City provided $1 million to help purchase building for 150-bed facility
New shelter serving vulnerable women will open in mid-2017
Denver, CO — Oct. 17, 2016 — With funding and support from the City and County of Denver, Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Denver will offer single women facing homelessness access to emergency and extended shelter at the new Samaritan House Women’s Shelter to keep them safe and meet their needs.
Catholic Charities purchased a 32,000 square-foot building at 6240 E. Smith Road in northeast Denver to offer shelter and resources for single women seeking relief. The city approved $1 million in Community Development Block Grant financing to help purchase the building as part of the $5 million project.
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila joined Catholic Charities CEO Larry Smith for the announcement today at the new Samaritan House Women’s Shelter, which will open in mid-2017.
The partnership between Denver and Catholic Charities is intended to help serve the growing number of vulnerable homeless women, including those who are elderly.
“The city is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese to serve and care for our most vulnerable women who are experiencing homelessness,” Mayor Hancock said. “Each individual who experiences homelessness has a unique story and situation, so our approach to helping them must be just as diverse. This new women’s shelter will be a critical addition to the broad range of services in Denver that work together to help those facing homelessness stabilize their lives.”
“The Catholic Church is committed to working with the City of Denver where we can to serve some of the most vulnerable among us, which includes homeless women,” said Archbishop Aquila. “This partnership between the city and Catholic Charities demonstrates how we can be viable partners in promoting a culture of service among our neighbors in the City of Denver.”
There were “6,130 homeless men, women and children counted in the seven county Metro Denver area” in early 2015, according to the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative’s point in time study. Of the 2,446 respondents in Denver County, 30.9 percent were female.
“Today, the face of poverty in Denver, and all across America, is quite often the face of a single woman and child,” said Smith. “The top three reasons are loss of job, increased cost of housing and break-up of the family. In addition, 30 percent of the women we’re currently seeing at our shelter downtown are over the age of 60. To address these needs, we must have creative partnerships like this one to address the growing needs of those who are most vulnerable.”
The new shelter, when it opens in mid-2017, will be the fifth shelter operated by Catholic Charities on the Front Range. The others are Samaritan House in Denver, Marisol Home in Denver, Guadalupe Community Shelter in Greeley and The Mission in Fort Collins. These facilities provide love, safety, shelter, clothing, food and supportive services to help restore dignity, regain lost hope, and reclaim ownership of their lives and reintegrate into the community.
Catholic Charities administration offices will be co-located with the shelter.
Since 1986, Catholic Charities has operated the Samaritan House homeless shelter at 2301 Lawrence St. in Denver. In the winter of 2014, Catholic Charities identified a growing need to serve women. That initiative, the Holy Rosary Shelter for Women, first opened as a temporary shelter at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Globeville. It then moved to Samaritan House downtown, housing 100 women each night, supplemented with an off-site shelter housing up to an additional 120 women.
Find more information on the Catholic Charities media page at ccdenver.org/media.
About Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver
Catholic Charities has served the Denver community since 1927. Thousands of people each year are served in three areas: women’s services, family and child care services, and housing and shelter services. Catholic Charities serves those in need with the help of hundreds of volunteers and through collaboration with Catholic parishes, other Christian churches, local businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, medical facilities and educational institutions. For more information, visit ccdenver.org.
Cheryl Talley, Director, Communications and Marketing
Catholic Charities of Denver