By Jesse Sarles

DENVER (CBS4) – The pandemic has added to the problem of homelessness in Denver, but new help could be on the way. Rep. Diane DeGette, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 1st Congressional District, has asked for $2 million in federal funds so the city can buy the Stay Inn hotel at Peoria Street and East 38th Avenue.

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The hotel, located just south of Interstate 70, would provide 94 rooms for households. One room would be used for administration and to provide services.

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DeGette says research shows when people experiencing homelessness move into these facilities, their mental and physical health improves and they are more likely to move into permanent housing.

“Projects like this will provide our residents a safety net, giving those who need it a safe place to sleep and helping them get back on their feet as soon as possible,” she said in a prepared statement.

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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the project would help people who have been among the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Providing supportive housing means wrapping our residents in services, so they have the stability they need to get back on their feet and be a part of our economic recovery,” Hancock said.

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DeGette’s request is part of a group of projects she is submitting to Congress this year that are intended to help her district.

Jesse Sarles