On Wednesday, November 29 the Cub Scouts of Aspen delivered their annual meal which turned out to be a feast to behold. Our homeless guests enjoyed the meal immensely as well as the little theatrical pieces the cub scouts performed. We are grateful for the support of the Cub Scouts, their coaches, and families! Happy Holidays!
As nightly temperatures continue to drop below freezing, the Aspen Homeless Shelter will begin its overnight program this evening in a new location. The shelter — which will remain open until March 31 — aims to provide the local homeless population with a safe, warm place to sleep.
“Our primary mission is to keep people from succumbing to the elements,” said Dr. Vince Savage, executive director of the Aspen Homeless Shelter.
Aspen Chapel will open up its doors from 9 to 10 p.m. each evening for those looking for a place to stay and will keep the doors closed until 6:30 a.m. the next morning.
Aspen Chapel has offered to host the overnight shelter this winter while St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the historical host, remains under renovation. “When we heard St. Mary’s could no longer hold the shelter, we felt we had facilities we could offer,” said Nicholas Vesey, minister at Aspen Chapel, the church with the prominent steeple near the roundabout at the entrance to town.
The change of venue may be serendipitous, as Aspen Chapel has a larger space available and can fit more sleeping pads. Savage, who has spent the past 40 years of his career working with homeless individuals, said they expect varying numbers of tenants, anywhere from the low teens to the high 20s. Aspen Chapel can hold up to 30 people overnight.
“We have a classroom set up for the women and we will use the main room for the men,” Vesey said.
The nightly population depends on a number of factors, including the climate, adherence to drug and alcohol standards and the amount of people in the area. The overnight shelter asks that those admitted be sober, but a few beers does not leave them in the streets.
“We ask people to blow no more than a 0.08, but it remains up to the discretion of the staff members,” Savage said.
In addition to the winter overnight shelter, the Aspen Homeless Shelter runs a day center. Located in the Schultz Health and Human Services building by the hospital, the day center provides laundry machines, job assistance, showers, case management services, computers and hot meals every evening. It remains open every day of the year and serves as a place for people to work on their resumes and contact family members. The day center also helps foster a community where information, such as the location of the overnight shelter, is shared.
“Almost every person we deal with has an interesting story,” Savage said. Most of them are just down on their luck from varying problems related to employment or medical conditions. The majority adhere to the Aspen Homeless Shelter’s main motto; a sign hung in the day center reads, “Be nice or leave.” He said they very rarely encounter behavioral problems or criminal conduct.
As a way of alleviating potential criticism or pushback form the neighbors, Aspen Chapel approached the Meadowood Homeowners Association with its proposal to house the overnight shelter. The plan received approval from the association’s board of directors, giving Aspen Chapel the green light to offer the space. The chapel also received donations from the local real estate community in support of the overnight shelter, Vesey said, listing Douglas Elliman, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s, Engel & Volkers, and Palladium Properties as the key benefactors.
Another common misconception among locals is that the homeless come from all over the country, attracted to the allure of Aspen like so many others. In reality, the majority of the homeless men and women grew up in this valley, Savage said. Many attended Aspen High School.
The funds behind the Aspen Homeless Shelter come from an array of donors. Pitkin County and the city of Aspen donate money. A large part of its capital comes from an event hosted by The Little Nell. Each year, the five-star hotel hosts a $50-$75 plate dinner at Element 47, in which all profits and donations go toward the Aspen Homeless Shelter. This goes on in large part thanks to Simon Chen, managing director of The Little Nell and board member of the Aspen Homeless Shelter.
Even with these generous gifts, the shelter is still tight on budget this winter. With unforeseen expenses and the change in location, Savage said every donation helps. As he puts it, “We’re not giving people a hand out, we’re giving them a hand up.”
For those who wish to donate or are interested in learning more about the Aspen Homeless Shelter, please visit: aspensafetynet.org.
By CHRISTIN KAY • NOV 1, 2017
One of the first questions that people ask Dr. Vince Savage, executive director of the Aspen Homeless Shelter is: There actually are homeless people in Aspen?
Well, yes, and those who are homeless here can find food, resources and accommodations at the Aspen Homeless Shelter.
Dr. Vince Savage sat down with Cross Currents host Christin Kay to talk about homelessness in Aspen. Also in the studio were Bill Hodges, president of the shelter’s board, Simon Chen, board member, and Catherine Ann Provine, managing director of the Aspen Chapel. The homeless shelter’s overnight program will be at the Aspen Chapel this winter.
Alycin Bektesh has reported on homelessness in Aspen. She joined the conversation, as well.
J.Crew at the Mountain collected 69 coats for the Aspen Homeless Shelter in one week last year! This year they have made it a two-month event and hope you will bring in any gently used coat you have in your closet! J.Crew will help you shop for something new with $25 off your purchase of $125 or more. For the week of November 12th-18th J.Crew will also give you 30% off your entire purchase (few exclusions involved) if you donate any camping or warm weather accessories (think sleeping bags and warm socks!)
We hope to see you very soon!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30
6 – 9 PM | $57++
Back by popular demand, Biju’s Little Curry Shop returns to The Nell for a 3-course dinner; a benefit for the Aspen Homeless Shelter.
As a locals’ favorite, this dinner sells out far in advance, so reserve your seat today!
Please contact element 47 for details and reservations at 970.920.6330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to the AIL/NILICO Executive Council for their donation of more than $9,500 to the Aspen Homeless Shelter as part of our Closer to the Heart initiative. The Aspen Homeless Shelter works to provide individuals a hand-up in a transition to stability and self-reliance. To learn more about their mission visit: http://spr.ly/61868f1A8
Posted: Saturday, September 16, 2017 11:54 am | Updated: 12:16 pm, Sat Sep 16, 2017.
ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado police officer started a recent shift with a routine call: Checking on reports of smoke in a wooded area.
But when Aspen Police Sgt. Rob Fabrocini arrived at the spot that’s a popular campsite for homeless people, he found two men with lobster tails, rack of lamb and salmon steaks loaded onto a small grill.
Fabrocini told The Aspen Times that the men also had a 12-pack of Stella Artois beer to accompany their meal.
Fabrocini, who joked that he dined on cold pizza that Tuesday, said the men told him they just received a paycheck and were celebrating.
The men weren’t cited. Fabrocini suggested another spot they could finish cooking without risk of fire catching in dry woods.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
You can find our booth right in front of their offices at 514 E Hyman Avenue.
Find out more about what we do and how we do it: chat, get a free lemonade, volunteer, donate and/or get a t-shirt…
New location for Aspen Homeless Shelter this Winter
With renovation construction closing St. Mary Catholic Church, Aspen’s winter homeless shelter will be hosted by another church east of town, the program’s director said Friday.
The Aspen Chapel near the roundabout has agreed to provide space for the homeless shelter from Dec. 1 to March 31 this coming winter season, said Dr. Vince Savage, director of Aspen’s homeless shelter program.
“It looks like their congregation is very much interested in helping us out,” he said, though officials at St. Mary have made it clear they want the shelter back when renovations are complete.
Attempts to reach officials at the Aspen Chapel and St. Mary on Friday were not successful.
And while the problem of a place to host the shelter has been solved, the problem of how to pay for it has not, Savage said.
“The real anxiety is whether we’re going to have it all,” he said. “We can’t make it this winter without some significant donations.”
Aspen’s homeless shelter program encompasses the winter overnight shelter, the Day Center program at the Pitkin County Health and Human Services Building and their hot meal program at the day center, Savage said. Altogether, it costs about $70,000 a year to run, he said.
“I’m a little more anxious about that than anything else,” Savage said.
A fundraiser is being held today at Ajax Tavern for the shelter and other programs featuring a barbecue competition among chefs from Aspen’s top restaurants. Tickets are still available on the Little Nell’s website, he said.
The number of people who utilize the shelter ranges from the teens to the high 20s and can even reach 30 people during busy parts of the winter, Savage said. The shelter accepts men and woman over the age of 18, though the rules “are pretty rigid,” he said.
People must register, which they can do when they arrive, and they must check in between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., he said. The shelter won’t accept people after 10 p.m.
“The purpose here is sleep,” Savage said. “It’s a place that’s warm and level.”
No food or showers are available, and those who show up can’t be drunk or belligerent, he said. Bathrooms are available.
Join us for a BBQ competition and community fundraiser featuring talented chefs from Aspen’s top restaurants and live music from the Poser Band. Each chef will showcase their best BBQ and let you be the judge. Admission includes food, drinks and dancing. All proceeds benefit Aspen Homeless Shelter, Lift Up, Stepping Stones, & Feed My Sheep. Silent auction items will open online for bidding on Friday, September 1.
Please note: kids 5 and under are free
Chef Keith Theodore | The Little Nell – Wagyu Brisket
Chefs Jim Butchart & Andrew Helsey | Aspen Skiing Company (reigning champions) – Yardbird
Chef Chris Randall | The Limelight Hotel – Brisket
Chef Ryan Vinviguerra | Slow Groovin’ BBQ – Glazed Spareribs
Chef Will Nolan | Eight K – Cajun Duck
Chef Chris Lanter | Home Team BBQ – Fried St. Louis Ribs
Chef Anthony Harroun | Ajax Tavern – Wagyu Brisket
Chef Jase Havron | Sundeck – Short Ribs
Chef Rob Itner | Rustique Bistro – Hawaiian BBQ Short Ribs
Chef Jeff Casagrande | BB’s – Pork Belly
Chef Emil David | Aspen Kitchen – Lamb Ribs