President’s Message – December 2022

Happy Holidays!

On December 7th, UpDoNA will be celebrating its one-year anniversary!  We have all accomplished a lot in one year.  We have great working relationships with many city agencies, we’ve made several improvements to our neighborhood, and we are recognized as an organization working to make Upper Downtown a better place for everyone.  Currently, UpDoNA has 10 committees working on various issues from safety and cleanliness to helping the homeless.  UpDoNA would not have been able to accomplish what it has without its members and volunteers.  So, thanks to everyone for making a difference in our neighborhood!

Membership Renewal

Speaking of members, membership renewal will begin for many members in January.  Renewal will occur one year from the date that you first became a member.  All members will receive a membership renewal email 30 days prior to their renewal date.  For your convenience, we are working to streamline the process.   

To continue our successes, it is important that UpDoNA not only retains its members, but continually expands.  A strong membership is the heartbeat of UpDoNA.  We are making a difference.  Let’s keep up our important work and continue to be a strong voice for everyone who lives, works, and visits Upper Downtown! 

UpDoNA/Spire Annual Toy Drive

Our annual toy drive began on Monday, 11/28th.  This year, Kristen Deak has arranged for our toys to be donated to The Gathering Place, a shelter for families, and to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver.  Kristen will be posting more information at the donation table on the 9th floor.  Next year we plan to include other residential buildings within UpDoNA’s footprint to participate in the Toy Drive. 

Christmas Donations to STEP Denver and The Delores Project

The UpDoNA Cares Committee has arranged for UpDoNA members to donate items for Christmas boxes for the 60 men living at STEP Denver.  To donate, please go to https://a.co/hBnp9Kv for the Amazon Wish List.  Your items will be delivered directly to STEP Denver.

Several UpDoNA members will be preparing lunch at The Delores Project on Friday, December 9th, for the women and transgendered individuals who are staying there.  If you would like to donate money for groceries, please contact Helen Hedrick at helenhedrick@gmail.com .

Together We Will

UpDoNA has partnered with the Downtown Denver Partnership on its new initiative Together We Will.   This initiative brings together a multi-agency response to the safety of everyone in downtown Denver – called the Downtown Impact Team.  The initial focus will be on the Colorado Convention Center Corridor which stretches from 14th to 16th Streets and from Champa to California Streets.  There will be more security and police presence in this area.  In addition, Support Team Assisted Response (“STAR”) vans and other agencies will increase their presence to aid the homeless individuals in the area.  There will also be regularly scheduled power washing of alleys and sidewalks, and vacuum trucks cleaning water, leaves, and debris from curbs.  You can help by reporting safety and maintenance issues to the city by using the Safe and Clean app.  The app is free, so download it today.  Please read Rob Squire’s Safety & Quality of Life article for more information. 

The Downtown Impact Team began its efforts on 11/17.  On the first two days, Denver Police Officers assisted four homeless individuals in contacting family members in other states.  Those individuals no longer wanted to remain in Denver and were given free bus tickets so that they could be reunited with their families. 

Assistance for the Homeless Facing Frigid Winter Weather

 If you see unsheltered individuals sleeping on the sidewalks this winter, please call the non-emergency number, 720-913-2000.  STAR vans, which operate 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week, will be dispatched to offer shelter and appropriate services to those in need.  Outside of those hours, Denver police officers will offer to take individuals to shelters.  In addition, the Department of Housing Stability (“HOST”) notifies city agencies 72 hours in advance of anticipated severe weather.  Outreach workers, park rangers, safety personnel, and the police actively reach out to those unsheltered individuals to assist them in finding shelter.  HOST has a list of shelters available for men, women, families with children, and youth.  Please visit denvergov.org/findshelter for more information.  No one should be left out in the cold.  

I hope that everyone has a safe, wonderful, holiday season!

Lisa L. Pope, President

Upper Downtown Neighborhood Association

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UpDoNA is a City Registered Neighborhood Organization representing the community of Denver’s Upper Downtown.

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