who has been a part of PRO for seven years and spent the last three as its president. According to Hourigan, the school was a powerful experience for her kids. “My husband is a musician, and he hasn’t played at half the CREDIT: PARENT ROCKER ORGANIZATION venues these kids have,” said Hourigan. “It’s really inspiring to see these kids, who are so talented and wouldn’t have that option without a scholarship.” .” Hourigan also said she has been fortunate to be able to send all three of her children to the Denver School of Rock, but the tuition, instruments, and even concert-related expenses, all add up. According 10 DENVER VOICE May 2023 LOCAL FEATURE PAGE TITLE DONATE YOUR CAR! Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. CREDIT: PARENT ROCKER ORGANIZATION to Hourigan, it was costing nearly $1,000 per semester to send her kids to school at the same time. Eligibility for a scholarship is based on parents’ financial status, and each prospective student must include a video and written submission about why they feel they deserve the scholarship. At the beginning of each season, 10 students are granted a scholarship, but there’s no limit to how many times one can apply for future seasons. “A lot of kids will continue to submit for scholarships for years,” Hourigan said. “It’s such a life-changing experience, and it shouldn’t just be reserved for the kids who can afford it. These kids are being raised in the Denver School of Rock. Each of my kids got involved at age 6, and it’s very rare a kid dips out.” According to Hourigan, she’s heard heart-wrenching stories, such as from teenagers who are living on their own and can’t afford the school tuition but want to be able to experience all it has to offer. “It’s a built-in family, and you get to play a part in bringing so much happiness and confidence into their life,” she said. At the height of the COVID pandemic, all of the lessons went online, and the program wasn’t deemed a necessity. Hourigan explained that the students were unable to perform live, which was just one of the challenges the school, educators, and the general community were dealing with. “It was so trying for us,” said Hourigan. “It was a hard time to fundraise. There were so many other things that people needed to think about; people were losing their jobs; they weren’t able to leave their homes.” Hourigan said she’s never worked for a nonprofit that has had such a profound effect on her. It might not be cancer research or suicide prevention, but according to Hourigan, “This is life-changing in such a beautiful and powerful way. It’s really touching to see what these kids can do.” Parent Rocker Organization is especially crucial for children and adolescents who have no other access to musical instruments. As Hourigan explained, “Art is one of the first things that gets cut in school a lot of the time. It just comes down to making it accessible for everyone, and music is such an important thing; not everyone is athletic.” For the program to succeed and allow more students an opportunity to participate, fundraising is essential. In the past, fundraisers for the school included small concerts at places like Hard Rock Cafe or free concerts in neighborhood parks. Occasionally, they have Chris Ryan, who is a local photographer, take photos during the shows to then sell on the Denver School of Rock website. All proceeds help fund scholarships. Most of the money raised for scholarships comes from private events. With the current season wrapping up, the next fundraiser, which will be the annual Rock in the Park concert in Denver’s City Park, will take place at the end of August. “That is our biggest fundraising event because it is a free show, and we are in full control,” said Hourigan.■ For more information about the organization and its upcoming classes or performances, visit DenverParentRocker.org. The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to support our program coordination by helping with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe Dr.) from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at: program@denvervoice.org May 2023 DENVER VOICE 11
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS OVERCOMING YOUR PAST BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR HOW DO YOU OVERCOME BAD THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO YOU? Do you think of your past daily? Do you always ask, “Why me.” over and over again? Do people say to you, ”You are no good, you will never be anything”? Over time, you will start to believe these words. You will give up on Self, stop even trying, believing you are nothing, so you take the painful insults from others, thinking that’s all you should get. When bad things happen to you when you are young, you don’t know where to turn or how to get help. You stay broken and lost. You long to be loved but don’t love Self, so you can’t receive love or truly give love back to someone. RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: CORTNEY TABERNA Until Self can truly love Self, no relationship can work. Take care of Self by first, finding out what or why bad things happened when you were young that are keeping you stuck. Until you know what you really need to deal with, you will never be free. The past has a way of holding tight to us, like a demon that pulls us back and keeps showing us the past hell we lived in, or that keeps us from seeing that our past is not our future. The past is just that – it is behind your butt. Let it go! Get help if you need it. Only you can overcome your past. Be the BEST SELF you can, so you WILL LIVE THE BEST LIFE EVER. You are worth so much, so let it SHINE! You can find peace, but you have to overcome the past first. I know you can do it, Self. ■ “BACK ON THE STREETS” BY REA BROWN, VOICE VENDOR Editor’s note: Denver VOICE vendor, Rea Brown, wrote this “Back on the Streets” piece in homage to Brian Augustine, who passed away in January. When he died, Augustine was writing a monthly column about what it was like to return to living on the streets when he could no longer afford his rent. Through the end of this year, Brown intends to continue contributing, or to encourage other VOICE vendors to contribute something in honor of Brian Augustine’s legacy. WHAT WILL TOMORROW BRING especially because it’s spring? Usually when the weather gets better there’s a measure of pleasure that brings people together for whatever endeavors REA BROWN. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN especially wedding receptions, sports and other professions, even graduations are places you can find an outdoor procession But I will ask all to look close at the question Most will propose that less clothes are an obvious blessing The more studious would stand alarmed at the possible lesson on lessons The homeless population abrasion or the continuation frustration the sweep and displacement and now the political races Adjacent to not smelling fentanyl on occasions or in places where breaks are taken or enjoying “you” time when the day ends Is the user on his or her way to the pavement after taking so many smokes they don’t know where the day went? In the open air, few even care about the Foul scent Another life ends among so-called friends congregating I mean, what will tomorrow bring especially because it’s spring? Usually, when the weather gets better, there’s a measure of pleasure that brings people together for whatever endeavors. ■ 12 DENVER VOICE May 2023 EVENTS SHRINKY DINK JEWELRY Come on out to the Sam Gary Branch Library to create jewelry made from shrinky dinks. All ages are welcome! WHEN: May 6, 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. COST: This event is free. Registration is not required, but materials and space are limited. WHERE: Sam Gary Branch Library; 2961 Roslyn St. INFO: denverlibrary.org/events/upcoming COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 ADAM CAYTON-HOLLAND Adam Cayton-Holland is a national touring comedian who was named one of 25 “Comics to Watch” by Esquire Magazine and one of “10 Comics to Watch” by Variety. Watch him perform at one of the best clubs in the country. WHEN: May 10, 8 p.m. COST: $20 WHERE: Comedy Works – Downtown, 1226 15th St. INFO: comedyworks.com ACROSS SLOAN’S LAKE SPRING BAZAAR This outdoor market will feature 80+ local vendors, DIY crafts, pop-up bars, food trucks, music, and more. Well-behaved dogs are welcome. WHEN: May 13 + 14, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. COST: Free entry. WHERE: 1611 Raleigh St. INFO: facebook.com/DenverBazaar 1. Casual conversations 6. British network nickname, with “the” 10. “A Farewell to ___” 14. Party hearty 15. Poker pot starter 16. Horn sound 17. ___ acid (protein building block) 18. Actress Rowlands 19. Male turkeys or cats 20. Show up late to Wimbledon? 23. In a snobby fashion 24. “___ High” (1999 song that name-drops Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, and Aphrodite) THE NARRATORS The Narrators is a live storytelling show and podcast based in Denver, Colorado. Hosted by Ron S. Doyle and Erin Rollman. Comedians, actors, musicians, writers, and other fascinating folks share true stories from their lives, centered on a monthly theme. This month’s theme is Ages & Stages. WHEN: May 17; doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. COST: Name your own price; purchase in advance online. WHERE: Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St. INFO: thenarrators.org 28. Striped shirt wearer 29. Suffocate 30. Non-___ (label on some organic foods) 33. Insult Sesame Street’s resident vampire? 36. Satisfied sounds 38. Shortly before? 39. Farm equipment 40. Put one’s money where one’s foot is? 45. Broadway sign acronym meaning “we have no more seats to sell” 46. Binge 47. ___ capita 49. “It has a certain je ___ quoi” 50. Like an issue divided along party lines 55. Take a whack at farming? 57. In this place 60. Peeples and Long 61. Patterned upholstery fabric 62. Awestruck 63. “Give or take” 64. Run in the wash 65. Musician related to Herman Melville who shares a name with a Herman Melville character 66. “Read ‘em and ___!” 67. Makes, as income DOWN 1. Studies into the wee hours the night before a test 2. Surround 3. Dispatch boat 4. Tightening muscle (anagram for NOTERS) 5. Like spoons used to make spaghetti 6. “Everything” breakfast item 7. Foe 8. Sicilian volcano 9. “Heck if I know” 10. Above all others 11. Friend of Pooh whose name rhymes with “Pooh” 12. May honoree 13. Ave. crossers 21. Old 45 player 22. Popular ice cream flavor, for short 25. Synagogues 26. Mister in Mexico 27. “One lump ___?” 29. Storage space for yard equipment, often 30. West African nation 31. Purple shade 32. “That’s for sure” 34. Labor Day mo. 35. Uno + due 37. Game plan 41. ___ to the throne 42. “Whoa, Nelly!” 43. Mortgage figs. 44. 1970 Beatles chart-topper 48. Swiss lozenge brand 50. New moon, e.g. 51. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” writer 52. Downhill racer 53. Kind of wrench 54. Requires 56. Goodyear product 57. Western omelet ingredient 58. Bigheadedness 59. Burgle FREE CONCERT: LOS MOCOCHETES + ORKESTA MENDOZA Come enjoy a free night of music, featuring Los Mocochetes and Orkesta Mendoza. Bring your own blanket, chairs, picnic, and/or purchase food from rotating food trucks. Show is rain or shine. WHEN: May 28, doors at 4 p.m., show at 5 p.m. COST: Free for general admission. WHERE: Levitt Pavilion Denver, 1380 W. Florida Ave. INFO: levittdenver.org May 2023 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $25,000+ The NextFifty Initiative $10,000+ The Christian Foundation Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. $5,000 - $9,999 Bank of America Charitable Foundation Francis Trainer and Trainer Family Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation $1,000-$4,999 Katherine Standiford Walker Family Foundation Alexander Seavall Jill Haug Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Whole Foods Foundation Alex Salva Russell Peterson Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Chris and Susan Pappas Michael Dino Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Frederic K Conover Trust Megan Arellano Keyrenter Property Management Denver SEI Giving Fund The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Gaspar Terrana Warren and Betty Kuehner Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Joshua Kauer Elsbeth Williams Mathew Rezek $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson Fire on the Mountain Christopher Boulanger Sheryl Parker Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Donald Weaver Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Peter Iannuzzi Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Graham Davis Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois James and Cyndi Lesslie 14 DENVER VOICE May 2023 ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ACS COMMUNITY L.I.F.T. CareVan at Open Door Ministries, 1567 Marion St., Tues. 9am-12:30pm DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER 303-436-6000, 777 Bannock St. denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL A resource that features abundant information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community. detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA Addiction hotline: 866-716-0142. Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800; 112 E. 8th Ave.; Mon.-Fri., 9am-12pm. HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Our services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on how to properly dispose of dirty syringes. harmreductionactioncenter.org LIVE ANOTHER DAY Live Another Day believes in equal access to life-saving mental health and substance use resources. This website provides extensive information on the best resources available: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION 1325 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite B302. Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered. 800-522-4372, info@hepc-connection.org, liverhealthconnection.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER 303-296-1767, 3800 York St. Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Tues. 9am-5pm; Sat. 8am-2pm. Emergency walk-ins. SALUD CLINIC 6075 Parkway Drive, Ste. 160, Commerce City; Dental 303-286-6755. Medical 303-286-8900. Medical Hours: Mon.-Wed. 8am-9pm, Thurs.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Sat. (Urgent Care only) 8am-5pm; Dental Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Pharmacy Hours: Mon.-Fri. 1-5pm; After Office Hours: 1-800-283-3221 saludclinic.org/commerce-city SOUTHEAST ADDICTION CENTER Top 50 resources for Black men who are struggling with substance use and/or their mental health. southeastaddictiontn.com/50-addiction-mental-health-resources-for-black-men SOUTHEAST DETOX Updated in 2023, this guide features over 50 fully-vetted resources for Black women. southeastdetoxga.com/black-women-addiction-mental-health-support STOUT STREET CLINIC 303-293-2220, 2130 Stout St. Clinic hours for new and established patients: 7am-4pm Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri. The clinic is open Wed. 11am-7pm. coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH (YOUTH SERVICES) Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. 833-931-2484 sunshinebehavioralhealth.com VA MEDICAL CENTER 303-399-8020, 1700 N Wheeling St., Aurora va.gov/find-locations/facility/vha_554A5 WORKNOW 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER 303-783-3777; 2575 S. Broadway; Mon.-Thurs. 10am-2pm, Denver Works helps with employment, IDs, birth certs; mail services and lockers citysquare.org FATHER WOODY’S HAVEN OF HOPE 303-607-0855; 1101 W. 7th Ave.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-1pm. Six private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch & more thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE 303-321-4198; 1535 High St.; Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8:30am-5pm, Tues. 8:30am-1:30pm. Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals. Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, and more. tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800, 231 East Colfax; Mon.-Fri. 9am-12pm. Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harm-reduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes. harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH 1900 California St., help with lost IDs and birth certificates holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM 303-832-3354, 1555 Race St.; Mon.-Fri. 8am-4pm. For men and women with HIV. LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES 1567 Marion St.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-5:30pm. Drop-in center: bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, WIFI odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER 303-297-1576; 2323 Curtis St. 6am-6pm daily. Storage for one bag (when space is available). Satellite Clinic hours- Mon., Tues., Thurs, Fri. 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm sfcdenver.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES 846 E. 18th Ave. For those 60+. TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, and more. seniorsupportservices.org SOX PLACE (YOUTH SERVICES) 2017 Larimer St. Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30 years old. Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. Tues.-Fri. 12-4pm & Sat. 11-2pm. soxplace.com THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442. Drop-in hours Mon.-Fri. 8-11am. If you are a youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, please contact 303-974-2928 urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 303-447-1207, 3080 Broadway, Boulder. Open every day, 12:30-5pm, for anyone ages 12-24. Office: 303-447-1206. Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services to youth up to age 24 tgthr.org URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) Youth 14-24 in Denver and Colorado Springs. Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skills and training, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing. 730 21st St. 303-974-2900 urbanpeak.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES Go to mealsforpoor.org for meal locations CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee Mon.-Fri. 8:30am denvercathedral.org CHRIST’S BODY MINISTRIES 850 Lincoln; Mon. closed, Tues.-Thurs. 10am-3pm, Fri. 8am-11pm; groceries & hot meal on Sat. at 2pm (at 16th & York); Sun. church service at 6pm, dinner at 7pm. christsbody.org CHRIST IN THE CITY Home-cooked meal; Civic Center Park at Colfax & Lincoln at 1pm every Wed. & 2nd Sat. christinthecity.org CITYSQUARE DENVER 303-783-3777, 2575 S. Broadway; Food pantry Tues. 10am-6pm citysquare.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES Hot meals served at 1820 Broadway (in front of Trinity United Methodist Church), Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 11:45-12:15 mealsforpoor.org DENVER INNER CITY PARISH 303-322-5733, 1212 Mariposa St., VOA Dining Center for Seniors, free 60 yrs and older, Wed.-Sat. 9am-12pm. Food Bank, Wed.-Fri., tickets at 9am, food bank open 10am-12pm. dicp.org DENVER RESCUE MISSION 1130 Park Avenue West, 3 meals 7 days/week: 5:30am, 12pm, 6pm 303-294-0157 denverrescuemission.org FATHER WOODY’S HAVEN OF HOPE 1101 W. 7th Ave. 303-607-0855. Mon.-Fri. 7am-1pm. Not open weekends. Breakfast is at 8am, and lunch is served at 11am frwoodyshavenofhope.org FEEDING DENVER’S HUNGRY Food service on the second and fourth Thurs. of each month; locations found at feedingdenvershungry.org/events.html FOOD NOT BOMBS Wed. 4pm/Civic Center Park facebook.com/ThePeoplesPicnic HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE 1400 Cherry St., free vegetarian feast on Sun., 6:45-7:30pm krishnadenver.com HIS LOVE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH 910 Kalamath, community dinner on Thurs., 6-6:45pm, men’s breakfast 1st Sat. of the Month, 8-10am, women’s breakfast 2nd Sat., 9-11am. hislovefellowship.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH 1900 California St., sandwiches, Mon.-Sat., 10-10:30am holyghostchurch.org JORDAN AME CHURCH 29th and Milwaukee St., Tues. lunch 11:30am-1:00pm jordanamedenver.churchfoyer.com OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES 1567 Marion St., Sat. morning breakfast: 8am, Sun. dinner (required church attendance at 4:30pm) meal served at 6pm. 303-830-2201 odmdenver.org/home ST. CLARE’S MINISTRY AT ST. PETER AND ST. MARY 126 W. 2nd Ave., dinner at 4pm on Tues. Also offer a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping bags when available. 303-722-8781 stpeterandmary.org ST. ELIZABETH’S Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St. on Auraria campus, 7 days/week, 11:00am; food, coffee. stelizabethdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER 2323 Curtis St., Wed. & Fri. 3-4:30pm (except third Wed. of each month). sfcdenver.org ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN 1600 Grant St., Street Reach meal Mon. 1-4:30pm. Grocery room open at 11:30am every Mon. saintpauldenver.com SAME CAFÉ 2023 E. Colfax Ave. Restaurant serving mostly organic food—not free, but pay what you can or work off your meal in the kitchen: Open Mon.-Sat., 11am to 2pm, Closed Sun. & holidays, 720-530-6853 soallmayeat.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES 846 E. 18th Ave. 3 meals, Mon.a-Fri. 7am-7pm; Sun. 11am-4pm. 55+ seniorsupportservices.org/programs URBAN OUTREACH DENVER 608 26th St., Thurs. dinners, 6pm-7pm lovedenver.org VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA 2877 Lawrence St., breakfast (8am), lunch (11:30am), dinner (5pm) Mon.-Thurs., 12pm on Fri., 1pm on Sun. Food & clothing bank 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Thurs. voacolorado.org/gethelp-denvermetro-foodnutrition-themission CAREER SERVICES COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER Level 4, Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. & Broadway. 720-865-1706. Hours: Mon. & Tues. 10am-8pm; Wed., Thurs., Fri. 10am-6pm; Sat. 9am-5pm & Sun. 1-5pm; FREE services include computer/internet use, wifi, computer classes, job search/resume classes and one-on-one tech help appointments. denverlibrary.org/ctc THE WESTSIDE ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER Denver Department of Human Services, 1200 Federal Blvd., Mon.Fri., 7:30am-4:30pm; Services include: employment counseling, assisted job search, résumé preparation, job/applicant matching, phone bank for calling employers, access to computers, copiers, fax, etc. careercenteroffices.com/center/231/denver-westside-workforce-center May 2023 DENVER VOICE 15 DON’T LOOK NOW! PUZZLES ARE ON PAGE 13

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PROGRAM UPDATE APRIL IS NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MONTH, and because I work so closely with the volunteers who come to our office or help us with our events, I wanted to celebrate volunteerism by recognizing the team of volunteers who bring so much to the Denver VOICE. I am very thankful to have CONNIE GAITAN PROGRAM COORDINATOR met such amazing people in our community that help us meet our mission to serve our unhoused neighbors. In the short amount of time that I’ve been with the Denver VOICE, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few astounding volunteers. These people are dedicated and proud to do the work behind the scenes and make a difference, no matter how big or small the job is. That is why I’d like to spotlight two of our volunteers, Rose and Terry, whose time and effort makes such a difference to the Denver VOICE vendors and all of us on staff. I had the pleasure of meeting Rose Villela when I had just started working at the VOICE. Rose helped me rearrange our office space to make it more open and inviting. Not only does she exude this vibrant positive energy, but she’s also very generous and kind. When she heard the news of our longtime vendor Brian’s passing she stopped by our office and embraced me with a heartfelt hug and some flowers, while also expressing her condolences. She also made sure to let the staff know that if we needed anything to give her a call. She’s an advocate for many organizations that support those experiencing homelessness, and I look forward to working with her at our Rise and Thrive fundraising event next month. Terry’s been buying the Denver VOICE newspaper since the ’90s. Describing her work with the VOICE, Terry said, “It’s been a good experience to provide helpful resources, give vendors positive advice, and be a good support system for the vendors.” Terry stops by the office three times a week to count newspapers, sanitize surfaces, water the plants, and welcome vendors. She also refers people to our vendor program. Terry attends our gatherings, helps with the clean-up after, and makes small donations to help our vendors. I appreciate Terry’s dedication and willingness to show up – even when we are experiencing extremely cold days. In a short time, I’ve built great relationships with Rose and Terry, and I’m excited to highlight the importance of why their help at the Denver VOICE has made an impact on our organization. ■ DENVERVOICE.ORG CE.ORG @deeOCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Kay MANAGING EDITOR Elisabeth Monaghan PROGRAM COORDINATOR Connie Gaitan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hannah Bragg THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTOR WHAT WE DO The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We give our vendors a job and help them tell their stories; this creates a space for them to be part of a community again. Vendors purchase copies of the VOICE for 50 cents each at our distribution center. This money pays for a portion of our production costs. Vendors can buy as many papers as they want; they then sell those papers to the public for a suggested $2 donation. The difference in cost ($1.50) is theirs to keep. VOLUNTEER COPY EDITORS Aaron Sullivan Laura Wing GILES CLASEN is a freelance photojournalist who regularly contributes his work to the VOICE for editorial projects, fundraisers, and events. He has also served on the VOICE’s Board of Directors. ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Giles Clasen WRITERS Zakkayiah Brooks Rea Brown Connie Gaitan Raelene Johnson Andrew McClenton Jerry Rosen WHO WE ARE The Denver VOICE is a nonprofit that publishes a monthly street newspaper. Our vendors are men and women in the Denver metro area experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, we have put more than 4,600 vendors to work. Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community. We are an award-winning publication, a member of the International Network of Street Papers and the Colorado Press Association, and we abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. LeMarquis Smith BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nikki Lawson, President Chris Boulanger, Vice President Jeff Cuneo, Treasurer Zephyr Wilkins, Secretary Albert Bland Donovan Cordova Antonio Diaz Raelene Johnson Jennifer Seybold Julia Watson Cabal Yarne With the money they make selling the VOICE, vendors are able to pay for their basic needs. Our program provides vendors with an immediate income and a support group of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Vendors are independent contractors who receive no base pay. EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT editor@denvervoice.org VENDOR PROGRAM program@denvervoice.org • (720) 320-2155 ADVERTISING ads@denvervoice.org MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1931, Denver CO 80201 VENDOR OFFICE 989 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Orientation is held every day we are open, but prospective vendors must arrive by 10:00 a.m. 2 DENVER VOICE April 2023 STAFF CONTRIBUTORS BOARD CONTACT US ASK A VENDOR THIS COLUMN IS A PLACE FOR DENVER VOICE VENDORS TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS AND STAFF. THIS MONTH’S ASK A VENDOR CAME FROM DENVER VOICE VENDOR JERRY ROSEN. Q What is your special talent? A ANDREW MCCLENTON Landscaping. I cut, weed, and edge. Also, I can draw cars. LEMARQUIS SMITH Well, I know one of my special talents is cooking. I have the uncanny ability to make anything (and I do mean anything) taste the way it is supposed to taste. I have three chili cook-offs under my belt already. I also believe I have a special talent to be able to say anything to anyone without them being offended. I’m a firm believer that you can say anything to anyone if you use the right words… Anything at all! JERRY ROSEN My special talent is being able to help people. I’m a very diligent and hard worker. I like to do more than I can handle. I’m very industrious and willing to do different things. RAELENE JOHNSON I believe my special ability is to help people understand there is a way out. I’m able to calm people down really easily, too. I truly believe all the pain I have suffered has given me a better understanding of others’ pain. I’m always tuned in to other people’s troubles. I feel it’s a blessing because I get to help people. HOW TO HELP The money we take in from vendors helps us cover a portion of our printing costs, but we depend largely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations to help us pay our rent and keep the lights on. 1 4 GET THE WORD OUT We rely on grassroots marketing to get the word out about what we do. Talk to people about our organization and share us with your network. Support us on DONATE Donations to the Denver VOICE are tax-deductible. Go to denvervoice.org to give a one-time or recurring donation. You can also mail a check to: Denver VOICE | P.O. Box 1931 | Denver, CO 80201 3 VOLUNTEER We need volunteers to help with everything from newspaper distribution to event planning and management. Contact program@denvervoice.org for volunteering information. 5 SUBSCRIBE If you are unable to regularly purchase a newspaper from our vendors, please consider a subscription. We ask subscribers to support our program with a 12-month pledge to give $10 a month, or a one-time donation of $120. Subscriptions help us cover our costs AND provide an amazing opportunity to those who need it most. Go to denvervoice.org/subscriptions for more information. @denverVOICE 2 ADVERTISE Our readership is loyal, well-educated, and socially concerned. Readers view purchasing the paper as a way to immediately help a person who is poor or homeless while supporting long-term solutions to end poverty. If you are interested in placing an ad or sponsoring a section of the paper, please contact us about rates at ads@denvervoice.org. April 2023 DENVER VOICE 3
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PAGE TITLE NATIONAL STORY SPRING WISH LIST RESIDENTS RECEIVE FREE GROCERIES AT A FOOD PANTRY PROVIDED BY LA COLABORATIVA AMID THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) PANDEMIC IN CHELSEA, MASSACHUSETTS, U.S., NOVEMBER 30, 2021. REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER Drop-offs are accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., or by appointment. ANALYSIS: U.S. FOOD BENEFITS FOR POOR TO SHRINK AS PANDEMIC PROVISIONS END NEW ITEMS NEEDED: Socks Toiletries (individual or travel-size) Toothpaste, deodorant, chapstick Bottled water BY LEAH DOUGLAS LOW-INCOME AMERICANS will soon receive less in food assistance or completely lose their eligibility for the benefits, as the federal government ends policies adopted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that kept millions from going hungry at a time of lockdowns and rising unemployment. Anti-hunger advocates warned that the looming drop in aid GENTLY-USED ITEMS NEEDED: Men’s shoes or boots (sizes 8-12) Men’s jackets/shorts (sizes L, XL, XXL) Women’s jackets/shorts (sizes M, L, XL) Backpacks, carrier bags USB-C charging cables VENMO YOUR VENDOR: If you would like to help out a specific vendor by donating a few extra dollars, scan the QR code below to make a payment through Venmo. Please be sure to write your vendor’s name in the comments. Thank you! could undo progress toward a Biden administration goal to end US hunger by 2030. The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives may also pursue further cuts to food assistance to shrink the U.S. deficit. “It’s going to put millions of households at risk of hunger,” said Eric Mitchell, president of the Alliance to End Hunger. The changes mean cuts of about $82 a month beginning in March for recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, said Ellen Vollinger of the Food Research & Action Center, an anti-hunger group. The average SNAP benefit will be about $157 after the reduction. Since Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in March 2020, states have been able to allocate the maximum allowable benefits to SNAP recipients, instead of applying deductions tied to income and other factors. Initially, those “emergency allotments” were linked to the pandemic public health emergency. But in December’s spending bill fight, Congress negotiated a compromise to end them in February in exchange for a new summer food program for children. President Joe Biden’s administration has also said it will lift the coronavirus public health emergency in May. This will end other changes that expanded access to SNAP, like a suspension of the program’s three-month time limit for adults without children and exemptions for some college students. In recent months, the additional benefits tied to the pandemic response have come to about $3 billion a month, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Those higher benefits kept the percentage of Americans @DenverVOICE experiencing food insecurity steady at 10% through 2021, even as the first two years of the pandemic drove up unemployment, said Dottie Rosenbaum, senior fellow, and director of federal SNAP policy at CBPP. 4 DENVER VOICE April 2023 Meanwhile, food insufficiency - a more severe form of food insecurity wherein households sometimes or often do not have enough to eat - dropped by about 9%, according to a study by North Western University’s Institute for Policy Research. A separate study from the Urban Institute said the benefits kept 4.2 million people out of poverty. Anti-hunger advocates worry the looming reduction in aid could reverse those gains. In states where expanded benefits have already ended, 29% of SNAP recipients visited food pantries in December, compared to 22% in states that still had the benefits, according to data collected by Propel, a technology company that makes financial products for low-income people. ‘WAY TOO LOW’ The debate over U.S. spending on food assistance is likely to heat up in the coming months as lawmakers negotiate a new farm bill, a legislative package passed every five years that funds nutrition, commodity, and conservation programs. More than 76% of the current farm bill’s $428 billion price tag went to food assistance programs that serve 41 million people annually. The bill expires on September 30. Democrats generally support expanding benefits, while Republicans typically oppose expansion. “The SNAP benefit was already way too low, even before the pandemic,” Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, a Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said in an email. “We need to seriously boost benefit levels to reflect the reality of food costs today,” he said. Food prices are up 10% since last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. House Republicans have indicated they might review and tighten SNAP work requirements as part of farm bill negotiations. The House Budget Committee has also floated cuts to SNAP as a means of reducing spending in the ongoing debt limit fight. ■ Courtesy of Reuters / International Network of Street Papers LOCAL PROFILE Q&A: DENVER VOICE PHOTOGRAPHER GILES CLASEN ON USING IMAGES TO CHANGE PERCEPTIONS INTERVIEW BY TONY INGLIS Photographer Giles Clasen has been taking pictures for Colorado, USA street paper the Denver VOICE for about 15 years. Here, he discusses his approach to photographing vulnerable subjects, and how the opportunity to work with the street paper gave him purpose when a Traumatic Brain Injury left him unable to work. INSP: When did you become interested in practicing photography, and when did you want to pursue it further as work and as an art form? GILES CLASEN: I became interested in photography when I was in high school. Back then my family didn’t have a lot of money and I asked my mother for a camera for Christmas. I don’t know how she did it, but somehow she scraped together about $400 to buy me a Canon single lens reflex camera. I always worked a part-time job to pay for my film and I was hooked from then on. In college, I developed my skill further. But it wasn’t until I began working with homeless families that I realized the real storytelling power of photography. Were you aware of street papers before you began working with the Denver VOICE? I was. I studied journalism in college and one of my textbooks mentioned street papers. I have always had the drive to fight for social justice. I believe journalism can change public perception on issues. When I read about street papers I remember thinking, “That. I want to do that.” I sent an email to the Denver VOICE in 2007 or 2008 asking to contribute. I remember being really nervous and excited. I was thrilled when they gave me a chance. At the time I was recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and unable to work. I was near homeless, living on the food donated to me by my church and paying rent with help from my family. When Tim Covi, then an editor with the Denver VOICE, gave me a chance to write and take photos, it gave me purpose at a point in my life when I wasn’t sure I had any future. The TBI impacted many aspects of my life. I continue to experience severe pain and have double vision today. I can’t actually tell if my photos are any good until I see them on a giant screen. In 2008, less than a year after the injury, it was all much more severe. I wasn’t sure if I would ever return to work. I wasn’t sure what life would be like for me moving forward. Tim took a risk on me, and I will forever be grateful. It was hard to write and take photos with such limited vision. But working for the Denver VOICE, working with Tim, showed me I could still do some great things. It was both a fulfillment of a college goal and to some degree a lifesaving venture for me. I only have what I have today because of the street paper. Every job I have worked since has been in part because of what the Denver VOICE has given me. CREDIT: XXXX Elisabeth, our current editor, took over four years ago and built off of our previous success. She pushed me early on in her tenure to write and develop my own articles rather than taking photos to accompany other writers’ articles. Her push and encouragement changed me and my work in profound ways. I wouldn’t have felt so bold to tell the stories I am telling today without her efforts. Do you have any key principles generally when taking photos? My driving principle is to get permission from the subject and be transparent in how I plan to use the images. I understand that in the United States photographers have a right to take photos in public spaces. There is a rich history of street photography documenting the public space. For individuals experiencing homelessness, their private spaces are public. We must respect and honor this. I don’t care how much good you intend on doing in documenting unhoused communities. If you start out by secretly taking a photo, or taking a photo without permission, then you aren’t on solid footing. When working with people who may be vulnerable or from marginalized backgrounds, do you alter the way your work in any way to accommodate them? Yes. I always ask for permission, and I always show the photo to the individual before publication to make sure they are comfortable with the image. I also try to document truthfully but I don’t really know what that is beyond the abstract idea. The lens is not objective and the choices I make can sensationalize or humanize and sometimes it does both. The final goal is to force the viewer to feel something about the subject. I don’t know if it always works. One responsibility of street papers is to impact public perception of people on the fringes of society. How do you think good photos play into that? I think when the photographer spends time with the subject and truly cares about the subject there is a different image you get to present. It is important to take risks as an artist and to get to know the community. I want to see Denver in the way those experiencing homelessness see Denver. I want to show what the cold does to a person, what a hot summer day does to a person. I want to show the impact of public policy in personal ways. I think when you take risks to get to know and care for individuals living outside what is considered normal you begin to see a different world – one of survival and love. This is what I try to show to people. I try to show the real-life circumstances that go unseen and are taken for granted. Is there a particular photo or story that you’ve worked on as a photographer that has had a significant effect on you? Every story I work on impacts me. I actually think of my life in the time periods of doing different stories. July of 2022 was this story; August 2023 was that story. There have been a few that really hit home. My story on the impact of COVID-19 on a specific region of the Navajo community in Arizona altered me. I joined the board of the non-profit I covered and continue to work to help that community. The story I did in 2022 on individuals living in campers on the streets of Denver impacted me. I continue to document those communities and be a part of those communities. I am about to publish a story on a BIPOC Roller Derby training squad in Denver – and I can’t begin to express how that story has changed the trajectory of my life. I guess some people look to meditation or self-help books for improvement. I find communities I want to document and dig into learning, changing, and growing as part of the process. These stories change the way I see and act in the world. How could I not change after someone struggling with a heroin addiction opens up to me? When someone is generous enough to share their story with me, I have to be generous enough to listen and care. Caring changes everything. ■ Courtesy of the International Network of Street Papers April 2023 DENVER VOICE 5
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COMMUNITY PROFILE BIPOC ROLLER DERBY: MEMBERS OF COLORADO SHINERS SEEK TO INFLUENCE CONVERSATION ABOUT EQUALITY BY GILES CLASEN THERE WAS A LOT OF EXCITEMENT when registration for the 2023 BIPOC Bowl roller derby tournament was announced. The BIPOC Bowl, which takes place April 15 and 16, is a Denver-based roller derby tournament exclusively for skaters of color to join together and compete against one another. Demand to participate was so high, it was a scramble for skaters from all around the world to snag a highly coveted roster spot. While other roller derby tournaments experienced a slow restart following the pandemic, the BIPOC Bowl, which is in its second year, filled all its skating spots in less than eight hours. “There’s nothing else like it,” said BIPOC Bowl founder, Samantha Mack, who goes by her derby name Jams Bond, or, just Jams. “There is not another opportunity on the planet where people of color can skate with other people of color like this.” Like wrestling names, derby names are both theatrical and revealing about a player. Some names focus on a player’s skating style, others evoke personality traits. All are designed to highlight the individual in a team sport. The BIPOC Bowl grew out of Jams’ other BIPOC-specific derby venture, the Colorado Shiners, which Abena WatsonSiriboe helped found. Watson-Siriboe uses the derby name Norah P Neffrin, which is generally shortened to Norm. CREATING A SAFE HAVEN Norm and Jams are both trainers with the Colorado Shiners, a team that is dedicated to introducing the Denver BIPOC community to roller derby and eliminating barriers to participation. BIPOC is an inclusive designation meaning Black Indigenous and People of Color intentionally avoiding victim-centered language like “marginalized,” or “minority.” “Roller derby is a very white sport,” Norm said. “Throughout my 13 years, I’ve run into other skaters of color, and we kikied whenever we saw each other because we realized just how rare that was.” JAMS BOND PERFORMS AN APEX JUMP AT ROLLERCON IN JULY 2022. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN 6 DENVER VOICE April 2023 COMMUNITY PROFILE MELODY “WAIKIKI WARRIOR” SANTIAGO WAIKIKI TRAINS AS A BLOCKER AT THE COLORADO SHINERS. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN It can cost $500 or more to begin skating in roller derby, and the Shiners have found ways to reduce or eliminate these costs to individuals who aren’t yet sure about roller derby. Case in point, Jams has secured sponsorships with skating brand Triple 8 NYC, to provide pads to new skaters, and also with the Denver Skates Shop, to help new skaters secure skates. The Shiners also seek to address more than the financial barriers to participating in roller derby. “Being together and celebrating skating is tremendous,” Tammy, ‘Queen of Hertz,’ or ‘Q,’ said. “I look forward to Friday nights because I just get to be me.” Q asked that her last name not be used for privacy reasons. According to Q, learning about the BIPOC training team opened the door for her to participate in roller derby. “Through the Shiners, I know I have people who are on my side, who have my back, and who understand,” Q said. “Not everybody understands what people of color go through on a daily basis.” Q had never skated in roller derby before joining the Shiners. She had roller skated in middle school and rollerbladed as an adult, but when she first attempted derby, she didn’t have the skills to make it around the track without falling, let alone play roller derby. “I pretty much hugged the wall the entire first night, but I was so excited and thrilled just to be there and watching everyone else. The practice was just really inspiring,” Q said. Jams and Norm both said the Shiners team is special because it is one of the few places the BIPOC community can go without worrying about stereotypes, microaggressions, or worse. Friday night at the Rollerdome in Denver is always a night when they feel they get to be their true selves. BUILDING EACH OTHER UP Roller derby can be intimidating. The rules are unlike any other sport. There isn’t a ball to throw or catch, and it can be difficult for those watching it for the first time to understand the game. The sport looks like a mix between Olympic speed skating and a rugby scrum. Roller derby is simultaneously artistic movement and brute force. Although the game is played on wheels, the players are on their toe brakes and in the air as frequently as when they roll across the arena floor on all eight wheels. Gameplay involves one jammer and four blockers from each team on the track. The skaters move counterclockwise around the track, and jammers can score points by lapping each blocker. It takes a lot of strategy, teamwork, and deft footwork to build a winning team, and it can take months, or even years, ELIZABETH “BLAZIN” MCCUNE WAITS FOR SHINER PRACTICE TO BEGIN. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN to master the nuance of the sport. While other Denver roller derby leagues train new players, none offer the one-on-one coaching that the Shiners do. Jams directs each practice, but rather than stick with a concrete plan, she likes to build the practice around the individuals who show up each night. Some nights, both high-level and low-level skaters arrive, and Jams plans those practices on the fly to meet both skater type’s needs. Jams’ name is a play on the Derby position jammer, which Jams excels at. She recently won the tournament MVP at the Louisiana-based Y’allstars Southern Skate Showdown. At nearly 6 feet tall, Jams has the unique ability as a jammer to skate with power, speed, and agility. She brings this experience and knowledge to every Shiners’ practice, helping other skaters advance in their skill level. Norm is a powerful blocker, who often takes on two opposing skaters at once. She coaches other skaters on gaining leverage and adjusting their positioning to effectively stop opposing jammers and break up opposing defenses. Q started skating in April of 2022 and has made impressive progress quickly. She is learning the rules of derby while training with the Shiners and two other Denver leagues. The combination of her dedication, and frequent one-on-one training from Jams and Norm, has helped Q go from barely being able to stay upright to skating backward, developing derby-level footwork, and learning to play as a blocker. She even is learning to referee derby events, which she believes will help her develop a deeper understanding of the sport. Q is hoping to play in the BIPOC Bowl, but that will depend on whether she recovers in time from a recent injury. THE SHINERS WAIT FOR PRACTICE TO BEGIN. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN According to Q, her rapid development as a derby skater wouldn’t have been possible without the safety and camaraderie she experiences in the Shiners’ practices. Q said that it is impossible for a white individual to understand the presence of racism a person of color experiences in everyday life. For example, when she eats at any restaurant, regardless of the cuisine, it isn’t unusual to have another patron assume that because Q is Asian, she is part of the wait staff. It also is common for white people to tell her she speaks great English, even when she tells them she was born in the United States. Some don’t believe her name is Tammy and demand to know her REAL name, a name that sounds more Asian. Jams hopes the Shiners can continue to provide support to its members, whether in or out of the roller derby arena. “This is a space for people who recognize and understand who I am because they have my shared experience,” Jams said. “This is a space where you can be vulnerable with other people of color and Black folks.” Continued on page 8 April 2023 DENVER VOICE 7
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COMMUNITY PROFILE NATALIE “KILLIFORNIA” DAVIDSON WAITS TO BE BANDAGED BY MEDICS AT THE 2021 BIPOC BOWL. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN Continued from page 7 IN SEARCH OF GENUINE INCLUSIVITY Because the roller derby community seeks to be inclusive, it is common to see Pride flags and Black Lives Matter flags hanging in roller derby arenas. It also is not unusual to see skaters wearing stickers on their helmets that designate their preferred pronouns. Despite the surface acceptance, when it comes to the BIPOC community, the roller derby world has encountered recent missteps The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, one of the sport’s governing bodies, had to issue new guidelines on diversity, equity, and inclusion following the 2019 East Coast Derby Extravaganza in Feasterville, PA, which was hosted by Philly roller derby. Typically, officials calling bouts identify a player who has committed a penalty by referencing that player’s number and uniform color. During the event in Feasterville, however, officials misidentified and confused skaters of color with one another. Philly Roller Derby said in an apology posted to Facebook that officials also identified those who had committed penalties by the player’s skin color rather than by uniform color. In their apology, Philly Roller Derby said, “These mistakes were not made in an attempt to cause harm, but these subconscious errors reveal a harmful systemic problem that we need to consciously address.” These types of microaggressions and racist practices create long-lasting wounds in the BIPOC community and can’t be repaired easily. WFTDA lead a series of DEI workshops available via Zoom and issued a new series of inclusivity guidelines for all leagues. Jams said she does not believe there is a genuine effort to allow the BIPOC community to participate fully in roller derby, which is why she said she has worked hard to create the Shiners, the BIPOC Bowl, and provide deeper knowledge of the issue. At Rollercon 2022, which is one of the largest roller derby events in the world, held in Las Vegas each year, Jams taught a class on how to make leagues more just for all participants and more inclusive for BIPOC skaters. While the class was open to everyone, only BIPOC skaters attended. But, Jams’ effort goes beyond seeking equal treatment on the track. “We want to be a part of the Denver community,” Jams said. “The Shiners is a place for Denver’s BIPOC community to come together and be in the community sharing our experiences and making space [for each other].” Norm hopes the Shiners and the BIPOC Bowl will help force change, outside of the small world of roller derby. “You come across people who are true allies, but then, you also have people who are in their journeys learning about these issues we raise,” Norm said. “I think derby really is a STEPHANIE “COSMO” KRAMER SKATES AS THE JAMMER AT THE 2021 BIPOC BOWL. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN JAMS SITS WITH OTHER SKATERS WAITING FOR THEIR NEXT CHANCE TO SKATE AT ROLLERCON IN JULY, 2022. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN Q AND NORM PRACTICE BLOCKING AND LEARNING TO USE LEVERAGE TO MOVE OTHER SKATERS AROUND THE TRACK. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN 8 DENVER VOICE April 2023 COMMUNITY PROFILE SKATERS WORK ON CHANGING POSITIONS DURING SHINERS’ PRACTICE. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN Q WORKS ON HER TURNS WITH GUIDANCE FROM NORM AT A SHINERS’ PRACTICE. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN microcosm of the real world, both good and bad. We just happened to be throwing our bodies at each other.” For Q, the BIPOC Bowl has already changed her life. Last year’s tournament inspired her to dedicate herself to roller derby. “The BIPOC Bowl was my first experience at a tournament,” Q said. “I volunteered because I wasn’t skateready. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. After that weekend I was like, ‘this is what I wanted to do. I want to play roller derby.’” ■ NORM FIGHTS OFF TWO DEFENDERS AT THE DENVER-BASED DERBY TO THE NINES TOURNAMENT IN DECEMBER 2022. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN April 2023 DENVER VOICE 9
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INTERNATIONAL STORY HIDDEN HOMELESSNESS AMONG OLDER WOMEN BY SOPHIE QUICK WHEN GEORGINA* MOVED from her family home in Melbourne to Sydney, aged 19, she saw homelessness on the streets for the first time. There were people sleeping rough at Central Station. “It was an eye-opener to me,” she says. “I’d lived a sheltered life. I’d never seen it before. I didn’t know such a thing existed.” That was a long time ago. Now Georgina is 78 and she’s experiencing homelessness herself. “My story is hard to explain but it’s not unique,” she says. “People think it’s one thing in life, one big event, that brings you down. But it’s not always that simple. It’s the combination of things.” In Georgina’s case, and in the case of many older women living with housing insecurity, it’s also how these things compound over time. Older women are bearing the brunt of Australia’s escalating housing crisis. It’s been happening for years. Women aged 55 and over were the fastest-growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness in Australia between 2011 and 2016, increasing by 31%, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. By 2030, it’s predicted that 15,000 Australian women over 55 will be without a home. It’s a problem that hasn’t always been well understood. Older women tend to use different strategies than younger people, and men, to cope with housing insecurity. They are less likely to sleep rough. They’re more likely to live in cars, couch surf, or sleep in improvised dwellings on other people’s property. This means they’re less visible – “the hidden homeless”. Crisis and community housing services say many women seeking emergency housing in their fifties or sixties have stable housing histories. Many are seeking support for the first time in their lives. That’s Maria’s* situation. She’s worked full-time for her entire adult life. At one point, she ran her own business. But she couldn’t find any place to rent in Adelaide in 2022. “I was getting knocked back everywhere, even though I had good rental references, a good credit background. Demand just doesn’t meet supply… One day I woke up and I realized, ‘Oh my god, I’m homeless. I’m a statistic,’” she says. It was Maria’s first housing crisis, but it wasn’t her first life crisis. Many years earlier, she moved across the country to escape her violent husband. The experience took its toll, including financially, but she’d managed to get back on her feet and married again in her late forties. In 2019, Maria was living in Alice Springs, working as the office manager for her second husband’s business. But he became terminally ill and they had to move to Adelaide for medical care. “I was his full-time carer until he passed,” Maria says. “I’ve struggled with mental health on and off, especially depression. It was a dark time that led to an even darker time.” Money from the sale of the house in Alice Springs went to her husband’s children. Maria inherited her husband’s super, but that didn’t last long. She used it to pay rent and was struggling to find a job while grieving. She’d already been through most of her own savings while her husband was sick. “About seven months after he passed, I was told there was going to be a rent increase. I was scrambling to find a job but now there was a big gap in my résumé. I was scrambling to find a home for my two German shepherds, too, because nobody wants a tenant with dogs.” Maria couldn’t even get a rental without the dogs. “I found a beautiful new home for them, thank God. In the end, I just couldn’t find anywhere for myself and I fell into a total black hole of depression.” This was the breaking point for Maria. She ended up at s short-stay mental health unit. And after several other short stays, she was able to stabilize her medication and find her ILLUSTRATION BY LUCI EVERETT 10 DENVER VOICE April 2023 INTERNATIONAL STORY PAGE TITLE way to Catherine House, an accommodation and support service for women experiencing homelessness. “If I can do anything to break down the stereotypes of, ‘Oh well, they’re too busy drinking,’ or, ‘They’re too lazy to get up and work,’ then that’s what I want to do,” she says. “It isn’t as simple as finding a job and finding a new place to live. It just isn’t.” Family violence, mental health issues, caring responsibilities, and housing supply and demand. As Georgina says, it’s not just one thing – it’s a combination. For Maria, taking time out of paid work to care for her husband was when her situation really began to slide. But what else was she supposed to do? Economists call the kind of unpaid work Maria was doing – unpaid caring for family members – “informal care work”. A 2020 Deloitte report estimated that the replacement cost of all the unpaid informal care work done in Australia per year would be $77.9 billion. Most of this work – at least 60% – is done by women. Unpaid childcare is, of course, a large part of this picture, too. In 2017 Price Waterhouse Cooper found that women undertake 72% of all unpaid work in Australia, including childcare and housework. With women doing so much unpaid labor and planning their paid work around their caring commitments, is it any wonder they’re not putting much money away for retirement? The median superannuation balance for men aged 60–64 years is $204,107, whereas, for women in the same age group, it is $146,900. Caring work has had an enormous impact on Georgina’s financial and housing situation. She had worked full-time in office jobs for many years when she became a single mother in her early forties. When Georgina’s child was young, her own mother became seriously ill. For 11 years, she was her carer. “She had an aneurysm, which is very painful, and she had heart problems. You name it, she had it,” says Georgina. “She needed 24-hour care. I was basically a nurse.” Georgina managed to do some casual and freelance work during those years, but it wasn’t possible – with both her daughter and mother as dependants – for her to do the kind of paid work you need to do to get ahead, to save money, or to pay for house maintenance. “Caring work isolates you,” she says. “It can really impact your life in a huge way. It’s very tiring. I became very depressed. I felt like a prisoner.” After her mother died, Georgina and her daughter moved around for years after that, sometimes staying in hotels – “crummy ones” – and in various unsuitable and expensive rentals. “My daughter and I both had health issues. If your child is sick and has to see a specialist – well, the money just evaporates.” Georgina, by this stage, had not been in steady, paid work for a long time. “I was getting on in years by then,” she says with a laugh. “One day, I looked in the mirror and said, ‘My god, who’s that?’” Georgina now lives in a place she calls a “short-term hotel”. The rent is much higher than her pension and she’s always behind with payments. There’s no heating, no cooling. The main problem, Georgina says, is that it’s dangerous. Some of the other tenants are frightening. Drug deals are happening all around. “It’s like somewhere you would squat,” she says. “Almost worse than being on the street. It’s like watching something fall on you. It’s coming down slowly, but it’s coming.” Unpaid caring responsibilities make it hard to get ahead, but family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for all women and children in Australia. Kylie from Ballina, in northern New South Wales, has the double whammy. She’s a single mother of four and a survivor of domestic abuse. She split up with her husband years ago, but the violence during their marriage set in motion a chain of effects that she still feels today. “I didn’t know what was happening with the violence until it was happening,” she says. “The insecurity that has come from it, all the stress – it was a shock. I’d always been a worker, always had stability, but I’ve been stressed for 22 years now.” Kylie was able to keep living in the family home, with protective orders against her husband, for a few years after they split up. Then the landlord decided to sell. “Rents had gone up so much. I found another place nearby, but then I was paying about $600 per week. With $1500 per fortnight income to care for your kids, it’s a nightmare.” Australia’s housing crisis is hitting the regions hard. The Northern Rivers region – famous for its scenic valleys and suburban beaches – is now notorious for skyrocketing property prices and rising rents that price people like Kylie out of their own hometowns. Worker migration from the cities during the pandemic hasn’t helped. “You go to house inspections and somebody’ll just sidle up to the agent and say, ‘I’ll pay six months up front and an extra $50 per week,’ and that just puts someone like me completely out of the picture.” Things came to a head in July 2021, when Kylie’s landlord decided to renovate. She’d been on the public housing waiting list at this point, she says, for more than 10 years. She couldn’t find anywhere else to go. Now in her fifties, with four kids in high school, Kylie had to move into temporary accommodation in Lismore. She lost valuables in the floods and was almost on the street when local community service Social Futures helped her secure a small, self-contained house in a caravan park in Alstonville. “It is just such a relief to have this place, and I’m so grateful, but I’m sleeping on the dining room floor and I’ll be there for a while, I think.” Kylie’s a creative person – she’s a trained ballerina, she’s written a children’s book and she’s also a singer. While Kylie’s in Alstonville, she’ll be working towards some goals. “I want to find a way to get back to Ballina,” she says. “The kids’ school’s there, they all have after-school jobs there, and my elderly mum’s there. One day I’d love to get back to doing some gigs again, too.” That’s not a lot to ask. ■ *Names have been changed. ILLUSTRATION BY LUCI EVERETT Courtesy of The Big Issue Australia / International Network of Street Papers VOLUNTEER WITH US! We are looking for volunteers to support our program coordination by helping with paper distribution and basic offi ce administration at the Denver VOICE offi ce (989 Santa Fe Dr.) from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. If you are interested and would like to know more, contact us at: program@denvervoice.org April 2023 DENVER VOICE 11 DONATE YOUR CAR! Need to get rid of your car, truck, or motorcycle? Consider donating it to Denver VOICE. Call (855) 500-7433, or go to: careasy.org/nonprofi t/denver-voice. Your donation helps Denver VOICE succeed in its mission to provide individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty the chance towards a more stable life. The Denver VOICE empowers homeless, impoverished, and transient individuals by creating job opportunities through our vendor program. We facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community.
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS PEACE IS HARD TO COME BY BY RAELENE JOHNSON, VOICE VENDOR WHEN I THINK ABOUT SUCCESS IN HOMELESSNESS BY ZAKKAYIAH BROOKS, VOICE VENDOR RAELENE JOHNSON. CREDIT: CORTNEY TABERNA REAL PEACE IS SO HARD TO COME BY. People chase it all the time, and most will never find it fully. We let people control our minds by saying mean things. They may have hurt you so deeply, And you keep playing it your head, over and over again. You can’t let it go. You may have been wronged by family or a close friend. We, as people today, have trouble speaking up or just walking away. Today, everyone wants to be right all the time. I don’t understand why people keep letting others rent space in your head, And guess what? They don’t pay you any rent money to be staying in your head! If someone hurt you, or said hurtful things, LET IT GO! Why do we allow things to keep our mind running full speed and not in a good way? Until you stop giving your power to others, you will not find peace. Love yourself enough to stop letting others define who you are. Care enough to walk away from people who really want you to be in pain. People who are broken will hurt even more people. The old saying is so true, Misery loves company. So don’t fall for it, or in time, you will become someone who will hurt others. Stop hurting yourself. Eat and go to bed at the same time every day. Do something special weekly to help yourself unwind. Find what makes you happy, and remember, only you have the power to make your life as peaceful as you want it, or you can allow your life to be in turmoil. Peace, real peace, is hard to get, but if you are lucky enough to find it, hold on tight to it. Don’t let go, or start to allow others to take your happiness. Always keep your peace of mind. You are worth it, Self! ■ ZAKKAYIAH BROOKS. CREDIT: ANTHONY CORNEJO WHEN I THINK ABOUT SUCCESS, I think about dignity, pride, future, self-belief, [being] active, outgoing, openminded. When I think about homelessness, I think struggle, sad, depression, disappointed, let down, unfocused, disbelief. When I put the two words together, it’s success in homelessness. When I think about success in homelessness, I think about goal-making, putting the most important’s first, the needs first, not the wants Sacrifice the got to haves for the do withouts Success in homelessness means achievement, belief, prayer, God, get off your ass, making phone calls, getting resources, asking someone for help, taking a walk, talking to people, going into restaurants and putting in job applications going to day centers and using their computers P.S. All success in homelessness is because you achieved all of your needs instead of your wants to make it happen, to succeed I have come a long way, so I commend myself. Every day, I wake and go to work. I have worked hard enough to know these tactics work. ■ “BACK ON THE STREETS” BY REA BROWN, VOICE VENDOR REA BROWN. CREDIT: GILES CLASEN Editor’s note: For our March issue, Denver VOICE vendor, Rea Brown, wrote a piece for this section called “Back on the Streets.” He wrote it in homage to Brian Augustine, who passed away in January. When he died, Augustine was writing a monthly column about what it was like to return to living on the streets when he could no longer afford his rent. Brown intends to continue contributing, or to encourage other VOICE vendors to contribute something in honor of Brian Augustine’s legacy. IN LIGHT OF THE OVERWHELMING BLIGHT endured by so many who appear to have lost the fight or might. Burdened with the iron sky that rains fright, frost and die like a backpack that slacks, digs, and drags I. Glad tidings are wished by and bye but insurmountable mountain echoes it’s not worth the try. Under the heel of defeat on every side the eye sees amidst the dark abyss the likeness of a firefly that glows bolder as it draws closer to all alive surprise A stranger with strange behavior as if they wish to be your savior but under the circumstances can only do for you a favor with flavor they say, Sir may we offer you some pie. In other words, I use to wonder why people would eat when they got sad or depressed but the truth is I don’t know if it’s the fact that food is so hardwired into the human psyche that it can take your mind off your problems momentarily. Although I don’t believe it is good to over indulge it is my unprofessional opinion that homeless people could feel a lot better if they can enjoy a good meal in normal conditions sometimes. ■ 12 DENVER VOICE April 2023 EVENTS BAYAUD LAUNDRY TRUCK Bayaud Enterprises will be doing laundry for free outside of the Denver Central Library. Please arrive early as services are limited. The temperature must be at least 32 degrees for the truck to operate. WHEN: Apr 4, 11, 18, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Denver Public Library: Central Library; 10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy. INFO: denverlibrary.org/events COURTESY OF DEBORAH LASTOWKA PUZZLES COURTESY OF STREETROOTS ANSWERS ARE ON PAGE 15 INTRO TO IMPROV: DROP-IN CLASS Want to see if improv comedy is right for you? This drop-in class will let you take RISE Comedy’s improv classes for a test drive, in a safe, supportive, and fun environment! All levels are welcome. WHEN: Apr 6, 13, 20, and 27, 6 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. COST: $10 in advance; $11 at the door WHERE: RISE Comedy, 1260 22nd St. INFO: risecomedy.com ACROSS WOMEN+FILM FESTIVAL Women+Film showcases documentaries, narratives, and short fi lms celebrating the best in women-centric programming, both by and about women. These thought-provoking stories from around the world are sure to inspire all audiences. WHEN: Apr 13 – Apr 16, times vary. COST: Both individual tickets and festival passes are available. WHERE: Sie FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. INFO: denverfilm.org WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW: STAND-UP COMEDY What the World Needs Now is a bi-weekly comedy showcase featuring some of the city’s best comedians, as well as its rising stars. This FREE event occurs every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. WHEN: Apr 13 and 27, 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: First Draft Taproom & Kitchen, 1309 26th St. INFO: firstdraftdenver.com 1. Loud 7. Annoyance 13. Apple juice brand 14. Evoking strong feeling 16. Th ey hold your horses 17. Tackle or guard 18. Literally three 19. Give way, as to pedestrians 21. Smart-alecky 22. Paper covering the NYSE 23. Inc. relative 24. Game with matchsticks 25. Bucket of bolts 27. Spanish “Enough!” 29. ___ voom 30. Crew member 32. Scuffl es 34. Picnic pest 35. “Who, me?” 36. South American river in an Enya song title 40. Drooping 44. Rip apart 45. Th e fourth letter in “circle,” but not the fi rst 47. Final Four org. 48. World fi nance org. 49. Center X or O 50. Sixth sense, for short 51. Standard 53. Attack ad, maybe 55. Confront 56. Band follower 58. Salon treatment 60. “Evil Ways” band 61. Muffl es 62. Unsaturated alcohol (anagram of OSTLER) 63. Least ingenuous DOWN 1. Shrinking Asian lake 2. Glass cover on a Sylvia Plath novel 3. Response to “Shall we?” 4. Had a meal 5. One of the titular Gilmore girls 6. Greek letter 7. Patsy Walker’s comics alter ego 8. In the center of 9. Prince, to a king 10. Fret 11. In-between 12. Slippery 13. “Tommy” rockers 15. Colonic treatments 20. “A Nightmare on ___ Street” 26. Mind your ___ q’s 27. “Obvi!” 28. Poison plant 29. Churchill’s gesture 31. 6 on a phone 33. Saturate, in dialect 36. Rubber gaskets 37. Shark-riding fi sh 38. Ahead (of) 39. Breakfast staple 40. External memory holders for digital cameras 41. Mountain climbing tools 42. In the beginning stages 43. Rubberneckers 46. Carly ___ Jepsen 52. Setting you might turn on and off throughout a videoconference 53. ___-Japanese War 54. Fishing rod attachment 55. Grow dim 57. Golfer’s goal 59. Set (down) MOVIE CLUB Come on out every last Saturday for a movie, snacks, and a brief Q&A segment. WHEN: Apr 29, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library, 1498 N. Irving St. INFO: denverlibrary.org/events April 2023 DENVER VOICE 13 PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR PUZZLE COURTESY OF STREET ROOTS, DENVER VOICE’S SISTER PAPER IN PORTLAND, OR
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DONOR LIST WE LOVE OUR DONORS! WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE DENVER VOICE, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF HOMELESS AND IMPOVERISHED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WORKING TO REALIZE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EARNING A DIGNIFIED INCOME. YOUR GIFT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THESE INDIVIDUALS. HERE, WE LIST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN $500 AND MORE IN THE LAST YEAR. DENVERVOICE.ORG/DONATE $25,000+ The NextFifty Initiative $10,000+ The Christian Foundation Acorn Hill Foundation Inc. $5,000 - $9,999 Bank of America Charitable Foundation Francis Trainer and Trainer Family Sustainable Housing and Development Foundation $1,000-$4,999 Katherine Standiford Walker Family Foundation Alexander Seavall Jill Haug Whole Foods Foundation Alex Salva Russell Peterson Pivotal Energy Partners USA, Inc. Meek-Cuneo Family Fund Chris and Susan Pappas Michael Dino Sidney B and Caleb F Gates Fund Frederic K Conover Trust Megan Arellano Keyrenter Property Management Denver SEI Giving Fund The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation Jana and Jim Cuneo Kroger Paul Manoogian Lori Holland Gaspar Terrana Warren and Betty Kuehner Maggie Holben Michael J. Fehn and Jan Monnier Jim Ashe Courage and Community Foundation George Lichter Family Foundation Lisa Wagner Joshua Kauer Elsbeth Williams Mathew Rezek $500-$999 Margaret Ramp John Gibson Fire on the Mountain Christopher Boulanger Sheryl Parker Laura Saunders Robert E and Anne T Sneed Family Foundation Barbara and Robert Ells Carol and Louis Irwin Donald Weaver Edwina Salazar James Stegman Jennifer Stedron Jeremy Anderson Stephen Saul WalMart Peter Iannuzzi Nikki Lawson CEDS Finance Graham Davis Impact Assets Courage and Community Foundation Louis Irwin Mary Livernois James and Cyndi Lesslie 14 DENVER VOICE April 2023 ABOVE THE FOLD: $5,000 • One complimentary full page ad in the newspaper ($1,000 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Above the Fold Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper SPONSORSHIP LEVELS THE DENVER VOICE’S ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT LEVELS PROVIDE BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN WORK EMPOWERMENT, HOMELESS PREVENTION, THE CHALLENGING OF COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS, AND TO BE A PART OF PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH QUALITY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THROUGH OUR WRITERS AND VENDORS – AN INVALUABLE PART OF DENVER’S COMMUNITY. YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL HELP HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING POSITIVE ACTION TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AND IMPOVERISHMENT. AS A SPONSOR, YOU HAVE A WAY TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND GIVE SOMETHING BACK AT THE SAME TIME. ANNUAL SPONSORSHIPS BENEFITS INCLUDE YOUR LOGO LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE, MONTHLY AD SPACE IN OUR PAPER, AND SPECIAL EVENT PERKS FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ALL YEAR LONG. IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR A GOOD CAUSE, AND YOUR GIFT IS 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! GALLEY: $2,500 • One complimentary half page ad in the newspaper ($600 value) • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Galley Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper HONOR BOX: $1,000 • Table of 10 and Sponsor recognition at annual Rise and Thrive Breakfast (200 attendees) • Sponsorship recognition at our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event (200 attendees) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Honor Box Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper FLY SHEET: $500 • Two complimentary tickets to our annual Pints Fighting Poverty event ($50 value) • Business logo highlighted on website homepage, and in the Fly Sheet Sponsorship list • Logo highlighted in our annual report, along with logo in quarterly support feature of the paper RESOURCE LIST FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS IN DENVER DENVERVOICE.ORG/RESOURCE-LIST DIAL 211 FOR A MORE COMPLETE LIST OF RESOURCES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH. PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR FOOD, MEDICAL CARE, SENIOR SERVICES, YOUTH PROGRAMS, COUNSELING, EDUCATION, SHELTERS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE, AND MORE. EMAIL EDITOR@DENVERVOICE.ORG WITH CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. MEDICAL / MENTAL HEALTH / DENTAL SERVICES ACS COMMUNITY L.I.F.T. CareVan at Open Door Ministries, 1567 Marion St., Tues. 9am-12:30pm DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER 303-436-6000, 777 Bannock St. denverhealth.org DETOX LOCAL A resource that features abundant information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community. detoxlocal.com DRUG REHAB USA Addiction hotline: 866-716-0142. Organizations that take Medicaid: drugrehabus.org/rehabs/treatment/medicaid/united-states/colorado/denver HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800; 112 E. 8th Ave.; Mon.-Fri., 9am-12pm. HIV/Hep C/ Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia testing available. Our services are restricted to active IV Drug Users. Offers clean syringes to active users, as well as safety training on how to properly dispose of dirty syringes. harmreductionactioncenter.org LIVE ANOTHER DAY Live Another Day believes in equal access to life-saving mental health and substance use resources. This website provides extensive information on the best resources available: liveanotherday.org LIVER HEALTH CONNECTION 1325 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite B302. Resources and support for those affected by Hep C. Free Hep C testing offered. 800-522-4372, info@hepc-connection.org, liverhealthconnection.org INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER 303-296-1767, 3800 York St. Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Tues. 9am-5pm; Sat. 8am-2pm. Emergency walk-ins. SALUD CLINIC 6075 Parkway Drive, Ste. 160, Commerce City; Dental 303-286-6755. Medical 303-286-8900. Medical Hours: Mon.-Wed. 8am-9pm, Thurs.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Sat. (Urgent Care only) 8am-5pm; Dental Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm; Pharmacy Hours: Mon.-Fri. 1-5pm; After Office Hours: 1-800-283-3221 saludclinic.org/commerce-city SOUTHEAST ADDICTION CENTER Top 50 resources for Black men who are struggling with substance use and/or their mental health. southeastaddictiontn.com/50-addiction-mental-health-resources-for-black-men SOUTHEAST DETOX Updated in 2023, this guide features over 50 fully-vetted resources for Black women. southeastdetoxga.com/black-women-addiction-mental-health-support STOUT STREET CLINIC 303-293-2220, 2130 Stout St. Clinic hours for new and established patients: 7am-4pm Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri. The clinic is open Wed. 11am-7pm. coloradocoalition.org/healthcare SUNSHINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH (YOUTH SERVICES) Services for youth facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. 833-931-2484 sunshinebehavioralhealth.com VA MEDICAL CENTER 303-399-8020, 1700 N Wheeling St., Aurora va.gov/find-locations/facility/vha_554A5 WORKNOW 720-389-0999; job recruitment, skills training, and job placement work-now.org DROP-IN & DAYTIME CENTERS CITYSQUARE DENVER 303-783-3777; 2575 S. Broadway; Mon.-Thurs. 10am-2pm, Denver Works helps with employment, IDs, birth certs; mail services and lockers citysquare.org FATHER WOODY’S HAVEN OF HOPE 303-607-0855; 1101 W. 7th Ave.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-1pm. Six private showers & bathrooms, laundry, lunch & more thoh.org THE GATHERING PLACE 303-321-4198; 1535 High St.; Mon., Wed.-Fri. 8:30am-5pm, Tues. 8:30am-1:30pm. Daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals. Meals, computer lab, phones, food bank, clothing, art programs, GED tutoring, referrals to other services, and more. tgpdenver.org HARM REDUCTION ACTION CENTER 303-572-7800, 231 East Colfax; Mon.-Fri. 9am-12pm. Provides clean syringes, syringe disposal, harm-reduction counseling, safe materials, Hep C/HIV education, and health education classes. harmreductionactioncenter.org HOLY GHOST CATHOLIC CHURCH 1900 California St., help with lost IDs and birth certificates holyghostchurch.org HOPE PROGRAM 303-832-3354, 1555 Race St.; Mon.-Fri. 8am-4pm. For men and women with HIV. LAWRENCE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER 2222 Lawrence St.; 303-294-0157; day facility, laundry, showers, restrooms, access to services homelessassistance.us/li/lawrence-street-community-center OPEN DOOR MINISTRIES 1567 Marion St.; Mon.-Fri. 7am-5:30pm. Drop-in center: bathrooms, coffee/tea, snacks, resources, WIFI odmdenver.org ST. FRANCIS CENTER 303-297-1576; 2323 Curtis St. 6am-6pm daily. Storage for one bag (when space is available). Satellite Clinic hours- Mon., Tues., Thurs, Fri. 7:30am-3:30pm; Wed. 12:30-4:30pm sfcdenver.org SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICES 846 E. 18th Ave. For those 60+. TV room, bus tokens, mental/physical health outreach, and more. seniorsupportservices.org SOX PLACE (YOUTH SERVICES) 2017 Larimer St. Daytime drop-in shelter for youth 12-30 years old. Meals, socks, clothing bank, personal hygiene supplies, internet access, intentional mentoring and guidance, crisis intervention, referrals to other services. Tues.-Fri. 12-4pm & Sat. 11-2pm. soxplace.com THE SPOT AT URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) 2100 Stout St. 303-291-0442. Drop-in hours Mon.-Fri. 8-11am. If you are a youth aged 15-20 in need of immediate overnight shelter services, please contact 303-974-2928 urbanpeak.org/denver/programs-and-services/drop-in-center TGTHR (FKA ATTENTION HOMES) Shelter: 303-447-1207, 3080 Broadway, Boulder. Open every day, 12:30-5pm, for anyone ages 12-24. Office: 303-447-1206. Offers safe shelter, supportive programming, and other services to youth up to age 24 tgthr.org URBAN PEAK (YOUTH SERVICES) Youth 14-24 in Denver and Colorado Springs. Overnight shelter, food, clothing, showers, case workers, job skills and training, ID and birth certificate assistance, GED assistance, counseling and housing. 730 21st St. 303-974-2900 urbanpeak.org FREE MEALS AGAPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 2501 California St., Sat., 11am CAPITOL HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1100 Fillmore St., Sat. lunch at 11:30am capitolheightspresbyterian.org CAPITOL HILL COMMUNITY SERVICES Go to mealsforpoor.org for meal locations CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 1530 Logan St.; sandwiches & coffee Mon.-Fri. 8:30am denvercathedral.org CH