Denver Concludes Successful Sheltering Efforts at Denver Coliseum

Published on December 03, 2021

Emergency shelter served 3,000+ over 19-month period during pandemic 

More than 19 months after opening its doors to help shelter individuals experiencing homelessness during the pandemic, the City and County of Denver’s COVID-19 emergency shelter at the Denver Coliseum is ending operations today. The facility sheltered more than 3,000 individuals and served 492,199 meals.

Over the past several weeks, Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) and service partners have relocated nearly 300 guests from the Coliseum to a range of other 24/7 shelter programs and protective action hotel rooms, which are designated for older individuals and people with underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

“The success of this effort cannot be unscored, nor can the contributions of our community in helping keep our unhoused residents safe and sheltered during this pandemic,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Those successes will inform our homelessness resolution work as we move forward.”

“We are forever grateful to our many partners, and to the community, for stepping up without hesitation when the pandemic hit,” said HOST Executive Director Britta Fisher. “Lifesaving work and services were quickly deployed at the Coliseum, and these measures now continue across our shelter network.”

The Denver Coliseum shelter opened April 20, 2020, originally serving women. The site transitioned to serve men in August 2020, as capacity for female guests was added at other locations.

The 24/7 sheltering model deployed during the pandemic has provided many benefits to guests, including daily meals, the ability to get more rest, stronger connections to case management resources, and flexibility to maintain employment while residing in a shelter. Services at the Coliseum included medical screening, primary medical and behavioral health care, COVID-19 vaccinations, wireless internet, cell phone charging stations, laundry services, and limited storage.

Activation and operations of the Coliseum shelter starting April 20, 2020, would not have been possible without the critical, timely support of service partners that serve people experiencing homelessness. Shelter operators worked daily to serve guests with dignity and respect, connecting them to housing, employment, and other stabilizing resources.

Denver Coliseum Sheltering Partners

Shelter Operators:

  • Bayaud Enterprises
  • The Salvation Army
  • The Gathering Place
  • Catholic Charities
  • Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
  • Denver Rescue Mission
  • The Delores Project

City Agencies:

  • Denver Arts & Venues
  • Denver Human Services
  • General Services
  • City Attorney’s Office
  • Department of Finance
  • Denver Police Department

Security:

  • Allied Universal
  • Securitas
  • Colorado Rangers

Food/Beverage/Other:

  • KM Concessions
  • Aramark
  • OK’s Cascade
  • Hill Petroleum

Medical:

  • Stadium Medical
  • International Medical Relief

For more information on how to access shelter, please visit denvergov.org/emergencyshelter.