Pizza joint staffed by homeless to close

Photo: Pizza Fusion Denver
Pizza Fusion is closing after four years helping the homeless transition to jobs.

A good cause and good pizza apparently aren't enough to keep the doors open at Pizza Fusion on Colfax Avenue in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The restaurant, staffed by the recently homeless, will close Aug. 28.

"The Pizza Fusion business was not sufficient enough to support the needs of our job training program," Annetta Crecelius, communications manager for Colorado Coalition for the Homeless said in an email. "As we move forward, we are evaluating ways to improve the valuable job training opportunities we provide for our clients."

Crecelius said since opening four years ago, 108 homeless individuals in the training program served 93,842 pizzas. Eighty-one of those workers moved on to other jobs.

The restaurant received good reviews with 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp from 126 reviewers.

One reviewer wrote: "One of the best pizza places in Denver and has a great cause/story behind the brand."

One of the first employees at Pizza Fusion was Alfreda Anderson. She'd been out of work before she landed a job as a server.

“My level of dignity went up,’’ she told Colorado Matters in 2011. “I just feel I’m more happy in my life. I’m actually paying some of the bills I fell behind on.”