Denver Getting Rid of Homeless for DNC?

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," July 16, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HEATHER NAUERT, CO-HOST: All right, got it. Mike Baker, thanks a lot. It's always good to have you. Appreciate.

OK, now, it's back to the U.S. and one of the biggest parties Denver has ever thrown. And the city doesn't want t to let anything get in the way, and that may include the city's homeless population. Preparations are, believe it or not, underway for the Democratic National Convention last month and they include a plan to lure Denver's homeless people off the streets during the event for they say, security purposes, but it's a plan that some think is really an attempt to get them out of sight.

FOX's Douglas Kennedy is here now with both sides of the story for us — Douglas.

DOUGLAS KENNEDY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Heather. The city says it is all about security and the Secret Service perimeter around the convention center. But some homeless advocates say it's more about preventing what the city's visitors might see.

Video: Watch Douglas Kennedy's interview


OBAMA: When we're in Denver, the Democratic Party will come together.

KENNEDY (voice-over): Democrats who'll visit Denver in August for the party convention will be able to visit legendary Coors Field and will get a magnificent view of the Colorado Rockies.

They may not see is the city's growing homeless problem.

JOHN PARVENSKY, COLORADO COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS: We have just under 5,000 people who are homeless on any given night in Denver.

KENNEDY: In fact, chance of homeless has sprouted up almost everywhere around the city, including public parks, but especially around the Colorado Convention Center where Democrats will gather at the end of the August.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I were from out of town and I came down here, I would probably be expecting this beautiful walk and instead, you know, I would be scared and I would probably just leave.

KENNEDY: A fact that may be scaring city officials, who now have a plan to move the homeless away from the convention center, and possibly the eyes of the world. Some vagrants are even being offered movie and museum tickets to stay clear of downtown.

PARVENSKY: There will be a security perimeter around the convention site where no one without credentials can be, and some of our homeless individuals may be living there.

KENNEDY: John Parvensky is president of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. He says, "Encouraging the homeless to move away from the convention is simply out of concern for their safety." Other homeless advocates say the city is clearly trying to hide an embarrassing problem.

PARVENSKY: We just want to make sure that it's done in a productive and proactive way.


KENNEDY: Parvensky points out, there are 50,000 people coming to Denver and he says no matter what happens, Heather, the homeless will be disrupted.

NAUERT: OK, Douglas. So they're giving these people movie tickets?

KENNEDY: Movie tickets -

NAUERT: Theater tickets -

KENNEDY: Going to the zoo if they want.

NAUERT: Oh, and if you don't have a way to get there, we'll provide you with the transportation. How can they say with a straight face that they're not trying to hide the homeless?

KENNEDY: Well, they are right around the convention center, so many of them will be in the perimeters. So they're claiming that they are only offering this to people who don't want to be around the convention center. But -

NAUERT: What's your personal reaction to this?

KENNEDY: What's my personal reaction to this?


KENNEDY: I'm just reporting, Heather.

NAUERT: All right. OK.

KENNEDY: We'll let the people decide.

NAUERT: All right. OK. Douglas Kennedy, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

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