DENVER — Denver will soon open its newest safe outdoor space for people experiencing homelessness at Regis University's Northwest Denver campus.
Safe outdoor spaces are temporary, managed campsites approved by the city that were created last year to serve people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. Currently, there are two safe outdoor spaces at the Denver Community Church in North Capitol Hill and First Baptist Church of Denver.
Todd Cohen, the vice president of marketing and communications at Regis University said that the school partnered with Colorado Village Collaborative to bring the site to their campus.
Cohen said only two safe outdoor spaces are operated at a time, so the locations at Denver Community Church and First Baptist Church of Denver will be replaced by the new site at Regis University, along with a site that is also set to open in June at Park Hill United Methodist Church.
Each site is also set up to be in service for six months at a time.
This newest site at Regis University will open June 1 and will be able to host 60 people. It will be set up in a parking lot on campus and cover 19,000 square feet. The space will have staff working 24/7 and be equipped with on-site services like Wi-Fi, power, showers, laundry and medical services.
Cohen said providing this space aligns with the values of the University to help out others whenever they can.
“If not for this, these folks would be on the street, which is a very vulnerable place to be,” Cohen said. “So, by providing a safe, secure place for them to sleep and get services, they can transition and hopefully find permanent housing quite quickly.”
Cohen said prior to setting up the safe outdoor space on their campus, they toured the currently operating safe spaces in Capitol Hill in downtown Denver and were impressed by how well managed, safe and secure the site was.
“I think it's a very humane and respectful way to offer people some help when they most need it,” Cohen said. "A little charity and grace will go a long way."
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