Denver To Buy Building To Replace Overflow Homeless Shelter

Denver plans to spend $4 million on a building to replace an overflow homeless shelter the city has been leasing.

The new site is closer to the city’s main shelter, the Denver Rescue Mission downtown. It’s a warehouse now being used by a cabinet maker.

Julie Smith, spokeswoman for Denver Human Services, says besides being closer to downtown, the city-owned building will be an upgrade from the current overflow shelter where people sleep on the floor.

"We want to really bring a level of dignity for anyone who’s accessing shelter in the city," Smith said. "Sleeping on a mat on the ground is not ideal. So we want to look at a modern take on how we would look at a shelter."

Smith says Denver’s current overflow shelter takes in about 500 people on a typical night. She said there has not been much opposition from residents near the new shelter site.

"We actually went out and talked door-to-door with neighbors about what we were hoping to do and tried to understand any concerns they might have and what we could do to help address those," Smith said.

The purchase of the new site needs final approval by the City Council.