Catholic Charities invites community to anniversary events
Every day for 30 years, Samaritan House shelter has given those walking in its doors a new story—one of renewed hope, restored dignity and a chance to rebuild their lives.
Operated by Catholic Charities of Denver, Samaritan House is recognizing its 30-year history of providing mercy to those in need through a series of anniversary events. The commemorative events show appreciation for its dedicated supporters and encourage awareness of the increasing needs of the homeless today.
According to one study, homelessness is on the rise. The Metro Denver Homeless Initiative reported 6,130 men, women and children across the Denver Metro area identified as homeless in January 2015. Nearly one quarter were newly homeless—or experiencing homelessness the first time for less than a year.
More women, youth and seniors have found themselves unexpectedly homeless, like Orlandis Barge, who traveled to Denver this year and found himself without a place to stay.
“I’ve never experienced homelessness before. It was humbling,” Barge said. “Here I was, a 26-year-old college graduate, staying at a shelter and barely making it.”
Samaritan House has helped Barge and thousands of men, women and families achieve stable income and housing through its 120-day program. The one-night and short-term shelter provides more than shelter, food and clothing—it restores residents’ dignity and self-worth.
The shelter’s guiding mission has its roots in the 1980s. Originally founded in 1986 by Msgr. Charles B. Woodrich—also known as Father Woody—and Archbishop James Casey, the shelter made headlines as the first in America to be designed and built specifically for the homeless.
In a story published November 1984 in the Denver Post, Father Woody said, “Our Samaritan Shelter has a different bottom line—one that stresses a caring, human dimension to restore the personal dignity of those who’ve been denied a sense of self-worth.”
Father Woody and the instrumental members of Samaritan House will be honored at the anniversary fundraising dinner Sam’s Supper on September 10.
Larry Smith, president and CEO of Catholic Charities, encourages the community to participate in the anniversary events and give of their time, talents and treasure to lend a helping hand to the most needy at the shelter.
“We encourage people to participate in charity. Give where you can, give to whomever you can,” Smith said.
Samaritan House by the numbers
127,000 shelter nights provided annually
455,000 meals served *includes 200,000 meals to children in childcare
2,250 individuals sheltered
30 Years of Mercy anniversary events
This year, Samaritan House shelter is marking 30 Years of Mercy to those in need through a series of anniversary events. You are invited to be a part of its history and serve men, women and children facing homelessness. With your help, Samaritan House can continue its work to give the needy a hand up and a path to self-sufficiency.
6 p.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 10, benefit dinner to support Samaritan House shelter
8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 24, prayerful walk at Mother Cabrini Shrine
1 p.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 15, reception for Samaritan House supporters
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 10, rededication of the shelter by Archbishop Samuel Aquila