The Delores Project provides safe, comfortable shelter and personalized services for unaccompanied women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. We also work to end homelessness by advocating for housing solutions.
All individuals have the community of support and housing stability they need to reach their potential.
Our model of service is one of respect, hospitality and dignity for each guest.
We support those we serve without judgement
We believe in the potential of each individual and their right to self-determination
We are good stewards of our financial and human resources
We value the diversity of our guests, staff, board, and volunteers, and we are a model of inclusiveness.
We believe the community is strengthened when it cares for those with the fewest resources.
The Delores Project is named for Delores Big Boy, a Lakota woman who frequently lived on the streets of Denver. Her situation was complicated by health, developmental and substance abuse issues, as well as physical and sexual violence.
Although Delores sought aid from various Denver agencies, sadly, she fell through the cracks in the system. Delores died while living on the streets June 8, 1999. In forming the shelter in 2000, we chose to honor her memory so that we could always continue our work with a commitment to ensuring safe shelter for every woman and support for those in transition.
The Delores Project was founded in 2000 and originally operated out of borrowed space provided by other organizations each year between October and April. In 2006, The Delores Project secured its current facility allowing the shelter to begin year-round operations with nearly double our original capacity. As a year-round shelter The Delores Project is able to enhance services, providing support for women in securing long-term housing and addressing the other myriad challenges they face.
The Delores Project is the largest single provider of shelter and services for unaccompanied women and transgender individuals in metro Denver, providing 50 shelter beds year round, and a minimum of an additional 10 cots during colder months or times of extreme need. Without minor children, the needs of this population are largely unrecognized. Across metro Denver more than 650 women and transgender individuals experienced homelessness on any given night, according to the 2015 Metro Denver Homeless Initiative Point in Time Study. Including the beds at The Delores Project, only approximately 200 beds are regularly available for this vulnerable population, leaving at best more than 450 without safe reliable shelter during the overnight hours.
The Delores Project is widely recognized as begin a shelter provider that implements HUD recommended best practices in serving those people experiencing homelessness who identify across the transgender spectrum. We have been respectfully serving transgender individuals since our founding in 2000 and are proud to be a place of safety and dignity for some of our most vulnerable citizens.
The Delores Project provides welcoming, low-barrier shelter and services for unaccompanied women and transgender individuals during times of homelessness. We believe that hospitality, respect, and regard for the dignity of each individual lay the groundwork for forming positive relationships leading to lasting change. Learn more about our programs and our impact.
We believe that in extending true hospitality, our guests will begin to believe that they are worthy of our care and regard. To this end, we provide services with as few requirements and barriers as possible. For example, guests are not required to present identification or immediately commit to a long term program. We welcome each guest, as they are, with no immediate expectations that they must “fix” their lives as quickly as possible; people are not broken.
At the Delores Project, we hold hope for people who have temporarily lost their capacity for confidence. We believe that change comes for each person in their own time and in their individual way, and that our guests deserve choice when planning for their future. In our programs we collaborate with our guests as they identify individual needs and goals we can support them in meeting. We believe in the value of recognizing mistakes or poor choices as places from which to learn and move forward. Everyone deserves second, third and more chances to recover and reclaim their lives.
Each year, The Delores Project serves nearly 450 individuals and 20,000 nights of shelter through our Emergency and Extended Stay shelter programs. To learn more about our welcoming shelter programs, please visit our programs page.