Samaritan House braces for bitter cold snap

Denver shelter asks for Colorado Gives Day donations, warm clothing to give to homeless


Denver, CO—Catholic Charities’ Samaritan House shelter is preparing for the first severe cold weather of the season that is anticipated to create hardship on homeless and pack the shelters.

Samaritan House in downtown Denver is preparing its emergency shelters for an influx of families and women seeking relief. It is asking the community to provide critical items to keep the homeless warm.

“We’re prepared to max out our overflow shelter if it becomes critical late tonight,” said Geoff Bennett, vice president of Catholic Charities’ shelter services, on Tuesday. “We’ll put people in conference rooms and our hallways if needed. It would be greatly appreciated if the community can help and give donations for families and individuals bearing this weather.”

The community can help those in need by donating through Colorado Gives Day at or by donating critical items online at The most requested and highly needed items are hand warmers, plus-sized sweaters and coats, snow boots and other cold weather gear.

Samaritan House, a downtown shelter that provides overnight beds, warm meals and clothing, typically houses up to 350 men, women and children. The Samaritan House Women’s Shelter has seen a significant increase in women experiencing homelessness—from 60 seeking help in December 2014 to 250 women last week as the weather turned cold.

Catholic Charities of Denver is one of the only organizations that provides shelter for women overnight. The Mission shelter in Fort Collins and Guadalupe Community Shelter in Greeley are also preparing for an increase in needed shelter.

Bennett said the staff is prepared to handle an increase in homeless seeking a place to stay, but more support from the community is needed.

“We’re seeing more and more people looking for the coats, hats and gloves that we hand out,” Bennett said.

The shelter, located at 2301 Lawrence St., is accepting donations online at


Media Contact:
Rebecca Kessler, director of marketing and communications
The Catholic Alliance, 720-476-7497