Denver, CO

Homeless cold weather shelter contract in Denver goes to Bayaud

David Heitz
The ballroom of this former Best Western Hotel owned by the city serves as a cold weather shelter.Photo byGoogle Street View

The Safety, Housing, Education and Homelessness Committee of the Denver City Council awarded Bayaud Enterprises Wednesday a one million dollar contract to stand up cold weather shelters for people experiencing homelessness. The full City Council also must approve the contract.

The money will fund the contract through December 2024. “Bayaud Enterprises, Inc. will provide staffing and shelter operations support at temporary emergency shelters activated due to inclement weather or as part of a citywide shelter response,” according to a memo from city staff to the committee. “Responsibilities and services provided by Bayaud include, but are not limited to, serving food, bed checks, laundry services, limited unarmed security, securing doors, bag and tag of personal items left by guests, cleaning of common areas, guest check in, and other tasks essential to running shelter sites.”

Bayaud also will be responsible for biohazard cleanup when needed. “Temporary staffing provided by Bayaud is dependent on individual sites and the scale of response, but the teams may include project managers, shelter leads, certified fire watch staff (and) shelter operations staff… Reporting consists of documenting the frequency, date of crisis response, and support services provided at shelter sites.”

Denver activates its cold weather shelters when the temperature dips to 20 degrees or less. The City Council is considering changing the threshold to 32 degrees.

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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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