This month on Bucket List Community Café’s Podcast homeless activist Randle Loeb discusses Mayor Mike Johnston’s plans to end homelessness in Denver.
Loeb has been advocating for ways to help the unhoused in Denver for most of his adult life. Loeb was unhoused for six years, and in 2001, he attempted to die by suicide. After this attempt, Loeb became a prominent activist for the unhoused and has represented our community working to find solutions.
According to the point-in-time survey conducted on January 30 by the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, the total number of people unhoused in the seven-county Denver metro area was 9,065. That’s a 32% increase over 2022, with those experiencing homelessness for the first time rising sharply.
Recently, Mayor Johnston proposed a plan to end homelessness in Denver by creating micro-communities in each of the city districts. Loeb has expressed skepticism on how well this would work due to limitations on government funding. Mayor Johnston’s plan would cost about $48.6 million. Loeb believes it could cost up to a billion dollars a year and all stakeholders need to be involved.
“It has to be a collaborative activity by both the people who are homeless and the people who are running the programs and the political will and the corporate structure to make it possible for it to end,” Loeb said.
Additionally, Loeb expressed doubt about the longevity of these housing solutions. Loeb said that this model needs to help unhoused people find permanent solutions and support as opposed to temporary housing where tenants are only eligible for six months to two years.
Today, Loeb is working in a wide variety of positions to better the lives of unhoused people in Denver. He is on the board of directors for the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, works with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and the Peoples’ Advocacy Council, and is the liaison for the mayor’s commission to end homelessness. Beyond all of this, he is actively taking care of himself by doing the things he loves—riding his bicycle, swimming and gardening.