Construction Underway on New Five-Story Family Shelter

Published on December 19, 2023

$17.7 million city investment, utilizing bond proceeds and federal funds, makes reconstruction of the VOA Colorado family shelter possible

City officials joined VOA Colorado today to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new five-story shelter serving families and veterans experiencing homelessness. The VOA Colorado Theodora Family Hotel non-congregate shelter at 4855 W. Colfax Ave. is replacing a longstanding VOA shelter at the site and will provide expanded capacity and services to help meet the growing community need.

“The Theodora is dedicated to solving the most urgent problem of family homelessness,” said Mayor Mike Johnston. “Today we are delighted to know that when this project comes to fruition, there will be 60 more families who will now have that special place that is safe, stable and warm.”

The $28 million reconstruction project was awarded $17.7 million in Denver financing, including $13,235,433 in RISE Denver General Obligation Bonds and $4,500,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding.

The new facility is replacing the VOA Colorado Family Motel and will allow the nonprofit to serve families in greater numbers, in better facilities with increased services. Set to be completed in early 2025, the shelter will have capacity for 60 families, plus underground parking. 

Featuring a trauma-informed design, the facility will include 60 individual family suites with a separate living area, kitchenette, bathroom, and sleeping area with freestanding beds and built-in bunk beds. Community gathering space and other amenities on the ground level allow for expanded services and classes. Families will be able to access assistance with basic needs, crisis intervention, case management, and group and individual education.

“For 23 years, the City of Denver and VOA Colorado have worked together to impact the lives of families and veterans at the Family Motel,” said Dave Schunk, president and CEO of VOA Colorado. “This partnership has inspired change through our shared vision to transform lives, to end the cycle of homelessness and food insecurity, and to offer hope to those in need. This legacy continues in the Theodora Family Hotel and we are thrilled to continue to work together to impact so many people in our community in need.”

VOA Colorado is continuing to provide uninterrupted family sheltering throughout the construction process. The nonprofit is leasing two motels on East Colfax from the FAX Partnership, and all family guests from the VOA Colorado Family Motel have moved to these other locations.

The redevelopment site includes two parcels on the east and west sides of Xavier St. at W. Colfax Ave. The new Theodora Family Hotel is being constructed on the east side parcel, and VOA Colorado is retaining the west parcel for other future community development such as affordable housing or shelter.

The Family Motel, now the VOA Colorado Theodora Family Hotel, works in partnership with the Department of Housing Stability to provide shelter for families experiencing homelessness in a motel atmosphere that is connected to wrap-around services. The VOA Colorado Family Motel served 298 households and 586 individuals through family and respite sheltering from October 2022 to September 2023.