Photos: Homeless female veterans focus of housing project at old Su Teatro site

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Big photos below.
In our recent cover story, "Bed Check," which chronicles the challenges homeless women in Denver face, we note the need for both emergency shelter and more permanent homes. In the latter category, a group called the Empowerment Program is now pushing forward with a housing project specifically for female veterans that supporters hope will help an underserved population. Full renderings are below.

The developers of the project, called the Odyssey Family Residences, officially broke ground on the High Street project this past Veterans Day. The site, in north Denver's Elyria neighborhood, is a historic structure and the former home of Su Teatro, which moved to Santa Fe Drive.

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Sam Levin
Groundbreaking of Odyssey Family Residence in November (Slide show: Faces of Homelessness in Denver)
Once it officially opens its doors in another year or so, after a renovation tied to a $7 million reinvestment in the Elyria area, the facility will offer 36 one- and two-bedroom apartments specifically for female veterans -- a population that has increasingly struggled with homelessness in Denver. Those who live in the development will also get resident supportive services in an adjacent Elyria School building.

The project is the work of firms J. Mercado and Associates, Inc. and Community Capital Corporation, in partnership with the Empowerment Program, a group that owns other residential properties in Denver and offers a wide array of services to women.

Carol Lease, executive director of the Empowerment Program, says the project will offer permanent housing to homeless female veterans who may be struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder or may have faced sexual abuse or other trauma.

"The idea was to create housing for that group of women that's safe. They can get services and get on the road to recovery," Lease says, adding, "It's not going to take long to get it filled up."

Continue for more on the groundbreaking and additional photos.

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