Denver gives $609K to Salvation Army to keep up with demand at homeless shelter

Money will go to Salvation Army Crossroads Shelter

DENVER - A Denver homeless shelter will get more than half-a-million dollars to help keep up with the demand.

The City of Denver is giving $609,915 to the Salvation Army Crossroads Shelter, "and this money will help us to be able to reach and help the significant increase that we keep seeing," said Lt. Col. Dan Starrett, a Salvation Army Divisional Commander.

Starrett said the shelter is expecting to serve about 550 men a night this year, a big increase compared with 2012 when they averaged 160 men per night.

"But it's a blessing to come here and have a place to stay, a roof over your head for the night, food in your mouth," said Derek Baker, a homeless man who is having a hard time finding work in Denver.

On Wednesday, at least 450 men are expected to sleep at Crossroads. Staff members are bracing for snow in the coming days and say if that happens, about 700 men may seek shelter.

Just two years ago, Denver gave approximately $250,000 to $300,000 to the shelter. The city cited growing need and increasing costs as reasons for increasing the funds. The money will be used to help provide emergency shelter, in addition to search and rescue efforts.

The funds are only part of the Salvation Army's budget. The city also works with other agencies but officials say the Salvation Army is one of their biggest providers.

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