A homeless shelter in RiNo that expanded its hours last year will continue operating 24/7 into the near future.
On Monday, the City Council approved a resolution paying the Salvation Army $10.65 million to operate the Crossroads Center at 1901 29th St. through the end of 2023.
Crossroads, long operated by the Salvation Army as an overnight shelter, was expanded to provide non-stop services last year as pandemic pressures and a resulting flood of resources accelerated and exacerbated a need.
“It was a need we’d already identified in our planning process and a move we were working with partners to try and make,” said Angie Nelson, Deputy Director of Housing Stability (HOST) and Homelessness Resolution for the city. “The infusion of federal resources related to the COVID response accelerated the implementation and made it so we couldn’t wait, because we needed it now.”
The Salvation Army owned the Crossroads property until 2019, when the city bought it for $10.5 million. The nonprofit has continued to operate the shelter since the purchase, nominally renting back the space while also being paid by the city to run it.
Meanwhile, the city has taken on necessary upgrades and maintenance for the 41,539-square-foot building on 29th Street at Delgany Street, Nelson said.
“The city has undertaken health and safety upgrades that need to happen for that building,” she said. “Some things are still wrapping up, the HVAC system overhaul, we’re waiting to tie that bow. But yeah, those life and safety updates that needed to happen on the building became the responsibility of the city as the owner of the building.”
The Salvation Army was selected to continue contracting with the city to operate the center following a Notice of Funding Availability released by the department in 2020 not long after HOST was created.
“We considered all proposals, but determined this was the best operational use. Nobody knows Crossroads like the Salvation Army, and they proposed to continue operations with strong outcomes from this program,” Nelson said. “We’re pleased to continue partnering with them to make the most of the facility.”
Nelson said despite restrictions lifting in some parts of the city, Crossroads remains somewhat socially distanced. That means about 300 guests per night stay at the facility, which has a capacity of about 500.
During the day, case managers are on site to help guests move toward stable housing. Meals are also served.
“Rather than just managing the crisis for someone, giving them somewhere to be, our shelter partners have shifted their paradigm to being a rehousing-focused shelter,” Nelson said. “Using shelter as a stopping point toward a more stable housing outcome.”