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Inspiration takes shape inside women’s shelter

Local artist’s affirming artwork will lift and empower women

A local Denver artist transformed the entryway of the women’s dorms inside Samaritan House shelter by painting welcoming and colorful murals, designed to inspire hope for women experiencing homelessness.

The women’s dorms inside Samaritan House, a ministry operated by Catholic Charities of Denver that’s the largest provider of shelter for women in Colorado, underwent renovations to modernize and update the aging space to serve more single women experiencing homelessness.

Staff asked artists to help by fill the living spaces with beautiful art to remind participants of their worth, said Brianna Carlson, client services program manager at Samaritan House.

“So many of these women are beaten down and have no confidence. When women are on the streets, they are more prone to all kinds of abuses–trafficking, domestic violence, mental health and substance abuse,” Carlson said. “We want them to learn to love themselves and know that they are worthy. We want to make them feel and know that Samaritan House really cares.”

Denver based artist Nicole Kappatos said she was honored for the opportunity to serve her community and create art that helps others. It took two days for her to paint the colorful murals featuring a window with houseplants and positive affirmations on a blank wall surrounding the central living area and gathering space inside the dorms.

“I hope the mural will serve not only as a joyful decoration to the space, but also as a daily reminder to feel worthy and positive, and also to find brightness even when you feel like you are in the darkest of places,” Kappatos said. “I wanted to bring positivity, calmness and bright colors into the space where women will spend a lot of time.”

Samaritan House has focused and expanded its shelter program to offer refuge to women, one of the most vulnerable populations. The updates to the women’s dorm are part of an ongoing multimillion dollar renovation project to improve the 33-year-old building.

Samaritan House was the first shelter in America built specifically to meet the needs of men, women and families experiencing homelessness. It is founded on the firm belief that every person has dignity and value and deserves safe shelter.

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Catholic Charities of Denver is a 501(c)(3) Organization
EIN: 84-0686679

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