DENVER — Crews were tearing things down and cleaning things up at the Denver Coliseum on Friday afternoon now that its temporary homeless shelter has closed.
“It was really a poignant thing that the last person to leave the shelter program was someone who was moving into their own place,” Denver’s Department of Housing Stability Deputy Director Angie Nelson said.
The shelter first opened in April 2020 to serve women in a place they could socially distance as the virus spread. It also allowed several providers to pool their resources.
It transitioned to a men-only shelter four months later. Its 300 beds are no longer needed, Nelson says, because of the new shelter operated by Denver Rescue Mission.
“This is an event space and not meant for residential shelters. We really want to get folks into a place that's better suited for around-the-clock services and care,” she said.
Now, the space is getting turned over into what it was before, an event venue, but that will take some work and several thousand dollars.
A spokesperson with the Arts and Venues Department says they must put back bathroom doors, do some power washing and snake plumbing lines, among other things. Some of these repairs are common before and after shows at the Denver Coliseum, the spokesperson said.
“Our partners at General Services and Arts and Venues stand ready to make those repairs and get this place ready to go for the Stock Show in January,” Nelson said.
But for now, the city can take comfort in knowing it helped shelter people for nearly two years in an environment, Nelson says, saved lives.