Denver, CO

Denver plans to place 200 homeless people at motel

David Heitz

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By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) The Denver City Council likely will vote Monday to spend $2.75 million to house 200 people in the Rodeway Inn motel.

That comes to $13,750 per person. The contract will run through the end of 2022 if approved.

The contract gives the Salvation Army a special license to manage and use the property at 4765 Federal Blvd. The Gathering Place, a shelter for women, children, and transgender people experiencing homelessness, will partner with the Salvation Army on the project.

"Guest Services will be available 24 hours, seven days a week," according to a staff report provided to the council. "Three to four guest services staff will be scheduled per shift to provide hospitality support, facilitate on-site food service, enforce program expectations, conduct room checks and ensure a safe environment."

A home for the marginalized

Guests will include people from marginalized populations such as LGBTQ and special needs. "The Salvation Army will use a trauma-informed and client-centered approaches to engage vulnerable populations," according to the staff report. "Currently, the Salvation Army, with support from The Gathering Place, is developing programming to align with best practices for serving underserved populations including but not limited to LGBTQIA."

Staff will communicate with people who speak limited English in the language of their choice. The Salvation Army will provide resources to guests who need help with daily living activities, including providing access to laundry, three meals per day, storage, security, pest control and janitorial services. Pets with vaccinations will be allowed.

The Denver Housing Authority owns the former hotel, scheduled for redevelopment.

The city began using the site as part of its COVID-19 emergency response. Women, transgender people, and non-binary people stay there. The Gathering Place already provided services at the hotel, which was managed by Catholic Charities previously.

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I have been in the news business more than 30 years, spending much of my career at some of the best local newspapers in the country. Today, I report on Denver City Hall, homelessness and other topics for NewsBreak, much like I did in my twenties covering Newport Beach, Calif. for the Daily Pilot. I consider myself a lucky guy to still be doing what I love after so many years.

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