Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila praise service to vulnerable population
Denver, CO— Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Denver opened today Samaritan House Women’s Shelter in northeast Denver to serve vulnerable single women experiencing homelessness—making it the largest women’s-only shelter in Denver.
With support from the City and County of Denver, Catholic Charities renovated a 32,000 square-foot building at 6240 E. Smith Road. The facility will offer emergency overnight services for up to 100 single women, beginning September 15. An additional 50 women will have access to an on-site 29-day non-medical recovery program with services intended to help them on the path to stability. This new facility, in combination with women’s shelter space at Samaritan House at 2301 Lawrence St., will enable Catholic Charities to provide shelter for up to 250 single women each night.
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila joined Catholic Charities President and CEO Larry Smith today at the new shelter.
“Catholic Charities is charting a new course in caring for women experiencing homelessness by offering a continuum of care that can transform their lives,” said Smith. “To serve single women who are homeless, we must first give them shelter to protect them from harm on the streets, then be creative in helping them chart a path to stability. Our mission is to serve others with the love, mercy and compassion of Jesus Christ.”
In the Denver metro region, there were 1,722 homeless women (or 33.7 percent of the total) on a given night in January, according to the 2017 Point-In-Time report from the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative.
The 29-day transitional program at the new Samaritan House Women’s Shelter will accommodate up to 50 women in crisis. When fully operational, more than 500 women could be served annually. Residents will apply for benefits, have access to recovery resources and mental health services, and explore employment opportunities in the computer lab.
Once residents become stable in the 29-day program, they are eligible to move into the 120-day Levels Program at Samaritan House downtown, which gives residents the life skills, confidence and opportunity they need to gain employment, find housing and live independently.
The $5.1 million Samaritan House Women’s Shelter project included $1 million from the city of Denver. The administrative offices of Catholic Charities will be co-located with the shelter. Catholic Charities also operates Marisol Homes, The Mission in Fort Collins and Guadalupe Community Center in Greeley.
“We are fortunate here in Denver to have a strong community of partners who work alongside the city to serve those experiencing homelessness,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “The new Samaritan House Women’s Shelter will provide a safe place to sleep for up to 100 women each night, as well as shelter, access to health and wellness services, and employment options for an additional 50 women.”
Mayor Hancock spoke at today’s event and will attend the Sam’s Supper fundraising dinner on Friday, Aug. 25, at Mile High Station downtown. On behalf of the City and County of Denver, Mayor Hancock will accept the He Comes to Serve Award from Catholic Charities, which recognizes those who help Catholic Charities lead the way in serving those in the greatest need.
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of the Archdiocese of Denver also spoke at today’s event and will attend Sam’s Supper.
“Few people are aware that single women are one of the fastest growing segments of homelessness in America,” said Archbishop Aquila. “To combat this growing epidemic and bring the love of Christ to these women, Catholic Charities has opened its new Samaritan House Women’s Shelter to provide vulnerable women with meals, clothing, case management and a safe place to rest.”