I like the Springs. Beautiful mountains that can be seen from pretty much anywhere, feels like a city and mountain town at the same time, and lots and lots of great hobo parking. Well, I guess shit happens everywhere. As a result of the city´s decision to ban urban camping while leaving the issue of lacking homeless shelter beds unaddressed, more and more homeless individuals are forced in to the inhospitable and dangerous parts of the city. The following excerpt illustrates the violence that is erupting on the streets and details the story of a homeless woman who suffered through unimaginable torture.
A homeless woman was thrown from a ledge and repeatedly raped for days at the spot where she landed beneath the Cimarron Street bridge – unable to escape because her legs were paralyzed, Colorado Springs police say.
The torture ended when a passerby found her May 2 lying beneath the bridge south of America the Beautiful Park, court documents unsealed this week show.
The assault comes at a time when homeless people are left with little choice but to risk their safety and live outside, because too few shelter beds exist in El Paso County, homeless advocates say.
That reality has exposed one of the region’s most vulnerable populations to theft and violence, especially women.
“It’s the worst part of not having enough shelter space,” said Shawna Kemppainen, executive director of the Urban Peak youth shelter, which is often at or near capacity.
For the woman found beneath Cimarron Street, living on the streets nearly turned deadly.