Thousands joined for a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and all things green, including the Samaritan House shelter, which proudly walked in the parade held in downtown Denver.
“Being a part of the parade was an incredible honor for us as we are a part of the downtown community,” said Mike Malloy, executive director of Samaritan House.
This year, The Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal Jim Lyons selected Samaritan House as its featured charity. Samaritan House, one of Catholic Charities of Denver’s full time shelters established in 1986, will receive a donation from the parade to help further its charitable work to those in need.
“Samaritan House truly does the work of the Lord in sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry and helping our fellow Denverites get the support and dignity they need and deserve,” Lyons said. “In so doing, you also keep alive the immortal spirit of Fr. Woody (Msgr. Charles B. Woodrich), a longtime friend and Denver community icon. Thank you for all you do every day, including St. Patrick’s Day.”
During the parade on March 11, representatives of Samaritan House carried a banner and waved to crowds. Samaritan House also staffed a booth along the parade route and handed information to the crowd about its services to individuals and families struggling with homelessness.
“It was so refreshing to be honored in this way by the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and have an opportunity to spread positive information about our population and our program,” Malloy said. “Sometimes working with people experiencing homelessness in the downtown area can be challenging. Things like the recent homeless encampment issues that we experienced in late 2016 and early 2017 can create stigmas around our population.”
Samaritan House was one of more than 200 featured parade participants that made their way from 19th and Wynkoop to 27th and Blake streets. Parade goers saw marching bands, elaborate floats, costumed characters and marchers amid a sea of green.
The parade was held March 11. St. Patrick’s Day is officially celebrated on March 17.