Mold, rodents, broken showers found in Denver homeless shelters
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Mold, rodents, broken showers found in Denver homeless shelters

May 30, 2023

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) City inspectors have found mold, rodents, broken shower heads and more in Denver homeless shelters, reports show.

The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment provided the author of this story with all homeless shelter inspection reports for 2023. The reports showed the Denver Rescue Mission is doing the best job of keeping shelters sanitary, with no violations at any of its shelters, including 5725 E. 39th, 4600 E. 48th Ave. and 1130 Park Ave. West.

DDPHE officials make several evaluations during surprise inspections. They examine restrooms, ventilation equipment, trash storage, electrical systems, plumbing, lighting and more. They also look for bugs and rodents.

The Salvation Army had several violations. At the Crossroads homeless shelter on May 2, the city found trash in the overflow room where guests sleep. The city ordered Crossroads, 1901 29th St., to “remove all trash from the bed and floor areas.” Inspectors also found rodent droppings in the restroom. Finally, four shower heads were broken, according to the report. The shelter was given 30 days to correct the violations and did so.

On March 22 at Salvation Army Harbor Light shelter, 2136 Champa, inspectors found “In all communal bathrooms, multiple instances of build-up and mold-like substance were observed on top of the showers, and within the cracked caulking where the shower liner meets the wall. Also observed mold-like substance or build-up on the ceiling vents in all bathrooms.” Inspectors gave the Salvation Army 30 days to remove the mold-like substance and clean and treat all vent covers for mold. The shelter made the fixes. The inspector said they found several pest traps but no signs of pests. The water temperature read 120 degrees after the faucet was running for four minutes.

At The Gathering Place, 4765 N. Federal Blvd., inspectors found signs of a leaky roof Jan. 4. The shelter fixed the roof.

At Samaritan House, 2301 Lawrence St., inspectors found a rodent infestation around the trash outside. The shelter remedied the problem.

At Heartbeat Denver Working Men’s Shelter, 1680 Sherman, the city found plumbing violations during a May 4 inspection.

VOA shelter, 1601 Irving St., had no violations.

The city warns shelters receiving violations they can face fines. “Failure to correct and keep corrected any items may result in additional action being taken by the Department of Public Health and Environment, including but not limited to issuing a general summons, civil penalties, suspension, or revocation of your license,” the reports state. “Repeat critical violations within a 12-month period and imminent health hazard violations may result in the assessment of fines to the facilities. The division of Public Health Investigations encourages you to implement your own internal daily inspections. The deadline for compliance may be extended for a reasonable time, provided a written request is submitted to and approved by the Residential Health and Housing Section of the Department of Public Health and Environment. Please contact the investigator to verify the work has been completed. Correction of violations may be verified through a method approved by the Department, which may include pictures, email, or scheduling a re-inspection.”

(Denver, Colo.)Salvation Army has several violationsConsequences if violations go unfixed