Remembering the
On December 18, 2003 a candlelight vigil was held on the steps of the Denver
City and County building to remember 85 people who have lived on the streets
of our community and died  in the past year.
This web page is part of a personal project (and a small part of a much larger cooperative) to help raise awareness about
homelessness in the Denver area. There are many wonderful organizations and resources in the area that have worked
hard for many years to help those in need yet the number of homeless families and individuals continues to rise each year.


From 2000 to 2001, there was a 26% increase in the area’s homeless. Of the roughly 10,000 homeless
people in the Denver area at any given time, approximately:

3,500 are children
65% are families with children - the "new" homeless
30% are veterans
40% are employed


Inability to pay rent/mortgage
Lack of affordable housing
Substance abuse and lack of needed services
Mental illness and lack of needed services
Domestic violence

In recent months Denver Mayor, John Hickenlooper, commissioned a fact-finding "group" to explore new avenues to help
the homeless in Denver. The City of Denver is now working in concert with the Denver Rescue Mission, the Colorado
Coalition for the Homeless and several other organizations to provide emergency shelter, food and basic care for as many
homeless as possible and to explore solutions to the growing problem. While this may not be the "end-all" to the homeless
situation, perhaps the expanded concern and resources can have a significant impact on the lives of homeless people in
our city.
Denver Rescue Mission
Denver Rescue Mission
Mayor Hickenlooper
speaking at the memorial service.
People attending the memorial service held candles
and some wept as the 85 names were read.
December 18, 2003
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and John Parvensky, President of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, were joined by
homeless men and women, area civic and religious leaders and service providers to remember and honor the 85 people who lived
and died on the streets of Denver in the year 2003.
For some, this was their only memorial service.
Denver Human Services and Denver Rescue Mission opened the City's new
temporary, emergency, night shelter for homeless men on Saturday, Dec 20. Men
who wish to stay at the shelter are fed dinner at 8:00 pm at the Denver Rescue Mission
and then transported by RTD bus to the shelter for the night. They are awakened at
4:45 am and transported back to the Denver Rescue Mission between 5 and 6 am for
breakfast. From there they will go to jobs, training, day shelters, etc.
Our friend, Candido, was one of the
homeless who died this past year.
The set-up of the temporary, emergency, night shelter at Denver Human Services
Jesus said, "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with
Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. And the King will say to those on His
right hand, 'Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was
thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and
you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.'"
Then the righteous will answer Him saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and
feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see You a stranger and take you
in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick or in prison, and come to
And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you
did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to me."
                                                                             Matthew 26:31-40
Kevin Williams, a homeless young
man, was asked what it would take
to get him "off the streets."
His response: Affordable housing. I
make $5.25 per hour.  I can't find
a place to live [in Denver] with my

Denver Rescue
Colorado Coalition
for the Homeless