There are 22 less beds available for the homeless in Jefferson County now, after The Action Center announced the closure of its shelter program. In what the organization describes as a financially …
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Action Center services, call for an
appointment at 720-215-4850.
Appointments are available Monday through Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Thursdays from noon to 6:20 p.m.
For more information about The Action Center’s services, call 720-407-6686 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support the center, go to www.theactioncenterco.org, call 303-237-7704, or drop off donations at 8755 W. 14th Ave. in Lakewood.
There are 22 less beds available for the homeless in Jefferson County now, after The Action Center announced the closure of its shelter program.
In what the organization describes as a financially necessary move by the organization’s board of directors, the center’s Lakewood shelter ceased operation last month.
The Action Center, 8755 W. 14th Ave., now provides evening service hours on Thursdays, from noon to 8 p.m., with appointments scheduled from noon to 6:20 p.m.
“We made the difficult and painful decision to shut down the shelter as part of an effort to scale back our revenues and support all the work we’re doing,” said Executive Director Pam Brier. “There’s been a downturn in donations across the board, and this is what needs to be done.”
The cost-cutting measures will ensure that the 20,000 participants that The Action Center serves each year will be able to receive the organization’s primary services without interruption, according to the center. Those non-shelter services include crisis stabilization, food, clothing and access to other opportunities such as workforce development, continuing education and access to healthcare options.
The shelter was less than a mile from the center’s campus and had the capacity to serve about 22 people at a time. Those who uses the shelter had to commit to intense case management service to help them get back on their feet and find housing, Brier said.
Other shelter options, particularily for women and children exist in the area, but there is no other permanent general homeless shelter listed in Jeffco.
While the decision was an extremely difficult one for the center’s leadership, that does not mean the shelter’s fate is sealed, board member Jamie Bradley said.
“We’re working with other organizations to take over the shelter and maybe run it in a kind of co-management way,” she said. “We’re still offering our other services, and the shelter is just one piece of what we do.”
On the more positive side, the center’s extension of hours is specifically designed to offer help to those who work.
“Many folks work a 9-to-5 job but still need our help and can’t get to us,” said Laurie Walowitz, director of program services. “In a recent participant survey, nearly 70 percent of respondents agreed that later appointment hours would be beneficial for them.”
All services at the center require an appointment, and appointments can take more than an hour to go through all the proper meetings to obtain services. These go beyond food and clothing to community resources that can help stabilize and encourage self-sufficiency, such as workforce development, education, healthcare needs and more.
In light of the shelter’s closing, the center is redoubling its plea for community support. Volunteering time is useful, and there is always a need for food and clothing, but financial donations are especially appreciated, leaders said. The center aims to raise $1 million by the year’s end.
“This is a setback, and we’re hoping the community will step up to help us continue,” Bradley said. “We’ve been around for 50 years and we plan to be around for another 50.”
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