St. Francis Center offers refuge and peace for our community members who experience homelessness, helping them meet their basic needs and transition out of homelessness.
St. Francis Center (SFC), a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, was established in June 1983 and operated from a leased building on 22nd & Lawrence streets in downtown Denver. This building quickly proved to be inadequate for the growing homeless population, and, in 1986, through a generous donation, SFC was able to purchase and renovate the 2323 Curtis Street site where our day shelter has been ever since. In 1992, SFC incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. The Housing Program was initiated in 2001. Construction on the Cornerstone Residences began October '08 and was completed on schedule in October '09. Fifty residents are now living in the facility, including some housed for the first time in many years. In 2012, SFC took over the Turnabout program, and as a result, our Employment Program targets ex-offenders, a particularly vulnerable part of the population who are homeless, and connects those it serves with full-time, permanent employment. Opened in January of 2018, St. Francis Apartments at Cathedral Square offers 49 units of supportive, affordable housing on property donated by St. John's Cathedral for individuals experiencing homelessness. In the summer of 2020, SFC kicked off renovations at the Warren Methodist Church, in which our Employment Services team was previously based, to become a 48 unit work force residence for men and women needing stable housing while getting back on their feet. The SFC Warren Residence will be completed and ready for residents October 2021. SFC is committed to developing and opening other permanent supportive housing facilities through collaboration with other community partners.
Doris was dropped off at Saint Francis Center with only a few trash bags full of her belongings. Confused, Doris attempted to explain that her daughter was no longer able to care for her because they had to move out of her housing. Doris' daughter, who also served as her financial representative left her without support, money, or clothing. Although Doris didn't fall into the senior category she reported a history of strokes and a clear inability to self-care fully. Because of the imminent concern for her health and safety a report was made to Denver Human Service Adult Protective Services where Saint Francis Staff learned that Doris was already approved for Long Term Care in another county. Working closely with SFC Social Services staff were able locate and assist Doris to move-in to a place where she was supported and cared for.
Richard, a veteran living in Denver, was recently evicted and had a debt of over $900 from the eviction. He had been working with the VA who wasn't able to find assistance for Richard to pay off the debt, which was a barrier in getting him in another lease. The VA reached out to SFC Social Services having found one property that would accept the eviction on Richard's record but the property management was insisting that the debt get paid off in order to accept his rental application. SFC paid Richard's debt and he is now stably housed receiving clinical case management from HUD VASH case managers.
Sandra, who had fled an abusive relationship from out of state, came to Denver looking for safety and help. However, when she first arrived in Denver, all the domestic violence shelters were full so she had to stay at the Denver Coliseum, a 24-7 women's shelter set up during the peak of COVID-19. Sandra was directed to the SFC Day Center, seeking housing assistance with first month's rent and a security deposit. SFC staff at the day center connected Sandra with SFC Employment Services case management to help her find a job and staff assisted her with getting on SNAP and Medicaid. SFC also told her if she found a place to live SFC would be able to assist with move-in costs. With support from SFC, Sandra found a full time job, a place to live and SFC paid her first month's rent and security deposit.