^
Keep Westword Free
4

Day Shelter Finally Opens After Months of Ballpark Neighborhood Objections

Just in time for Thanksgiving — and yet another predicted snowfall — the Lawrence Street Community Center has gotten the green light to open its doors. This is the day-shelter for the homeless that had been in the works for several years, promised back when Denver officials approved the urban-camping ban and also closed off Triangle Park (aka "the Bumuda Triangle"), sending people to the streets of the Ballpark neighborhood where they'd stand for hours, waiting for the doors of evening shelters to open.

The Denver Rescue Mission, owner and operator of the LSCC, had been stymied by a lawsuit filed this summer by the Ballpark Neighborhood Association against the DRM as well as the City and County of Denver, arguing that the city's Board of Adjustments for Zoning Appeals had violated Denver's zoning rules in approving the center. On September 3, Denver District Court judge Michael Mullins had ruled in favor of the neighbors, determining that the new center was just an expansion of an existing shelter — a decision that "shocked and dismayed" the providers, said DRM head Brad Meuli.

But the city and DRM appealed, and late last month Mullins reversed himself and vacated his previous order. Late last week,  the Denver Rescue Mission learned that the center could open its doors. Along with providing meals and access to clean drinking water, bathrooms, shower facilities and washing machines, the LSCC will allow men, women and families experiencing homelessness an opportunity to learn how to participate in the long-term New Life Program and STAR transitional program.

And so Mayor Michael B. Hancock; City Councilman Albus Brooks, who represents the area; Denver Rescue Mission staff and a team of volunteers will help serve the first lunch at the center starting at 11:30 a.m. today. Members of the Hancock administration will also be making their annual donation of turkeys for the Denver Rescue Mission turkey drive. The center is located at 2222 Lawrence Street, just two blocks down the street from Sustainability Park, where various homeless groups have been staging protests, including the Stone Soup Revival's gathering on Saturday.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.