Editor’s Note: The headline in this story was updated to reflect that Denver Rescue Mission operates the shelter.
DENVER (KDVR) — Three years after finalizing a lease for an 82,000-square-foot shelter in Northeast Park Hill, the city has finalized a purchase agreement for the same property.
The facility, originally acquired through a 10-year lease, was opened as a men’s shelter in 2021 by the Denver Rescue Mission. The facility can serve up to 515 people and provides 24/7 shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness.
According to the city, the shelter at 4600 E. 48th Ave. was purchased for over $7.5 million using RISE Denver General Obligation Bond funds.
“Our shelters continue to provide a critical service to unhoused neighbors who are trying to get to the first step of stability,” Denver Mayor Mike Johnston said in an announcement for the 48th Avenue shelter. “Thanks to funds that Denver voters approved in 2021, we are proud to acquire this long-term shelter site that we can use in collaboration with our partners to ensure no one is left outside in Denver’s winter cold.”
Previously, the city approved the use of $13.2 million from that fund for a five-story family shelter on Oct. 23. That shelter, called the Volunteers of America Colorado Theodora Family Hotel, will be a non-congregate shelter at 4855 W. Colfax Ave. with capacity for 60 families.
Services at Denver’s 48th Avenue shelter
The 48th Avenue shelter currently offers case management, rehousing assistance, three daily meals, USB charging, storage at bed locations and laundry facilities for guests.
The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless also will provide mental and physical health care on-site, for guests of both 4600 E. 48th Ave. and the nearby women’s shelter at 4330 E. 48th Ave.
Johnston has been working to address housing stability in Denver with his House1000 initiative. The initiative has been cited in city efforts to close and sweep homeless encampments, as well as to bring individuals and families off the streets as cold weather moves into the state.
This included an encampment in the Ballpark neighborhood, which the city announced was closed on Nov. 7, resulting in 61 residents moved indoors to shelters.
The city’s House1000 dashboards show a long way to go if Johnston is to reach his goal of 1,000 individuals housed by the end of 2023. Currently, the city’s dashboard shows 272 individuals have been connected with permanent housing or shelters.
However, the city also says in its dashboard that there are almost 1,400 housing units in the pipeline for the initiative.