chapter  8
Dwelling without a home
Denver’s splintered public spaces
BySig Langegger, Stephen Koester
Pages 20

This chapter begins with a brief history of homelessness in Denver. Denver's growth contributes to a particularly robust real estate and housing market, one of the most expensive in the country. The demolition or conversion of most of downtown Denver's low-income, single room occupancy (SRO) hotel rooms also played a significant role in the rise of homelessness in the city. This history of SRO hotel conversion is not unique to Denver. In practice, it is not only the regulation of homeless people as individuals, but also the micromanagement of nuisance behaviors such as sleeping, eating, sitting, and panhandling, that accelerate neoliberalism's advance. The geographies of homelessness and spatial impacts of policing are also uneven. Uncoupled from constitutionally guaranteed rights and from social policy and framed as a land use problem, homelessness in Denver was rationally construed as a technical and locational issue. Levels of jurisdictional complexity notwithstanding, homeless people must fit their everyday lives into fractured fields of spatial discipline.