For more than two years, the Denver Rescue Mission has planned to create a community facility for the homeless people of Denver. In January, construction of the facility began and a few months after that, the Ballpark Neighborhood Association filed a lawsuit against the facility, along with the City of Denver, in attempt to stop construction and prevent the center from opening its doors.
On Sept. 3, Judge R. Michael Mullins denied the opening of the center, but on Oct. 27, that decision was overturned and the Denver Rescue Mission’s Lawrence Street Community Center is now on its way to allowing the homeless to have a safe place to go during the day.
“The complaint was regarding the zoning laws and that no more shelter beds were allowed in the area,” Alexxa Gagner, Public Relations Director for the Denver Rescue Mission told atombash.com. “That’s not the intended use of the new facility. It’s for daytime needs; bathrooms, showers, a laundry facility, meals. It won’t be open late nights. It will be used as staging for shelter, but no one will be sleeping in the facility. That was the issue and that was seen from the Ballpark Neighborhood—that it was an expansion.”
According to the Denver Post, the court issued a new order on Tuesday in response to the motion of reconsideration from the defendants. The order stated, “After hearing oral argument from the parties, as well as the parties supplemental briefing on the Motion for Reconsideration, the defendants provided information based on competent evidence in the record.”
The goal of this community center isn’t to sleep the homeless in Denver. Since the homeless issue is evident in the city, the goal of this community center is to give them somewhere to go during the day, without having to sit on the streets.
“It really is a true community center. It will have access for people. I think that’s one of the biggest needs that a lot of our homeless guests and clients have told us, that they don’t have a place to go during the day,” Gagner said. “They don’t have a place to even sit down.”
In addition to giving the homeless community water, a place to shower and a place to do their laundry, they will also be providing a much larger eating area—compared to the Rescue Mission’s, which only seats eight and is in a basement, making it difficult for disabled guests to make it down the stairs.
“It’s going to be able to open up a place for people to sit first of all, people can sit down and have a little bit more time to eat and not be rushed out and make sure everyone gets fed,” Gagner said. “A lot of different things are going to be positive in itself.”
The shelter is not only going to benefit the homeless community, but it will also open up more jobs for people seeking employment. Because of the lawsuit, the original opening date which was scheduled in the middle of October, is going to be pushed back until the middle of November. Construction is almost complete, and it is located right next to the Denver Rescue Mission, though they are two separate buildings.
“It’s going to be a safe place for the homeless in our community,” Gagner said. “We just really are looking forward to opening and helping more people.”