Change is both constant and unsettling. Our friends and neighbors experiencing homelessness or staring at the brink of homelessness know that feeling all too well. Maybe you, too, are a missed paycheck or two away from finding your housing in peril. Amidst a booming real estate market that is tearing through neighborhoods – raising rents, building expensive new homes, pushing out longtime neighbors in the name of gentrification – the threat of housing insecurity is real. Denver needs updated zoning regulations to meet the challenge of this moment.
The Delores Project operates a small shelter for women and transgender folks experiencing homelessness. Our facility is part of an integrated site featuring not only a shelter, but also supportive housing and affordable, workforce housing. With 60 beds, our staff work closely with our shelter guests, supporting them through case management and rehousing services. During their time with us, our shelter guests engage with the community just as any good neighbor would. In the last 6 months, guests and residents have helped a lost dog find a home, helped neighbors jumpstart cars with dead batteries, changed tires, and provided impromptu childcare.
Group living changes under the new proposal do more than just increasing the number of people allowed to live in the same house or apartment. The new rules will open the door for agencies like The Delores Project to establish similar small shelters throughout Denver. Our service model offers higher case manager to guest ratios, leading to greater stability and success in future housing.
Nobody wants to see our unhoused neighbors struggle on the streets. Keeping our public spaces open, clean, and safe for everybody is vital. So it is time to stand together and take real steps to change things in Denver. We implore you to speak with your neighbors in Northeast Denver and call your city council members, Amanda Sawyer and Christopher Herndon, encouraging them to approve the revised group living regulations. We must share the burden of lifting up people who need help across the city. Together we can meet everyone’s basic needs.
The Delores Project provides safe, comfortable shelter and personalized services for unaccompanied women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. We also work to end homelessness by advocating for housing solutions.