Denver, CO

Denver considers $33.5 million in homeless services investments

David Heitz
The Park Hill Best Western Hotel may be purchased by the Denver Housing Authority.Photo byGoogle Street View

The Denver City Council will consider buying the Park Hill Best Western Hotel Monday for $26 million to house people experiencing homelessness .

The council also will consider another $7.5 million in contracts for services to support people experiencing homelessness.

The hotel is located at 4595 Quebec St., not far from a Colorado Coalition for the Homeless converted hotel at 3737 Quebec, Fusion Studios. The 194-unit Best Western initially will be used as non-congregate shelter but later would be converted to permanent supportive housing “to be rented at affordable prices,” according to a memo from city staff to council.

Denver's homeless emergency operations center announced Thursday the city plans to sweep an encampment next week near the Governor's Mansion in Capitol Hill. Officials said displaced campers would be offered housing in a hotel, but they would not release where the hotel is located.

Best Western details

For three years, the Salvation Army will provide shelter and supportive services at the hotel, according to a presentation to a council committee. After that, it will be converted to permanent housing.

“The non-congregate shelter that will be provided will immediately offer space for Denver residents experiencing homelessness as part of the city’s encampment resolution strategy,” according to the presentation. “Most of the units already have kitchenettes, making the space ideal for conversion to supportive housing. There are also communal kitchen and conference spaces.”
A kitchen in a unit at Best Western Hotel in Park Hill.Photo byCity and County of Denver

Buying hotels part of city strategy

Buying hotels is part of the city’s Department of Housing Stability’s approach to ending homelessness. “HOST’s five-year strategic plan, approved by City Council, identifies the strategic acquisition of hotels and/or commercial properties for conversion/redevelopment into affordable housing and supportive housing as a critical tool to provide housing stability, resolve episodes of homelessness, and create and preserve affordable housing,” according to the presentation.

The city will use American Rescue Plan Act money for a bridge loan. “The property will be purchased for $25.95 million using approximately $10 million from the 2018 Denver Housing Authority Delivers for Denver (D3) bond,” according to the presentation. The ARPA funds will make up the difference.

Even if the council approves the loan Monday, the council still will have to vote on the deal a second time for it to become official.

Other homeless investments

Also Monday, the council will consider:

· A $6.4 million contract to be provided to Colorado Coalition for the Homeless through Dec. 31, 2026, to provide outreach to encampments and connect people to housing. Monday is the first reading of the ordinance. If approved, the council must sign off on it a second time, too.

· A $320,346 contract to the Salvation Army to operate the Connection Center through Dec. 31, 2024.

· A $255,442 contract with Denver Rescue Mission, through Dec. 31, 2024, to provide shelter to homeless families. “These funds will be used to support six literally homeless families in shelter, using trauma informed care, harm reduction and housing first strategies, to assist these households with obtaining long term and permanent housing,” according to a memo from city staff to the City Council.

· Two contracts, one for $225,616 and another for $140,291, both through Dec. 31, 2024, with Family Promise of Greater Denver to provide shelter and services to families experiencing homelessness. Services include family mediation, reunification, relocation, transportation assistance, employment support and childcare.

· A $140,000 contract to Volunteers of America for supporting people experiencing homelessness who have universal housing vouchers to find housing.

A $360,140 contract through Dec. 31, 2024, to Urban Peak to provide rapid re-housing and support to youths ages 18 to 24 earning at or below 30% of the city’s average median income, or $26,070.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at community newspapers in Southern California and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am proof that people can rebound from even severe mental illness with proper treatment. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living in the Mile High City. You can email me news releases and story ideas at

Denver, CO

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