What is HOPE? Erik Soliván seeds the mayor’s new strategy on housing and homelessness

Erik Soliván on a new approach to homelessness in Denver: “My role, being positioned within the mayor’s office, is … ‘How do we get past our silos?'”

Erik Soliván speaks before the Denver Commission on Homelessness on Feb. 27, 2017. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)
Erik Soliván speaks before the Denver Commission on Homelessness on Feb. 27, 2017. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)

In 2004, John Hickenlooper, then the mayor of Denver, created an organization called Denver’s Road Home. Its goal, he said, was to end homelessness here by 2014. That didn’t happen, and the very idea plays now like a dark in-joke among bureaucrats and activists alike.

Still, Denver’s Road Home has remained the overarching brand for Denver’s homelessness relief programs well into Mayor Michael Hancock’s new administration — but it may not be for long.

Earlier this year, Hancock created the Office of HOPE and hired Erik Soliván, 37, to lead it. On Monday afternoon, we got a closer view of just what Solivàn has done in his first 49 days on the job and how this somewhat nebulous new program will operate.


A Denver mosque found a rock through its window before morning prayers

Worshippers at one of Colorado’s oldest mosques found a window broken when they arrived for a morning prayer session on Sunday.

Ramadan at the Colorado Muslim Society. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) ramadan; islam; colorado muslim society; mosque; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite; religion;
Ramadan at the Colorado Muslim Society. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Worshippers at one of Colorado’s oldest mosques found a window broken when they arrived for a morning prayer session on Sunday, Feb. 27.

“Somebody in the middle of the night came and broke a window — threw a rock,” said S. Bokhari, president of the Colorado Muslim Society. The Araphoe County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the damage, Bokhari said.


Denver news in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Feb. 27

Good morning, readers. Today’s news roundup includes two awful incidents at ski resorts, drought on the eastern plains, a fancy food truck and an interesting little cinema event, among other news.

A Denver Wheel Club scrapbook saved in the Denver Public Library's Western History Collection archive. (Denver Wheel Club Records/ Denver Public Library/Western History Collection) denver public library; dpl; denver; colorado; history; archive; bike; bicycle; cycling;
An image from a Denver Wheel Club scrapbook saved in the Denver Public Library’s Western History Collection archive. (Denver Wheel Club Records/ Denver Public Library/Western History Collection)

Rocky Mountain Land Library is raising money for its newest site on a mountain cattle ranch

Rocky Mountain Land Library holds 50,000 books about landscapes and natural history in beautiful locations along the Front Range. Now it has its eyes on restoring Buffalo Peaks Ranch.

Volumes of the Rocky Mountain Land Library. (Courtesy Michael Ciaglo/RMLL)
Volumes of the Rocky Mountain Land Library. (Courtesy Michael Ciaglo/RMLL)

One of the most unusual libraries in Colorado is creating perhaps its most ambitious branch on a cattle ranch nestled in the mountains — and the Rocky Mountain Land Library has raised about $25,000 in three days toward that vision.