DENVER — The City of Denver said it is approaching the "halfway mark" for Mayor Mike Johnston's House1000 Initiative.
Johnston's goal is to shelter 1,000 unhoused residents before the end of the year.
Mayor Johnston identifies newest site for families experiencing homelessness
More than 100 unhoused residents who were living in tents near 20th and Champa Streets were moved into a newly opened shelter on Thursday.
"We are delighted to celebrate a major step forward in our mission to bring Denverites out of homelessness and hopelessness and into housing," Johnston said during a press conference at a DoubleTree Hotel recently purchased by the city. "We have folks who are outside in encampments and freezing cold, not able to get access to running water or bathroom — or trash — or a locked room — or access to case navigation — or to plan for jobs or mental health or addiction support. And this represents the opportunity for a dramatic change."
Among the dozens of people who received help was Lindsey Hilchey, who has been living in a tent for about four months.
"I started crying. I didn't believe it. Just super grateful," said Hilchey, recalling how she felt when she heard she'd be able to move into the temporary housing. "When you have a bed and a place to charge your phone and shower, you feel better and you're gonna want to do better."
Johnston 'optimistic' his administration can meet homelessness goal in 2 months
Johnston said he remains optimistic about accomplishing his House1000 Initiative goal.
"Over the next two weeks, the moves into this site will put us over 500. So we'll be past the halfway point with this site," Johnston said Thursday.
One hundred people were moved into the DoubleTree Hotel on Thursday, with another 100 expected to move next week. Johnston said the city plans to ramp up its efforts in December.