COVID-19 (coronavirus) Update – Monday, June 8, 2020
Greetings from downtown Denver as we begin a new month and start to feel the warmth of summer. Events continue to develop at a steady pace on the heels of the COVID-19 surge. The Saint Francis Center (SFC) has much to report, and are so thankful for your continued support and engagement. We continue to discern the “new normal” but remain committed to our mission of offering refuge and peace for our community members who experience homelessness, helping them meet their basic needs and transition out of homelessness. For the last few months, we have steadfastly remained open and engaged in our shared ministry.

Our last report highlighted the presence of the virus among our guests as described by some limited testing that was undertaken at the Center. The rate of infection in that sample was about 25% with a high incidence of asymptomatic positives. The most recent case counts from Denver Public Health and Environment at the beginning of June show 366 positive cases among people experiencing homelessness, representing 6% of people who have tested positive in the overall Denver population. So far, 7 people have died from COVID-19 who were experiencing homelessness here in Denver. Here at St. Francis Center, all staff who have experienced COVID-19 are fully recovered and back at work. There have been no more cases among staff.

As we move forward with reintegrating our volunteers at the Center during the renovations and the departure of the National Guard, we have developed additional safety protocols (click here to view). We hope these protocols will provide a basis for a safe return and transition to normalizing operations. We will continue to update the protocols as we move back to 2323 Curtis St. upon completion of renovations. If you have any questions please reach out to our Volunteer Director Ellie Benjamin at ellie@sfcdenver.org.

Renovations to the day center are well and truly underway, as you can see in the photos below. The anticipated completion date of these improvements is mid July. Women’s showers will be substantially improved with greater space for changing and bathing. The intake offices will be expanded to accommodate deeper dive case management, and the mail and storage counter will get a face lift to accommodate our increased mail volume. Guests, volunteers and staff are looking forward to benefiting from these improvements.

All day center programs and services with the exception of showers are ongoing at the Asterisk Center and the 2314 Broadway building (clothing room, mail and storage). Guests check in at Asterisk and then are referred for services, including social services which are still operating from 2323 Curtis through the patio gate.
In-kind donations of men’s wear are still needed as we continue to serve guests with insufficient clothing for the season. In light of the renovations, we are only accepting clothing donations from 9:30-3:00 pm Monday through Friday. Please contact Ellie (575-202-1419) to arrange a drop off until mid July as staff and volunteers are not as available at the donation station off the alley.

Thank you to each of our staff, volunteers, and donors for continuing to make SFC a place of peace and an architect of transformation for our guests. We need you all now more than ever. Our team will keep you updated as we continue to make adjustments in the uncertain times ahead. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call or email to check in.

What St Francis Center needs:

  • If you’re a volunteer at the day center and are not able to cover your volunteer shift, please contact Ellie at ellie@sfcdenver.org or email your day of the week (i.e. Monday@sfcdenver.org.)
  • We need healthy, dedicated people to volunteer at the day center so that we can continue to provide care and support to our guests. If you are would like to volunteer please sign up at http://tiny.cc/ohmglz
  • Financial support during this outbreak is essential to continue our mission. Monetary donations provide us the flexibility to expend resources where they are needed most.
  • IN-KIND SUPPORT

As the situation develops and changes, we will be providing updates. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Andrew Spinks – Director of Development at 303-244-0745 or email at andrew@sfcdenver.org