Local artist to create inspirational mural in new women’s shelter

Bright and calm artwork with positive affirmations hoped to help women at Samaritan House shelter

Denver, CO—A local artist will create an inspirational mural this Saturday inside the newly renovated women’s dorms at Samaritan House shelter in Denver to inspire hope and positivity for women facing the struggles of homelessness.

“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,” said the Denver-based artist Nicole Kappatos. “I wanted to bring positivity, calmness and bright colors into the space where the women will spend a lot of time.”

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 and enable space to serve more single women experiencing homelessness. The new space is expected to open to women participants next week.

Samaritan House, at 2301 Lawrence St., 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.

Staff are asking other artists to help fill the shelter with beautiful art to remind participants of their worth, said Brianna Carlson, client services program manager at Samaritan House.

“We want them to learn to love themselves and know that they are worthy,” Carlson said. “We want to make them feel and know that Samaritan House really cares. So many of these women are beat 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. What we want to do is really meet the women where they’re at.”

Kappatos said she plans to paint a scene featuring a window with houseplants and positive affirmations on a blank wall surrounding the central living area and gathering space inside the dorms.

“For this reason, I want to bring positivity, calmness and bright colors into the space where the women will spend a lot of time,” she said. “I am honored and thrilled for this opportunity … Creating art to help and serve my community has always been a constant in my life.”

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.