The Denver Rescue Mission hopes to open a new 228-bed shelter for the city’s homeless by the end of the year. Brad Meuli, CEO of Denver Rescue Mission (DRM), led a dedication for the Holly Center on Thursday morning. The facility, which will provide permanent beds, bathrooms, and showers to men experiencing homelessness in the Denver-area, is slated to open just in time for winter’s increased demand for shelter.
DRM already provides shelter for hundreds of the city’s more than 5,000 estimated homeless individuals at their six Denver facilities. The Holly Center is the city’s first permanent overnight shelter to go up since 1989. That increased capacity should, Meuli says, provide DRM with a chance to better connect with these homeless men, which will then allow his team to guide them toward programs to help overcome mental issues such as drug and alcohol addiction. “To provide some sort of safe, clean housing to these men makes a huge difference,” Meuli says. “We’re just thankful for the chance to turn this existing facility into the Holly Center.”
The Holly Center will take the place of an old roller derby rink at the intersection of Holly Street and 39th Avenue. The space requires updates and remodeling that will cost around $2.5 million. Mayor Michael Hancock, along with DRM staff, board members, and friends of the organization were present at the dedication. During the mayor’s brief speech, he reminded those present that the fight to improve the lives of Denver’s homeless is complex and thanked the DRM for its efforts in that struggle.
Meuli’s team is always looking for volunteers to help serve food or mentor guests at any of its locations. Construction on the new building is slated to begin on June 12, and for the thousands of homeless people in search of shelter, the Holly Center can’t get here soon enough.