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The Justice & Peace eWeekly is a weekly survey of upcoming events, local news and activism opportunities. Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who might be interested.

 


August 29, 2022


 

                                                      
 
 
Gentrification Puts Squeeze on Services for Homeless

Support for Singles Expands, But Women and Families Suffer

A dress rehearsal last week for the post-pandemic return of Pikes Peak Library District’s Urban Experience walk pointed out two realities of the services available for those experiencing homelessness. First, the gentrification to the south of downtown centered on Weidner Field and the Olympics Museum has put a squeeze on facilities like the Salvation Army’s R.J. Montgomery Center and Springs Rescue Mission. In addition, even though SRM has expanded significantly to more than 15 buildings in a two-block area, the city as a whole is in a bind for serving families, as well as single women. This is partly the result of two family-oriented shelters closing in a month – Family Promise at the end of July, and City Hope in mid-August.

Last week, Family Promise faced pushback when it tried to expand family support beyond downtown. A planned shelter in the St. Paul’s Methodist Church area, near Constitution and Circle, was opposed by more than 50 neighbors. The effort still may survive with modifications, but it indicates how many challenges service organizations will face if they try to expand support for the homeless beyond traditional downtown realms.

If it seems as though the city’s homeless crisis is less visible around Bijou and Monument Creek, this is due in part to those wishing overnight shelter heading south to Springs Rescue Mission on Las Vegas Street. Slightly to the north, the R.J.Montgomery Salvation Army facility serves low-barrier men and veterans, but the city is pressuring RJM to go “all family” to solve the housing shortage.

This could mean more single men head south to Springs Rescue Mission. SRM allows clients to graduate from an entry-level shelter, intended for single-night stays, to a next-level shelter where week-long stays allow clients to store some belongings, and finally to an advanced monthly shelter where clients pay nominal rent. This is intended to prepare some clients for supported apartment housing. The first such facility, Greenway Flats, already is open on the SRM property.

In an ideal world, the South Side gentrification taking place alongside SRM expansion could ease the housing crisis while promoting development. But the residents of the Mill Street Community Benefits All organization worry that the massive changes taking place south of Weidner will eventually displace many homeowners and renters in the neighborhood. What is clear is that during the pandemic period when Urban Experience walks were on hold, large sectors of downtown changed almost beyond recognition, with many high-end apartment complexes under construction or nearing completion. When UX walks resume later this year, participants should be ready to see a significantly altered crisis for those experiencing homelessness – not an eased crisis, but one with new pressure points emerging.


 

Pikes Peak Women Podcast  Focuses on Military Moms
 

On today's Elevating Pikes Peak Women,  we’re discussing being a military spouse in Colorado Springs.

Host Mary Lou Makepeace interviews two different military spouses, Magdalena Dover and Shannon Soto. They discuss their experiences as military spouses, the differences in branches, moving with a family, and much more in this episode we've titled Military Moms.
Listen to this podcast on Studio 809 HERE.

You can also find this podcast on these other links:  
LibSyn HERE
Apple HERE.
Spotify HERE
 
Subscribe for more episodes, and reach out to us on Facebook HERE, or Email Us and let us know what you thought of today’s episode. We’re on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and many other platforms.
We’ve got another great episode coming to you soon! Make sure to subscribe!

Special thanks to Studio 809 Supporter and Community Partner, https://www.springshomes.com

PIKES PEAK WOMEN
Mary Lou Makepeace, Marcy Morrison, Denise Abbott, Karole Campbell, Lindy Conter, Susan Davies, JJ Frazier, Kimberlie Griffis, Melissa Marts, Michelle Ray, Beth Roalstad, Deb Walker, Kayla Zowada
 
 

Concrete Couch Announces Fall Schedule
 

Concrete Couch will start a series of free fall classes at Concrete Coyote Park, 1100 S. Royer. The programs begin Sept. 10, but please sign up as early as possible as some classes may fill up.

MONDAYS – Citizen Science, 3-4 p.m., contact george@concretecouch.org
MONDAYS – Bike Program, 4:30-5:30 p.m., contact george@concretecouch.org
TUESDAYS – Trails, 3:30-5:30 p.m., contact steve@concretecouch.org
TUESDAYS – Jam Band, 5:00-7:00 p.m., contact mal@concretecouch.org
WEDNESDAY – Tree Care, 400-6:00 p.m., contact george@concretecouch.org
SATURDAY – Grab bag, 9:00-11:00 a.m., contact steve@concretecouch.org
SUNDAYS – Stories on the Land, 3:00-5:00 p.m. (second Sunday of the month only), contact caitlin@concretecouch.org

RSVPs for all classes are at the Concrete Couch web site calendar, www.concretecouch.org/calendar.html
 

 

September Members’ Meeting on Youth Activist Training Recap
 

We are planning a late-afternoon potluck and get-together for PPJPC members, tentatively set for Sept. 24 at Knights of Columbus Hall. This is planned to take place around the Sept. 21 International Day of Peace. We will hold an annual meeting in early 2023, but in the meantime, we will update members on our work during 2022. Now that Covid restrictions have eased, we hope you can join us for face-to-face conversations!
 

Peak Environment Podcast 92 Looks at Applying Green Standards to Stormwater Infrastructure
 

Stormwater management is a critical environmental concern for a large urban area like Colorado Springs. City of Colorado Springs Stormwater Enterprise Manager Richard Mulledy discusses the city’s new green infrastructure standards for development and redevelopment. He also shares some planned and some completed capital projects, and gives us an overview of the strategic vision of the Stormwater Enterprise. 

Podcast listeners can find this episode by searching for Peak Environment on their podcast app.

You’ll find Podcast 92 here:  https://studio809podcasts.com/green-stormwater-infrastructure/

Also, check out Podcast 91 on native plants and the watershed.Learn about the newly revived Kathleen Marriage Garden at Sondermann Park, and how you can incorporate native plants into your landscape and help support a healthy watershed. Colorado Native Plant Society Executive Director Maggie Gaddis and Fountain Creek Watershed District Interim Executive Director Alli Schuch talk about the history of the garden, how it was brought back to life, and how native plants help support a healthy watershed. They also discuss National Pollinator Month.

LINKS:
Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District
Fountain Creek Watershed info
Fountain Creek Watershed Map
Fountain Creek Brewshed Alliance Map
Colorado Native Plant Society

Register to Virtually Attend the Next Sustainability in Progress meeting
Sustainability in Progress: Stormwater Green Infrastructure Plan
Jul 20, 2022 08:00 AM

You’ll find Podcast 91 here
https://studio809podcasts.com/native-plants-healthy-watershed/

 

Transit Agencies Offer Free and Reduced-Cost Rides Through August -- LAST FEW DAYS!
 

350 Colorado sent out an alert regarding several Colorado transit agencies, who have partnered to encourage the use of mass transit by offering free or reduced-cost rides through August. Here are details:

Would you like to run your errands, go out on the town, and get to work conveniently while helping create the transition to a clean, green economy? Now is your chance, at no cost to you. In August, across the state, we have the opportunity to ride RTD buses, MMT, GET, Poudre Express, light rail, paratransit, the HOP, Access-a-ride, trains to airport and more for free! All cities are eligible for this program and so far we have confirmed Denver Metro area, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Greeley, and Lafayette are participating. And the long-distance intercity “Bustang” routes are 50% off from July 1 to September 5. If you are able, join us in making a commitment to ride transit as much as possible in August, and spread the word to your friends!

 Support better transit! By helping to make this initiative a success and showing overwhelming public support for transit, this will lead the expansion of service that will make RTD even more convenient. Chicken and egg. “If we show up they will build it!” We will also help to lower greenhouse gas emissions and ozone pollution (oil and gas production plays the biggest role in contributing to ozone, but driving is the second highest source.)

 Plot your routes now for all of your usual destinations: use your maps app—it’s easy! The RTD app is also extremely useful! Or you can plan trips or research routes by visiting the agency’s website, where you can use the Trip Planner app, access schedules or sign up for Service Alerts. Next Ride provides real-time vehicle information. To ask questions of RTD during normal business hours (6 a.m.-6 p.m.), call Customer Care at 303-299-6000.

Check out more info about the zero-fare program here. If you want to try out your routes before zero-fare month, you can buy your tickets on the RTD app, or at your local grocery store. Stay tuned for more information from 350 Colorado in the coming weeks.

 If you have questions or want support in doing this, please do not hesitate to email me: Heidi@350Colorado.org. I’ve been riding transit since 2019.
 
 

 


 

Russia Blocks Approval of Non-Proliferation Treaty Document Due to Zaporizhzhia Mention
 

Late Friday night, Aug. 26, at the close of the four-week review conference held every five years for the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Russia blocked approval of a closing statement due to the mention in the draft text of the continuing conflict at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine (pictured above), Europe’s largest nuclear plant. Groups that have tried to remain partially neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, including the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and the Arms Control Association, denounced Russia for refusing to consider compromise texts.

The action capped off a week of strong claims and counter-claims regarding the nuclear plant, which Russian forces have occupied for several weeks. In mid-week, Russia took the plant off the grid, but said it was because Ukraine had cut transmission lines to the plant. Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that such a move risked a meltdown, and that the transmission-line cutoff was due to fires at the plant, not due to Ukrainian government actions. Russia insisted a controlled shutdown of the plant during the turmoil was safer than leaving it running, because the risk of escaping nuclear material was greater from a running nuclear plant.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN’s NPT group both argue that both sides should abandon the plant, and adopt a position that nuclear plants should not be subject to military operations or occupations. IAEA still is hoping to send inspectors to the plant this week. But Russia’s actions at the NPT conference suggest it will not support the basic principles of the UN or IAEA.
 
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