In one move, the City of Denver this week placed dozens of people living on the street into temporary housing.
"I am so relieved I am like ... it's beyond words," Kyra Dolores said fighting back tears.
Dolores was one of them.
"Mostly I slept in alleys or wherever I could be because I didn't like pitching a tent. It draws attention. I just happened on this camp or encampment," she said.
The camp was, where the city had announced it would focus their first encampment resolution effort: moving everyone into rooms in what used to be a Best Western Inn and giving them access to basic needs.
"Towels! Do you know how hard it is to get a clean towel and soap, shampoo. They take care of all the basics," Dolores said. "And it wasn't just a bar of soap, it was soap -- real soap."
The shelter is called New Directions. The building which can house roughly 250 people is owned by the Denver Housing Authority and the city is leasing it.
The Salvation Army will operate the shelter -- providing everything from intake, 24-hour guest services, meals and case management.
Kirsten Baluyot is the Denver Metro Social Services Director for the Salvation Army.
"We have a housing focus case management team and when we say housing focused, we mean that it's really about what can we do to get you into housing -- what barriers do we need to help remove to make that possible," she said.
The nearly 80 people moved out of the encampment into the shelter will be included in the mayor's goal ofby the end of the year, which requires only that someone be sheltered for a short time and can eventually return to the street.
"This counts towards that number. Again, for our perspective this is a shelter and this is not housing," Baluyot said.
While it's not permanent, Dolores says it's an opportunity.
"I think a lot of lives are going to change and some probably won't, but a lot will and that's worth it," she said.
In an effort to be transparent about the progress of the housing 1,000 initiative the city has launched a public dashboard that shows the progress and breakdown that indicates who is in permanent housing, who is in shelters and other options, but it doesn't indicate if the number includes those that have returned to the streets.
You can track the progress at a special section of denvergov.org.
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