DENVER — Denver City Council on Monday night approved a lease agreement for a new shelter to house people experiencing homelessness.
The shelter, located at 4600 E. 48th Ave. near Interstate 70 and Colorado Boulevard, is part of the city's ongoing efforts resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency, the city said in a news release.
“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 350-450 individuals, with flexible space to serve multiple needs and various gender groups and couples across the spectrum, the city said.
The city hopes to have the shelter open by the end of the year after facility improvements, including new restrooms and showers, HVAC, laundry facilities and code requirements.
The city said the new shelter aligns with Denver’s Three-Year Shelter Plan of providing 24/7 access with services and a focus on rehousing guests.
“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.”
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 the city for sheltering and COVID response, the city said.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Local stories from 9NEWS