The following is a joint statement released by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver and Denver Rescue Mission.
We appreciate the efforts of the City of Denver, the Department of Public Works and the Denver Police Department to enforce rules related to encampments along area sidewalks in the Ballpark Neighborhood. We are hopeful that these efforts will help protect the health and safety of our community, including those who are experiencing homelessness.
Space is available in respective overflow shelters: Denver Rescue Mission has availability for men; Catholic Charities Samaritan House has availability for women. Samaritan House provides people with the ability to stay for up to four months with case management services, while the Denver Rescue Mission runs a nightly shelter for men and offers the New Life Program to men struggling with addiction.
“We try to provide hope and an opportunity to people seeking to end their homeless situation. This includes assistance with securing an income and housing,” said Geoff Bennett, vice president of shelter services for Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Denver.
“More than anything else, we want to help people who are experiencing homelessness get off the street and become productive self-sufficient citizens,” said Brad Meuli, President/CEO of Denver Rescue Mission. “These encampments that are currently being created outside our walls on the streets of our city are significant health risks and create an unsafe situation for those who want help.”
The City of Denver is providing advanced warning that its Department of Public Works will increase enforcement of rules related to encampments near Denver Rescue Mission and Samaritan House in Denver. They will begin to remove items left on public sidewalks or other public property to ensure public safety, beginning March 8.
Our shelters and city outreach workers have continued to reach out to those camping on the streets. Denver Rescue Mission serves up to 640 men at the Lawrence Street Shelter and Emergency Overflow Shelter. The Samaritan House, its onsite Women’s Overflow Shelter (Holy Rosary) and its offsite Women’s Overflow Shelter serve up to 450 people each night.
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 www.ccdenver.org.
About Denver Rescue Mission
Since 1892, Denver Rescue Mission has been meeting the needs of the poor and homeless through emergency services, rehabilitation, transitional programs, permanent housing assistance, and community outreach. For more information visit, www.denverrescuemission.org.
Cheryl Talley, Director, Communications and Marketing
Catholic Charities of Denver