On the corner of Lawrence Street and Park Avenue, a cross has hung outside of Denver Rescue Mission’s Lawrence Street Shelter since 1970. This iconic cross, which shines in bright neon at night, is the reason Mission guests call the building “Jesus Saves.” But these words go so much deeper than a sign on a building. They’re a message of hope for passersby—especially for those without a home. It’s a promise that when they walk through our doors, they will be given a place to rest, refresh and realign toward a brighter future. Today, behind the “Jesus Saves” sign is a newly renovated building to provide just that.
Lawrence Street Shelter Renovations
Thanks to your generous support and a grant from the City of Denver, we made many upgrades to a building that is more than 100 years old. Here’s what’s new:
The Lawrence Street Shelter is now compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). With a new entry ramp along Park Avenue and a new elevator, guests with mobility impairments can now access all areas of the building for the first time ever.
With a new entrance area, guests are welcomed by staff as soon as they walk in. We also created a new meeting space for guests to meet privately with case managers and other staff to learn about our programs and services.
“One of our challenges [was] when someone had never been homeless before and they showed up here, they got lost in the crowd. This is going to allow us to [meet] them at the beginning, keep them safe and get them connected to services right away.”
– Tracy Brooks, Senior Director of Emergency Services
The renovated chapel area can now be used for multiple purposes, including chapel services, a classroom and a meeting space.
We redesigned two shelter areas to allow for more light and space for our guests and added brand new beds and mattresses.
The facility’s 200 beds have been split between the second floor and basement, which has new walls and lighting. The basement will serve men in our Next Step program, which pairs guests with case managers to help them exit out of homelessness.
We updated the fire suppression system and camera security system and provided lockers with charging stations, so our guests know their belongings are secure.
We renovated the bathrooms, repainted the interior walls and updated the laundry facilities with commercial washers and dryers. A new HVAC system will provide a better environment in the summer and winter.
Mission Guest Takes First Look at Renovations
“I mean look at this room! We were used to bunk beds. [Now], we have windows. We can see outside. You’d be surprised [by] what sunshine will do for folks—brightens up their days.
You donors are the ones who help us look forward to another day. I can’t thank you enough, because there have been many times that I didn’t have a pillow. The only thing I used for my pillow was my boots. Sometimes you have to go through the rough times before you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You don’t give up on us. And I just thank you from my heart—from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. When I first came here, I didn’t think I had another day in me, but [DRM has] given me more than a day. I have all my life.”
– Michael, Lawrence Street Shelter guest
Shelters Save Lives
The Lawrence Street Shelter renovations have created an environment that feels safe, clean, bright, and secure. Any time that we can meet guests’ basic needs, they can finally find hope.
Help our guests overcome homelessness by giving today.
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