Samaritan House Three-Year Renovation Plan
Catholic Charities is seeking $6 million through 2021 for renovations, staged in 2019, 2020, 2021
1ST FLOOR SHELTER
Update women’s emergency shelter, men’s and women’s dorms
2ND FLOOR SERVICES
Expand dining and offices, update patio, rec room, chapel and veteran’s facilities.
Originally founded in 1986 by Msgr. Charles B. Woodrich—also known as Father Woody—and Archbishop James Casey, the shelter made headlines as the first in America to be designed and built specifically for the homeless. In a story published November 1984 in the Denver Post, Father Woody said, “Our Samaritan Shelter has a different bottom line—one that stresses a caring, human dimension to restore the personal dignity of those who’ve been denied a sense of self-worth.”
A HAND UP
A HAND UP It’s not just a place to sleep. We provide a temporary home, a place for new beginnings. Samaritan House provides a longer-term program to help our residents regain independence. Each of our residents is matched with a case manager who helps them navigate our 120-day Residential Program. The goal of the improvements is to meet the increased needs of the population we serve. Samaritan House serves 300 individuals every night including men, women, veterans and children. We help them on their path to becoming stable and productive members of our community. Samaritan House supports the Women’s Emergency Shelter serving up to 225 women each night at Samaritan House and at our Smith Road location.
The Need for Phase 2 updates and changes (First Floor):
• The bathroom facilities to better serve those experiencing homelessness with dignity and respect including showers, bathroom stalls, ceilings and flooring
• The perimeter security fence and professional landscaping
• Showers, bathroom stalls, ceilings and flooring in the transitional men’s and women’s bathrooms
• The building’s heating and HVAC systems which are inefficient and unreliable
• The lighting systems that are dated an inefficient. LED technology is needed to lower energy costs and improve lighting to brighten the space
• Worn and stained ceiling tiles, old paint, dated and damaged flooring
Below are photos of Samaritan House before construction. Click on a photo to view larger.
Samaritan House offers a 120-day extended stay program in which single men and single women experiencing homelessness receive support for their basic needs as well as set and make progress on holistic goals. These goals take place in individualized case management meetings and span categories such as income acquisition, mental and physical health, self-care, and finding stable housing. During the program, participants attend a range of life skills classes such as money management, housing resources, and seeking employment. Participants make use of on-site services which include resources for counseling, apply for SSI/SSDI, and support for acquiring full-time employment. The goal is to support our participants, work to meet their needs, and provide tools for them to obtain stable, sustainable housing.
Renovations of the men’s and women’s dorms are part of a three-year project that will make significant capital improvements as Catholic Charities continues its mission of serving those in the greatest need. It includes major modifications and upgrades to the entire Samaritan House facility. The family floor or third floor renovation, completed in November 2019, expanded the number of rooms by four for a total of 25 rooms or a 16 percent increase in the number of families that Samaritan House serves at one time. The renovations to the first floor of Samaritan House begin April 2020 and will continue through the end of 2020. Improvements to the 33-year-old facility include ensuring a safe and dignified place for those we serve. Construction crews will upgrade utilities and HVAC systems, as well as update bathrooms, lockers, lighting, and ceiling tiles. Fresh paint and new flooring are also part of the scope of work included in the construction plans.
During construction, the Family Services Program, Veterans’ Program and the Women’s Emergency Shelter will continue to be operational. Since Samaritan House is a 120-day transitional program, acceptance of new participants was suspended in mid-January to reduce capacity heading into April’s construction time frame. Case managers will be working with our single men and women in the 120-day extended program to help find alternate housing options. These options include but are not limited to permanent housing, transitional housing, other supportive programming and other transitional or emergency shelters. We are working closely with our community partners to best transition our participants.
The Samaritan House facility has been serving those in need – men, women, and children – in Denver for 33 years. The renovations, the first full-scale construction project of the aging building that continues to provide a home for the disadvantaged for more than three decades, are designed to continue to expand Catholic Charities’ mission to provide a dignified and supportive environment for families and individuals to regain hope, grow in self-sufficiency, and reintegrate into the community. Renovations will increase efficiencies, upgrade the facilities, and create a better experience for all participants in the program. The capital campaign for total renovations is projected to cost $6 million.
Samaritan House opens arms to veteran in need
“I’ll tell you one thing—the Samaritan House received me with open arms. I don’t know what they saw in me. All the personnel had a smile on their face and wanted to help. I came to their veteran’s program to get out of homelessness. What I have now is because of them.
“At 17, I entered the U.S. Army then later joined the National Guard. I served in places like Germany and Italy. I got injured twice. Once I fell off a tanker and injured my hip; another time I fell and had a head injury. I left to work for a railroad company—started out with a sledgehammer in my hand and worked my way to foreman. I had a good life. I had a wonderful family—a wife and two kids. I got reinjured on the job and they offered me $150,000. Unfortunately, with that money came friends … and drugs. I had to leave my wife and family. I didn’t want her to go down with me.
Renovation plans to include improvements to VA's official program at the Denver shelter
“For 20 some years, I was homeless. I’ve drifted through some 40 states in this country. I used cocaine, crack then meth. I was hooked on heroine. I just got locked into drugs. What made me stop was my three beautiful granddaughters. They saw me panhandling one day on the streets in Texas, where I’m from. I was so ashamed and one day I just said, ‘This is it. I got to go.’ I bought a bus ticket and came to Denver with $200. I love Denver—it’s one of the special places in my heart.
“God has been so good. I was in a homeless shelter and someone told me I was in the wrong place. There’s better help at Samaritan House. If you’re willing to do your part, they’ll help you. I was there for 9 months. They helped me find housing and with the VA helped me find my beautiful apartment. I’m now clean and managing my depression. I want to go back to Samaritan House to volunteer. I give my gratitude to them.”
MANY MINISTRIES, ONE PURPOSE
TO SERVE ALL PEOPLE
PARTNERING WITH YOU TO SERVE THOSE IN NEED