Denver, CO

Crossroads employee: Homeless shelter in Denver is unsafe

David Heitz
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Salvation Army Crossroads homeless shelter.Photo byGoogle Street View

An employee of Salvation Army Crossroads shelter for people experiencing homelessness told Mayor Mike Johnston on Tuesday that the shelter is unsafe and he’s not excited about the organization winning contracts to operate the city’s homeless hotels.

A man who identified himself only as Logan made his remarks at a town hall meeting as part of Johnston’s House1000 plan. He said he is a manager at the shelter. He said the employees all are dedicated to the mission, but there aren’t enough of them. He said the employee-client ratio at the shelter is about 100 to one.

He said he works 60 hours per week at the shelter. He also said he cannot kick somebody out for using fentanyl on a first offense. Logan went on to explain that even though the Salvation Army is contracted to provide three meals per day, they only provide two.

'I've had seven people knocked out in a fight'

“I go above and beyond and so does all of my staff,” he said, explaining that they don’t have security or access to security cameras at the shelter. He said it usually takes about 10 minutes for police to respond to calls. “I’ve had seven people knocked out in a fight” by the time police show up, he said. “We can do better.”

Salvation Army USA did not immediately respond to an email sent to the general mailbox Tuesday night. This story will be updated when and if the author hears back from The Salvation Army.

Council member Shontel Lewis represents the district where the meeting was held, at Martin Luther King Jr. Park recreation center. Lewis told Logan she has looked at contracts with homeless services providers with a discerning eye “from day one.” Indeed, Lewis has demanded data and accountability regarding the contracts. She also said she has listened steadfastly to complaints about the Salvation Army.

On Monday, the city awarded the Salvation Army a $10.1 million contract to manage the former DoubleTree Hotel in Park Hill for people experiencing homelessness. The Salvation Army also operates the city-owned Best Western Park Hill for people experiencing homelessness.


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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 NewsBreakDave@gmail.com

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