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Hospice provides end-of-life care for those who are experiencing homelessness

The director of Rocky Mountain Refuge says many of them would often pass away where they live - on the streets, under bridges and often alone.

DENVER — For those who experience homelessness, they often have nowhere safe and comfortable to turn to when they are terminally ill. The Rocky Mountain Refuge for End of Life Care in Denver is now giving them a comfortable, safe place to pass peacefully. 

The refuge is the first shelter of its kind in the Denver area and one of only a few nationwide. 

"They die on the streets. They die under a bridge. They are lucky they might be on a sofa somewhere," said Brother James Patrick Hall, Executive Director of the refuge. "Everyone that comes to us, when they come to us, someone has been with them. Either praying with them or holding their hand or being with them, and they are not alone." 

The hospice provides care that shelters are not designed for. Many shelters cannot provide around-the-clock care for those who are terminally sick or ill. Medicaid only offers five days of hospice care before their coverage expires. 

"When they get here and they have an opportunity to feel safe, to feel safe like they are okay and they don’t have to worry about what is going to happen to them and their stuff, they can relax and when they do, they can let go and peacefully pass," said Brother Hall. 

The refuge is currently located inside the Denver Rescue Mission building but they are two separate entities. They currently occupy two rooms there.


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