DENVER — A dedication ceremony was held Thursday on the campus of Regis University for Denver's newest Safe Outdoor Space.
The space, located in a parking lot at the northwest Denver campus, opened on June 1 and is meant to provide a safe place and temporary shelter for people experiencing homelessness.
Regis' Director of Community Relations Jenna Farley, Regis President Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, Denver Deputy Mayor Murphy Robinson and Colorado Village Collaborative Executive Director Cole Chandler were among the speakers at Thursday's dedication.
The Regis site offers secured shelter for up to 60 people who are screened and selected by service agencies. Since opening last week, 35 people have moved into the new space.
The 19,000-square-foot facility offers residents shelter, beds, food, wellness checks and assistance for finding permanent housing.
“This is the next step in the progression to temporary manage campsites in Denver,” Deputy Mayor Robinson said. “Throughout the pandemic, innovation and collaboration have been key for providing safe spaces for our unhoused neighbors. I commend Regis University for welcoming a temporary managed campsite for people experiencing homelessness.”
The space has staff working 24/7 and is equipped with on-site services like Wi-Fi, power, showers, laundry and medical services.
While the new space at Regis opened nearly two weeks ago, two other sites in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood were shut down. The sites at Denver Community Church on Pearl Street and First Baptist Church of Denver off Grant Street closed because each space has a six-month lease that expires Tuesday.
Regis University previously told 9NEWS that only two safe outdoor sites can be open at a time. Non-profit Colorado Village Collaborative runs the sites.
Another site is also scheduled to open soon in the parking lot of Park Hill United Methodist Church.
A group of neighbors, who were concerned about safety and logistics, sued to try and stop the campsite from going up in Park Hill. A judge dismissed the lawsuit a few weeks ago.
Denver's Safe Outdoor Spaces began in 2020 as a new answer to providing shelter and access to services for people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.
The new site at Regis University, along with the one that will open up in Park Hill, will operate on six-month leases.
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