Urban Education at St. Francis Center COVID-19 Update:
We want to take a few moments to update all of our Urban Education participants and supporters on how St. Francis Center is doing in our efforts to provide learning and service opportunities and to serve those in our community who are experiencing homelessness during this difficult time.
The Urban Education program has cancelled or postponed all Urban Education groups that were scheduled for this spring. For summer/fall groups we wait to see how the spread of Covid-19 responds to Denver and other cities around the country slowly opening back up.
In the meantime, we are offering some of our Urban Education curriculum in a virtual setting. If you’d like more information on this and how we can work virtually work with your group in the midst of so much uncertainty, please email or call Amanda Pennington, Urban Education Coordinator.
We want to continue learning, growing and serving. Please join us as the most vulnerable in our cities continue to fight for dignity, health, and safety.
St. Francis Center Update:
Over the past eight weeks SFC staff have worked closely with our partner providers and city and state officials to maintain and improve 24-7 resources for un-housed men and women throughout Denver. St. Francis Center (SFC) has continued to operate the day center shelter without having to turn anyone away and has created innovative solutions for physical distancing and harm reduction. As many of you know, we expanded our sheltering space by 8,500 square feet in a matter of days when the crisis started to escalate.
For the last four weeks we have provided daily shelter to hundreds of people at the Asterisk Event Center (next door to SFC) as our total daily served increased 25% from 800 to 1,000 individuals. Our guests are able to find spacious refuge from 7am to 2pm at Asterisk (Annex) and use St. Francis Center to access our standard suite of services (showers, mail, storage, clothing, social services, etc.) from 7am to 3pm.
The opening of the National Western Complex, 24/7 city shelter has decreased the volume of male guests at SFC, but the fickle Colorado weather continues to drive demand for shelter space. The Denver Coliseum opened last week to shelter up to 300 women, as well. Both facilities will be supported with shared staff and volunteers, who are screening guests for any symptoms as they enter the buildings.
This additional city shelter is allowing for greater physical distancing space for our guests at our Day Center and the temporary Annex next door, both of which will remain open. St. Francis Center staff and volunteers have initiated thorough screening protocols for guests entering the Day Center and Annex, as well. When guests at any of the area shelters appear to have Covid-19 symptoms, they are directed to get care, testing and may be given access to private quarantine rooms at various hotels throughout the city.
If you would like to join SFC in doing its work, please read the “What St. Francis Center needs” section below. Thank you.
What St Francis Center needs:
- If you’re a volunteer at the day center and are not able to cover your volunteer shift, please contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org or email your day of the week (i.e. Monday@sfcdenver.org.)
- We need healthy, dedicated people to volunteer at the day center so that we can continue to provide care and support to our guests. If you would like to volunteer please sign up at http://tiny.cc/ohmglz
- Financial support during this outbreak is essential to continue our mission. Monetary donations provide us the flexibility to expend resources where they are needed most.
Amanda Pennington, Urban Education Coordinator