Thank you to the AIL/NILICO Executive Council

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:

Only in Aspen…

Colorado police find homeless men preparing lobster, lamb

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.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AHS @ Aspen Saturday Market this Saturday

Visit our booth this Saturday, September 16, 8:30am – 3:00pm.
Our booth is made possible through the support of Mason Morse in Aspen.

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…

Aspen Homeless Shelter needs $70,000 for Winter programs

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.

2nd Annual Aspen BBQ Cook-Off Benefit

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

Competing Chefs:
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


National Homeless Shelter Directory

The State of Homelessness in the United States

Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) releases their annual Homeless Assessment Report. In 2016, they reported:

  • Nearly 550,000 people are homeless on any given night in the United States.
  • Two-thirds stay in emergency shelters or transitional housing, while one-third sleep in an unsheltered location on the street.
  • 35% of the homeless population are families with children.
  • 22% of the homeless are children under the age of 18.
  • 10% of the homeless are veterans.
  • Senior homelessness is on the rise, with the amount of homeless seniors expected to increase to 95,000 by 2050.
  • Just five states account for half of the homeless population: California (22%), New York (16%), Florida (6%), Texas (4%), and Washington (4%).
  • The city with the highest population of homeless people is New York City.

Fortunately, despite these statistics, the trends suggest that shelters and transitional housing programs work. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of people staying in such programs declined by 5%.




Join us for an evening of dinner, dancing and fundraising at the Sundeck. Aspen chefs will compete for the best chicken wings in town. Entertainment provided by Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and DJ Dylan. Silent and live auctions items will be up for grabs. All proceeds benefit The Aspen Homeless ShelterFeed My SheepLift-Up and Stepping Stones.

Thank you to our partners:




Gather together to usher in the holiday season with the 4th annual Tree Lighting Celebration at The Little Nell. This family-friendly event is open to all guests and community members. Enjoy complimentary refreshments, carolers and photos with Santa Claus. A full cookie buffet from the pastry kitchen will be offered along with The Nell’s famous hot cocoa (which can be “supercharged” with your choice of liqueurs from our cash bar). We’ll also accept socks and operating fund donations for the Aspen Homeless Shelter. Please join us in lighting two trees and ushering in the holiday season.