Karis Community

A nonprofit organization

Karis Community offers a community-oriented transitional living opportunity for people managing serious and persistent mental illness as well as co-occurring substance use disorders. The Empowerment Program prepares people to re-engage in the larger community, reduce hospitalizations, and live independently.


"My Karis experience will always be one that I remember. The staff and Community Members have all taken a therapeutic role in my illness. Without them, I would not be able to imagine where I would be. I am diagnosed with schizophrenia. I experience audio, visual, and tactile hallucinations, which sometimes leave me questioning my reality. Over the past year, my condition amplified to a point where it cost me my job, home, and some of my friends. I was moved from place to place and was unable to join other programs. Karis took me in when others wouldn't.

Karis provided me with a living opportunity where they understand what I go through. It's embarrassing to admit, but sometimes I catch myself talking to them, the voices. In other environments, this could look a little off, whereas here, the Community comes to my rescue. Karis has given me some much-needed stability to manage these symptoms, and I have noticed significant progress in dealing with them.

Karis has given me newfound friends, much-needed therapy sessions, and an understanding that I can handle it on my own. I don't know what would have happened to me at this point in my life if I wasn't here at Karis. I thank Karis, the staff, and the Members daily for pulling me out of a nightmare and giving me hope."

- Max, Former Community Member


To provide a community where people heal together.

Background Statement

Karis (the Greek word for grace) was founded in 1976 as a retreat center for those needing respite from life stressors. Following WWII, Great Britain discovered that veterans experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder could recover significantly in communal environments. This approach helped shape Karis' therapeutic community model. At Karis, our work lies at the intersection of mental health, trauma, and substance use. Recovery goals include managing and reducing symptoms, learning coping strategies, developing life skills, and restoring the capacity to engage in healthy relationships with others. 

Karis serves over 100 adults (21 years or older) each year, including current Community Members, residents at the Stepping Stone Cottage, applicants on the waiting list needing more immediate support, applicants who may not be ready for the program but require resources, and the Alumni Group. Our program and case management staff ensure that no one is left behind. Karis is located in the Metropolitan Denver area; however, we have established a local and national reputation for success. We receive referrals and requests for information daily, not only from the Denver area and throughout Colorado but also around the country. Currently, close to 1/3 of our Community Members moved to Karis from states outside Colorado.

People experiencing mental illness are often marginalized, stigmatized, and made to feel ashamed of their illnesses. They face societal abuses, such as barriers to health care, lack of employment, difficulty accessing and maintaining housing, and discrimination. Many Community Members have experienced homelessness; sexual, emotional, and physical abuse; dysfunctional relationships; suicidal ideation; alcohol and substance misuse; and isolation in institutions. There is an alarming lack of affordable mental health treatment options for individuals who may not require hospitalization but are not ready to live independently. Karis’ program aids Community Members with the skills and tools to find employment, reduce costly and traumatic hospitalizations, and strengthen relationships with others.

Organization Data


Organization name

Karis Community

Year Established



Mental Health & Crisis Intervention, Diseases, Disorders & Medical Disciplines, Human Services, Health Care


1361 Detroit St.
Denver, CO 80206

Service areas

Denver County, CO, US





Social Media