The city first leased the building in September 2020, after COVID-19 shut down the economy and encampments spread across the city’s streets. The facility opened in 2021 and has been in use since.
The lease, as it was then written, included an option to buy the site. The purchase cost $7,548,000 of RISE Denver General Obligation bond money. The city announced Tuesday that the deal has been finalized.
Mayor Mike Johnston came into office arguing that to solve homelessness unsheltered people need housing. So far, his administration has been investing in temporary individual shelter options where people can wait until something full-time opens up.
The purchase of the shelter at 4600 E. 48th Ave. is one of the city’s most significant investments in the traditional group homeless shelter system since Johnston took office. The plans were in the works before he was elected.
In a statement, the city’s Department of Housing Stability talked up the perks people staying at the shelter receive: “case management, rehousing assistance, three daily meals, USB charging and storage at bed locations, and laundry facility for guests.”
Residents also have access to medical services from the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
“Our shelters continue to provide a critical service to unhoused neighbors who are trying to get to the first step of stability,” Johnston said in a statement. “Thanks to funds that Denver voters approved in 2021, we are proud to acquire this long-term shelter site that we can use in collaboration with our partners to ensure no one is left outside in Denver’s winter cold.”