Catholic Charities takes lead of women’s shelter at Denver Coliseum

Denver’s largest provider of shelter for single women pursues CDC-complaint conditions during pandemic

Denver, CO—April 20, 2020—After planning and coordinating with the City of Denver and area shelter providers, Catholic Charities of Denver — the largest provider of shelter for single women experiencing homelessness in Denver — is taking the lead  in operating a 24/7 auxiliary shelter for up to 300 women at the Denver Coliseum to maintain social distancing, medical triage and respite facilities.

Today, the Women’s Auxiliary Shelter at the Denver Coliseum opened—along with more than 550 motel and hotel rooms secured by the city to provide respite care—to provide the safest conditions for women during the COVID-19 pandemic. Catholic Charities hired 12 temporary workers to help care for participants and oversee operations for as long as the shelter is needed to follow health and safety guidelines, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC).

Media are invited to interviews with Catholic Charities staff on April 21 at the Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt St. in Denver, after coordinating with the press contact above.

“The health of residents at our Women’s Emergency Shelter and their successful journey to self-sufficiency is our mission. We are taking swift action to provide them with the CDC-recommended social distancing necessary and medical care needed during the pandemic,” said Mike Sinnett, Vice President of Shelter Services for Catholic Charities of Denver. “Building on collaborative efforts, the vast majority of shelter providers in Denver are joining forces to operate this 24/7 shelter. We are grateful for the City of Denver’s support and for our area shelter providers continuing collaboration to make this a safer and healthier shelter option for women experiencing homelessness.”

Catholic Charities staff is handling the operations of the auxiliary shelter for women and providing expertise on best care for participants. Staff from other shelters are offering support while it operates the auxiliary shelter.

Catholic Charities of Denver, which runs the Samaritan House Women’s Emergency shelter, has provided emergency and transitional shelter for single women since 2017. The shelter has provided safety, meals, case management, employment assistance, housing resources, social services, and more for women experiencing homelessness. Since the Homeless Leadership Council was formed, the City of Denver and area shelter providers have partnered to provide the best solutions to help participants achieve stability and self-sufficiency. Catholic Charities’ Women’s Emergency Shelter includes emergency shelter and a transitional program for up to 250 women. Both programs will transition to the auxiliary shelter at the Coliseum until further guidance from the CDC and city officials. The Women’s Emergency Shelter at Samaritan House downtown will remain open for emergency shelter to women who are mobility impaired.

The Women’s Auxiliary Shelter at the Coliseum will provide screening for all participants upon entry. It will also provide meals and medical care to include mental health services and respite facilities for those exhibiting symptoms or advised to isolate due to medical necessity. The shelter is one way the city is providing support for people experiencing homelessness including 550 motel and hotel rooms to provide protection and respite care when needed.

For more information about Catholic Charities response to the COVID-19 emergency, visit Catholic Charities of Denver is one the largest non-governmental charitable agencies in the state that provides shelter, food, clothing and supplies, education, affordable housing, senior services, counseling, medical care, emergency assistance, respect life resources, and much more to tens of thousands of people every year in northern Colorado. A list of urgent needs and supplies are posted daily. The community is encouraged to volunteer, donate and give supplies to help provide relief to those in need during the pandemic.