In recent years, Denver has taken a stance on helping people who are or become homeless, particularly under the administrations of mayors John Hickenlooper and Wellington Webb. At a rate of 19 homeless per 10,000 residents in 2011 as compared to 50 or more per 10,000 residents for the four metro areas with the highest rate of homelessness, Denver's homeless population and rate of homeless are both considerably lower than many other major cities. However, residents of the city streets suffer Denver winters – which, although mild and dry much of the time, can have brief periods of extremely cold temperatures and snow.
Denver is in the center of the Front Range Urban Corridor, between the Rocky Mountains to the west and the High Plains to the east. Denver's topography consists of plains in the city center with hilly areas to the north, west and south. According to the United States Census Bureau the city has a total area of 155 square miles (401 km2), of which 153 square miles (396 km2) is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) (1.1%) is water. The City and County of Denver is surrounded by only three other counties: Adams County to the north and east, Arapahoe County to the south and east, and Jefferson County to the west.