On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, the mayor of Aurora, Colorado, Mike Coffman, joins The Federalist’s Western Correspondent Tristan Justice to discuss his time camping as a homeless person for a week to learn more about the complexities of homelessness in his community and how to address it.
“What compelled me is I didn’t feel like I had a good understanding of the issue,” Coffman said, noting that homelessness is a “growing problem” in the Denver and Aurora metropolitan areas. “I think when you go and visit, you know, shelters and nonprofits and they give you a briefing, they’re telling you their interpretation of it. They’re telling you what they want you to know, and I never felt that I had a handle on the issue.”
Not only did Coffman’s time on the streets show him the difficulties of living in cold, harsh, and often difficult conditions, but it also gave him better insight into the effect the city’s policies have on the homeless community. Because of his experiment, Coffman changed his opinion on banning homeless encampments.
“Denver has a camping ban and has a pretty significant problem. Aurora does not have a camping ban and has a very modest problem,” Coffman explained.