Record numbers at the shelter. There are currently hundreds of people on parole in Denver who are homeless. I wonder how many were dropped off on Smith Road yesterday with no where to go and no idea how to get to a shelter.
Denver opened up a temporary homeless shelter Thursday because of the extreme cold that packed existing shelters the past two nights.
The temporary shelter in the old Denver Wastewater building on Third Avenue was opened to up to 50 men, who were screened and transported by the Denver Rescue Mission.
"We're going to keep it open through Sunday because we have another cold front coming," said Debbie Ortega, executive director of the city's Commission to End Homelessness.
"We'll continue to closely monitor the capacity to ensure that (the homeless) are getting services."
The decision to open the temporary shelter came one day after the Denver Rescue Mission housed a record number of men - 386 - at its Lawrence Street shelter Wednesday night, when temperatures dropped to 2 below zero and the high reached only 21 degrees.
The Denver Rescue Mission late Thursday night had 340 men at its Lawrence Street shelter and transported an additional 40 to the temporary shelter.
Workers said they were expecting more people to show up later in the night.
"(Wednesday) we had the largest number ever," said Greta Walker, spokeswoman for the Denver Rescue Mission, adding that the shelter usually has the capacity to house 300 men.
"Our goal is to save lives, so we didn't want to turn people way," she said. "In minus-degree weather, it's too brutal to stay outside in the weather. But it also shows that there is lack of shelter beds in the area, too."
Rocky Mountain News