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City Council Approves New Shelter for Persons Experiencing Homelessness

Denver City Council tonight approved a lease agreement that enables the city to open a new 24/7 shelter at 4600 E. 48th Ave. for persons experiencing homelessness. The shelter is being added as part of Denver’s ongoing efforts resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“The pandemic impacted our sheltering system significantly, and it has been one of our highest priorities during our response to mitigate that impact and ensure people continued to have a safe indoor space to go to,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “The around-the-clock sheltering to be offered at this new location and other existing shelters provides a home base for individuals during this continuing public health emergency where they can stay healthy and safe.”

The 82,000-square-foot facility will shelter approximately 350-450 individuals, with flexible space to serve multiple needs and various gender groups and couples across the spectrum. A number of necessary facility improvements, including new restrooms/showers, HVAC, laundry facilities, and code requirements, will be underway beginning in September with a goal of opening the facility as soon as feasible, currently estimated to be late December.

Plans call for the emergency shelter to be complemented with services to support public health and safety measures, including a navigation center and connections to rehousing system. Shelter operations will be administered by shelter provider(s) to be selected by Denver’s Department of Housing Stability through a procurement process.

The new shelter aligns with Denver’s Three-Year Shelter Plan of providing 24/7 access with services and a focus on rehousing guests. 24/7 sheltering was recently accelerated in response to COVID-19 to enhance health and safety response measures.

“We have seen many benefits to deploying 24/7 sheltering this year, including lower levels of anxiety among guests who can count on an assigned bed that remains the same night after night,” said Britta Fisher, executive director of Denver’s Department of Housing Stability. “Guests are resting better, with increased sense of safety and security, leading to improved relationship building with partners, volunteers and service providers.”

Denver City Council approved a lease agreement contract for a maximum amount of $19,840,480, which includes up to $10 million for tenant improvements. Funding sources include Coronavirus Relief Funds authorized under the CARES Act, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) under CARES Act, and private/philanthropic support provided to city for sheltering and COVID response.