Tension is rising between Midtown businesses and those experiencing homelessness

·1 min read

Hello, readers.

Pat Ferrier here.

What’s your first reaction when you see someone asking for money at a street corner or camping along the river? Does your heart break, or do you look the other way?

For the past decade or more, the Coloradoan has documented tension among Old Town and north Fort Collins residents and businesses with people experiencing homelessness and efforts to provide more year-round shelter and services.

It’s a complex issue with myriad causes. But it’s often polarizing, becoming an issue seen as black or white, right or wrong — an issue that stigmatizes people without homes and unfairly equates homelessness with criminality.

The push and pull is playing out in Midtown, where businesses say they are seeing an escalation of tension among them and unhoused people.

Now, Outreach Fort Collins, created in 2016 to help quell issues in Old Town, plans to expand its services to Midtown.

In my latest subscriber-only story, read about the tension, Outreach’s plans, and the city’s efforts to help people experiencing homelessness and those businesses that are feeling the impact.

Thank you for supporting our work.

— Pat Ferrier, patferrier@coloradoan.com

This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Tension is rising between Midtown businesses and those experiencing homelessness