DENVER — A new Safe Outdoor Space (SOS), which is managed site that provides temporary housing, is coming to northeast Denver in mid-December and will be open for just about a year, according to the Colorado Village Collaborative (CVC).
The site is set to open on Dec. 14 at the East Office of Denver County Department of Human Services (DHS).
> Above video: Safe outdoor space opens in October at Denver Health.
“This site will mark the first time city property is being used for Safe Outdoor Space,” said Britta Fisher, executive director of Denver’s Department of Housing Stability. “We are glad to help support Colorado Village Collaborative and help grow this model that has provided residents another path from our streets to stability in Denver.”
It will remain at the site located at 3815 Steele St., through Nov. 30, 2022 and will replace the site at Park Hill United Methodist Church that’s been open since June after a judge dismissed a lawsuit by residents challenging the site. It is scheduled to close on Dec. 31.
Many of the 40 residents at the Park Hill SOS will relocate to the DHS location, but the site also has the capacity to accept additional residents.
The 15,000-square-foot SOS at DHS East will offer 24-hour, staffed, and secure shelter for up to 50 people, who are screened and selected by local service agencies. The facility, which will operate for one year, will offer residents shelter, cots, food, supportive services, and assistance for finding permanent housing.
"Today is a day to celebrate forward progress for the health, dignity and belonging of our unhoused neighbors,” said CVC Executive Director Cole Chandler. “We're grateful to the City and County of Denver for partnering with us to expand critical services for our unsheltered neighbors ahead of another Colorado winter.”
For area residents interested in learning more about the newest SOS, CVC and DHS will co-host an online community meeting 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 17.
The newest SOS location is in Denver Councilmember Candi CdeBaca’s District 9, which includes the Union Station and Five Points areas and Globeville and Swansea neighborhoods.
"Our district initiated the discussion around Safe Outdoor Spaces within Denver, and I was an early supporter and advocate for them,” CdeBaca said. “There have now been four sites successfully implemented, with a fifth on the way at the Denver Health campus. I'm thrilled that we'll be bringing the first public-owned SOS site to District 9, and we look forward to serving our constituents who need this option here."
In addition to the Park Hill site, CVC manages an SOS at Regis University and is opening a new location at Denver Health next week. The University recently extended its lease agreement on its Northwest Denver campus through March 2022.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has proposed $190 million toward housing and homelessness in his 2022 budget, with $43 million coming from federal COVID-19 relief funds. Since its founding in 2017, CVC has launched four transformational housing projects, including two tiny home villages and two Safe Outdoor Spaces.
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