Photos and story by Giles Clasen
The Denver Public Library Central branch opens at 10 a.m. each week day. More than two dozen individuals, many living on the streets or in shelters, wait by the door. Public libraries are safe, free environments that serve as de facto drop in centers for homeless individuals. Denver Public Library hired their first social worker in 2015 to address the growing need. Since then, the team has grown to include four Peer Navigators and five social workers. In 2017, the team served 3,501 individuals and expects to serve an additional 1,500 customers in the next year as their star continues to grow.