New Housing and Services Centers Coming to Denver

By Danielle Krolewicz

Renaissance at Northern Colorado Station by Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH)

Set to open this fall is a new affordable housing apartment complex located on 1.63 acres near the RTD FasTracks station at 40th Ave. and Colorado Blvd. Easy access to transportation is just one of the benefits of Renaissance at North Colorado Station. Also offered are on-site and off-site services, which include access to health care through Stout Street Clinic, case management, air conditioning, a laundry room, a community courtyard, and a computer room. 

“Approximately 30 to 40 percent of apartment homes are reserved for chronically homeless individuals,” said Annetta Crecelius, communications manager at CCH. “The remaining are targeted to very low-income families within the community.”

The Coalition will provide supportive housing to help maintain and increase independence for 50 households in residence in 19 studio, 54 one-bedroom, 24 two-bedroom, and six three-bedroom apartments. “All of our integrated properties are designed to serve both formerly homeless and low-income families within the community,” said Crecelius. “Case management is provided for those individuals who are formerly homeless.” 

Location: 3999 Colorado Blvd.

Numbers: Residents of 103 units including 26 homeless veterans 

Opening: Fall 2015

 

Father Woody’s Haven of Hope

Father Woody’s day shelter is adding a second four-story building that will connect to its already existing three-story building for a combined 11,900 square feet. Currently, the organization provides breakfast and lunch daily, and offers other services including showers, laundry, computer and phone use, monthly pet clinic, massage therapist, acupuncturist, and representatives on-site from Stout Street Clinic, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Medicaid, and from the Department of Human Services to help with food stamps applications.

The new building will continue to provide the same services and hours and will allow Father Woody’s to expand their services to include GED classes, a dental and mental health clinic, employment readiness classes, legal services, NA and AA meetings, and a dietician and nurse on site. Not only will more services be offered, but the building, which will more than double the size of the existing site, will be able to host more people. 

“We will be able to serve hundreds more per day with this expansion,” said Ryan Browning, volunteer coordinator. “The date for opening is tentative, but we are shooting for sometime in Spring 2016.”

Location: 1101 W 7th Ave.

Numbers: Currently 180 people per day, after the expansion 300 +

Opening: Spring 2016 (tentative)

 

Denver Rescue Mission’s Lawrence St. Community Center

Construction began in January on the Lawrence St. Community Center, a day shelter for men and women next door to the Denver Rescue Mission’s men’s shelter. “This new facility provides a safe place for Denver’s homeless during the day and will help restore basic human dignity through the amenities provided,” said Alexxa Gagner, director of public relations for the Denver Rescue Mission.

Amenities in the building include an ADA accessible kitchen and adjoining dining room that can hold up to 200 people. A heated courtyard will allow people to congregate off the streets, and provide safety ensured by security cameras. Showers, bathrooms, and water fountains will also be available. Currently, 1,000 meals are served a day and 315 men are provided with shelter nightly in the older building. The new building will greatly increase this capacity. 

Location: 2222 Lawrence St. 

Numbers: Currently 1,000 meals daily and 315 men in shelter, will increase

Opening: Fall/Winter 2015 (anticipated)

 

Solutions Center (Denver’s Road Home + partners)

The Solutions Center that Denver’s Road Home plans to build in the Athmar Park neighborhood is still in the request for proposal stage. 

Referral-based services will include temporary housing for outpatients for up to 30 days and behavioral health services. The Solutions Center will also have up to 16 crisis stabilization beds. The site will serve as an alternative to detox and jail.

“The Solutions Center will be a referral-only resource for police, medics, behavioral health professionals, and other first-responders seeking support for individuals who are in crisis and might otherwise receive no help at all or be taken inappropriately to jail or a hospital emergency department,” said Julie Smith, director of communications and marketing for Denver Human Services.

Location: 405 S. Platte River Dr.

Number of people: 46

Opening: Early 2016 ■

 

 

Apartments at Cathedral Square

By Robert Lee Payne with additional reporting by Danielle Krolewicz and Sarah Harvey

 

St. John’s Cathedral is partnering with Saint Francis Center to create permanent supportive housing.

The cathedral has donated a portion of its parking lot at 14th Ave. and Clarkson St. to St. Francis Center to be turned into an apartment building for the chronically homeless. 

Plans call for a five-story building that will consist of 50 one-bedroom apartments. Each apartment will be approximately 500 square feet. In addition, there will be on-site case managers, laundry rooms, and a community space.

The majority of the money for the project—80 percent—will come from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program from the Colorado Housing Tax Credit Agency. Housing will be supported by project-based vouchers from Denver Housing Authority and Colorado Division of Housing. St. Francis Center will refer people for housing

St. John’s currently owns the parking lot in conjunction with Argonaut Wine & Liquor and is renting part of the lot to the retailer.  

The Robinson family, owner of Argonaut, was willing to redesign the parking lot to accommodate the new housing. The northern third of the parking will remain parking for the liquor store.

Service providers involved are not concerned with the housing projects proximity to Argonaut. “There are liquor stores close by to all housing,” said SFC executive director Tom Luehrs, “so we hope it will be no less a challenge for people than anywhere else.”

Construction is set to begin in January of 2016. The affordable supportive housing program, which will be modeled after Housing First, will be open to all. ■