More than 200 homeless people gathered at Denver Rescue Mission's Lawrence Street Shelter, a little before 1 p.m., to get out of Sunday's snow storm — while a line along the outside of the building grew.

The Mission opened its chapel to provide a place for homeless to get out of Sunday's snowstorm. The shelter usually does not open until 5 p.m.

"What are we supposed to do?" said a man who only identified himself as Reginald. "You've got to get out of all that out there."

Alexxa Tavlarides, shelter spokeswoman, she said she expects there to be many more people through the shelter as the day progresses.

"We want people to get out of the cold," she said. "As the temperatures drop, it becomes dangerous."

Entertainment consisted of TV and volunteers singing. Lunch was served.

"You can die out there on days like today," said a man who would only identify himself as Joe. "I ate lunch, and I'll stay the rest of the night."

While the shelter is providing a refuge to all homeless people this afternoon, the overnight shelter is for men only.

Saturday night, the shelter provided for 420, Tavlarides said.

Facing an overflow 150 men were bused to the Harvey Park Recreation Center , which is the current emergency overflow location for the winter, Tavlarides said.

This is the first winter since the Denver camping ban — the law prohibiting anyone from unauthorized camping on public or private land — went into effect.


To help address any issues from the ban, recreation centers are utilized for emergency overflow.

Ryan Parker: 303-954-2409, or