Park Hill, Central Park neighbors grimace as Quebec becomes homeless hotel row

David Heitz
This former Best Western Hotel is one of five homeless hotels located along Quebec. The city owns three of the hotels.Photo byGoogle Street View

Neighbors from the North Park Hill and Central Park communities expressed dismay to the City Council Monday over the amount of House1000 real estate in District 8.

Shontel Lewis represents the district. One resident implied the mayor’s office had taken advantage of Lewis’ big heart and compassion for people experiencing homelessness. As a result, several homeless hotels have been located in her district.

Heather Weldon complained that four of the homeless hotels are within a mile of each other. She said the Comfort Inn housing migrants and Fusion Studios for the homeless “is not a shining example for how these should be run.”

Weldon asked city officials to put themselves in her shoes and imagine the invasion of the neighborhood by a micro-community. She asked council members to imagine having raised your family on the property, only to have indigent villages placed there. “They’re turnkey, they’re cheap, they’re available, but it does nothing to help anyone. Pushed through at a break-neck place it is too much too fast and we as the collective North Park Hill and Central Park communities are begging to you to reconsider how this plan is being rolled out.”

Talk of equity just that – talk

Rachel Phares said she thought the mayor’s House1000 plan initially sounded promising. She liked all the talk about the micro-communities being located in every council district. But as it turns out, district 8 houses more than half of the units needed to meet the grand goal. She said locating hundreds of people who are struggling in so many ways in one neighborhood can’t possibly have a good impact.

James Holmes said he hopes the new units at least help solve the problem instead of just moving the problem. He says there are more panhandlers than ever, and people don’t feel safe. “I hope you will acknowledge this fear is valid,” he said, adding, “District 8 should be an example. Not a cautionary tale.”

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at community newspapers in Southern California and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am proof that people can rebound from even severe mental illness with proper treatment. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living in the Mile High City. You can email me news releases and story ideas at

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