COLORADO SPRINGS, Col - The Homeless Outreach Team is a division of the Colorado Springs Police Department in which three officers deal with homelessness in the entire city.
Homeless camps are currently illegal on public property, but three years ago some 600 homeless camps lined Fountain Creek, now there are less camps but the HOT team officers said they are still around.
"It gets frustrating at times just because we have talked to them so much. We offer them help everyday, essentially. They still choose not to take that for whatever reason," said Officer Brett Iverson.
'Cowboy camps' are more popular now. That is when a person waits until the night time, rolls out a mat or sleeping bag, stays for the night, and leaves early in the morning. The HOT program said many people do not notice either type of camp until trash starts gathering.
"The hard part for me is when I ask them if they want help or to get off the street and get out of the cold, their answer is always of, 'I'm fine out here, I know how to survive," said Iverson.
Iverson also said he does not believe homelessness will ever end in Colorado Springs, but that the HOT program will continue to offer help.