NewsDenver7 | Everyday Hero


Security supervisor at Denver's Haven of Hope is a literal lifesaver

Josie Jimenez
Posted at 7:24 AM, Aug 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-14 09:56:20-04

DENVER — It’s a job that requires strength, patience and courage but above all else, kindness.

As the security supervisor at the homeless shelter Haven of Hope in Denver, Josie Jimenez has seen her fair share of conflict serving those experiencing homelessness. However, her attitude toward those she calls her guests, stays the same.

"Our guests are amazing," she said. "Sometimes, you know, the behaviors come out, but we all have our bad days."

Haven of Hope has been serving those in need for 25 years. They provide meals, showers and clothing to all those who walk through their doors, but their mission is to ultimately help people transition out of homelessness by offering counseling, rehabilitation services and hope for a better future.

Derrick Vaughns is the director of operations, a veteran and a minister.

"Our motto on the wall, outside the building, is we’re here to serve, not to judge," he said. "So, anyone and everyone is welcome. We want to be able to be a part of getting people off the streets. And we’ll meet you where you’re at and walk with you to get you to that other side."

Serving around 12,000 meals a month with a staff of 14 has its challenges. However, volunteers and people like Jimenez keep the doors open and the space safe.

Tawnya Trahan, executive director of Haven of Hope, nominated Jimenez as a Denver7 Everyday Hero after witnessing Jimenez and her team step into action, ultimately saving the life of a man who was unresponsive outside their building.

"It took anywhere from five to seven minutes that she worked on this person before paramedics got there," Vaughns said.

Jimenez grabbed Narcan and performed CPR on the man.

"He would come in and out of breathing and no response," she recalled. "So, I had to go again and again. I was so scared. I said, 'Please sir, don’t die on me, you are not dying on my shift.'"

Once the paramedics arrived, that man took a deep breath.

"I was exhausted, but I was really relieved he woke up," Jimenez said.

That person is alive today.

Trahan said that is just one of many incidents where she’s watched Jimenez go above and beyond.

“These things come up every day and she’s always there," she said. "And it doesn’t matter what you need. If you spill your glass of water, she’s going to help you with that. If our team is cleaning up something, she’ll help with that. She’ll sort the mail. She answers questions. And when we made our announcement in the dining room the other day, that she was going to be on Everyday Heroes, there was more than one person who said, 'Well, she saved my life. She saved my life.'"

Her peers say Jimenez is a joy to be around, a shoulder to cry on and a pillar of strength for her community. It takes a special type of person to be able to do her job and it’s clear she finds purpose and joy in her role at Haven of Hope.

"Seeing someone who is hurting either physically or mentally — I have to help them," she said. "They need help somewhere. Someone needs to help them.”

Jimenez is also a mom of four and calls the staff and guests at Haven a Hope part of her family.

For that, Denver7 and Westshore Home awarded her as this week’s Denver7 Everyday Hero.

Denver7 features a different Everyday Hero each week. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.

Security supervisor at Denver's Haven of Hope is a literal lifesaver