Home / World News / Denver opens 3 shelters that aim to be more welcoming to the homeless – The Denver Post

Denver opens 3 shelters that aim to be more welcoming to the homeless – The Denver Post

With showers, sidewalk storage units and beds instead of floor mats, Denver has opened three new homeless shelters that try to provide a more welcoming option for those seeking to come in from the cold. It’s even taking steps to find shelter for pets that often can’t accompany their homeless owners.

The moves give the city and its partners more flexibility in providing temporary shelter to the needy while offering a few more options to those struggling without a home.

At 6:15 on a recent morning, Freddy Cameron sat on a lower bunk at the Holly Center for men waiting for a bus to take him from the shelter in northeast Denver to the Denver Rescue Mission’s Lawrence Street Community Center downtown. Behind Cameron, 54, was a cavernous room containing 228 beds, the gray-painted frames unscarred by use.

The surroundings are a far cry from The Salvation Army’s Crossroads shelter, where he slept on a mat before the Holly Center’s opening in November.

Homeless arrive at the Holly Center ...

John Leyba, The Denver Post

Homeless arrive at the Holly Center on a bus to spend the night after leaving downtown on Dec. 5, 2017 in Denver.

“This is a lot better. You’ve got beds,” Cameron said. “I like this shelter.”

The center is one of three facilities opened recently that have boosted the number of available shelter beds in Denver from 1,454 last year to about 1,800 today, said Julie Smith, spokeswoman for Denver Human Services.

More beds are available through church organizations and other partners that provide space on an as-needed basis. City-owned recreation centers can be pressed into service when needed.

The Holly Center is operated by the Denver Rescue Mission, one of the nonprofits that works with the City and County of Denver to provide shelter for those in need. The city has opened another new 40,000-square-foot facility near 48th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard that accommodates 300 men and replaces the Peoria Emergency Overflow Shelter.

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