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Nonprofit overwhelmed with Denver's booming homeless population set to close

Posted at 10:06 PM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-28 23:37:13-04

UPDATE | A Denver7 viewer/reader donated $25,000 to Denver Inner City Parish, the organization announced Tuesday, which will allow the non-profit to continue operating past Friday.

DENVER — It serves more than 20,000 people in real need in the Denver metro area, including the homeless, those with disabilities and senior citizens. But now, the Denver Inner City Parish will close its doors if it doesn’t find enough funding to keep going.

Catherine Guertin, who is currently homeless, is just one of the thousands that come to The Parish for help.

"This was our safe zone for me and my husband," said Guertin. "I use a lot of services out of there. [I use the] food bank, and I even get hygiene products. I get everything out of there."

But the nonprofit has to close its doors on August 31. It's run out of money to keep providing a place for low-income families, senior citizens and those with disabilities, like Alfred Lujan.

"I can't do too much in this wheelchair, so the weekends we look forward to it," said Lujan. "I don't know what I'm going to do to tell you the truth."

Larry Martinez with The Parish told Denver7 that the nonprofit usually stays afloat with government grants and donations from churches and the community. The organization has been providing those in need a with a  place to eat, socialize or find help with childcare since 1960.

The board of directors tells Denver7 they can no longer support Colorado's booming population that's bringing more people with needs to their nonprofit.

 "We don't ask people for proof of their finances, so really everybody and anybody," said Martinez.

The Parish will be scrambling up to the last minute to try and find more funding, hoping to stay open for people like Guertin.

"That's why I don't want it to close because we won’t have anywhere to go," said Guertin.