Denver, CO

Denver lets homeless stay at Aloft hotel through December

David Heitz
Rob Squire/UpDoNA

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) After Denver approved a $2.4 million contract, homeless people living at the Aloft hotel downtown can stay there until the end of the year.

The contract pays Aloft, 800 15th St., to provide 140 rooms for $95 per night through Dec. 31 for a cost of $2.4 million.

The hotel houses people experiencing homelessness who are at increased risk of contracting COVID, such as the elderly and disabled. Denver has used the hotel as a homeless shelter since 2020.

Since then, the city has spent more than $13 million with Aloft. The council approved a second contract with Aloft Monday to provide three meals per day to guests through the end of the year. That will cost $644,000.

Committee approves cleaning contract

The Housing, Safety, Education and Homelessness Committee approved a contract last week with Roth Property Maintenance LLC for $105,122 to clean, decontaminate, and sanitize the Aloft hotel after closing the homeless shelter.

When asked whether Aloft will continue to operate as a homeless shelter after Dec. 31, a city representative said public health directives remain in place for COVID. He said whether the hotel is needed will be assessed on an ongoing basis.

Several contracts at hotel

Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has a contract to provide health care services at the hotel. Salvation Army has a contract to manage the site. The city also approved a contract to provide security at the hotel.

The city uses FEMA dollars to pay for the rooms. Some council members have expressed concerns about how the rooms would be paid for once the FEMA money is gone.

Neighbors complain about litter, drugs

Members of the Upper Downtown Neighborhood Association say drug use and litter plague the area around the hotel. They asked city officials not to renew the contract with Aloft.

Others said the hotel's guests chase away business from the nearby convention center.

Despite heated debates about the hotel at city meetings, the vote on Monday came without fanfare. The council approved it in a block vote with other matters. Nobody at the meeting spoke about Aloft during public comment.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career at local newspapers. Today, I report on Denver and Aurora city halls for NewsBreak. Prior to joining NewsBreak, I worked several years as a health reporter and branded content writer in the healthcare space. I also worked many years as a news editor and city editor. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver.

Denver, CO

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