St. Francis Center, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, was established in June 1983 and operated from a leased building on 22nd & Lawrence streets in downtown Denver. This building quickly proved to be inadequate for the growing homeless population, and, in 1986, through a generous donation, SFC was able to purchase and renovate the 2323 Curtis Street site where we’ve been ever since.
In 1992, SFC incorporated as a non-profit organization. Tom Luehrs became Executive Director in 1993 and remains in the position today. The Housing Program was initiated in 2001. Construction on the Cornerstone Residences began October 2008 and was completed on schedule in October 2009. Fifty residents are now living in the apartments, including some housed for the first time in many years.
In 2012, SFC took over the Turnabout program, and as a result, our Employment Program targets ex-offenders, a particularly vulnerable part of the population who are homeless, and connects those it serves with full-time, permanent employment.
Another permanent supportive housing program, Saint Francis Apartments at Cathedral Square, was built and opened in 2018, through collaboration with other community partners. St. Francis Apartments at Cathedral Square offers 50 units of permanent supportive, affordable housing for individuals who were previously experiencing homelessness.
Future plans include converting the historic Warren Methodist Church on 14th and Gilpin in to 49 studio apartments as supportive work force housing for men and women working or ready to work as part of their efforts to transition out of homelessness. Renovations on the building started in the summer of 2020, with the St. Francis Warren Residences’ first residents scheduled to move in summer 2021.