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Homeless guests served Thanksgiving dinner by Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin

Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin was among the volunteers serving a hot traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Catholic Charities’ Samaritan House in downtown Denver, today, Nov. 28. Prior to serving the meal, Franklin, who is now a freshman at the University of California-Berkley on an athletic scholarship said: “I’m very, very fortunate and there aren’t as many people as fortunate as I am. I just want to share my happiness with everyone else.”

Samaritan House’s Thanksgiving Dinner is an annual tradition, now in its 12th year. Nearly 200 of the center’s resident men, women and children attend the meal each year.

Located in downtown Denver, the Samaritan House was built in 1986 and was specifically designed and constructed for service to the homeless. It can accommodate more than 350 men, women and children each night. There are separate facilities for single men, single women and families with children. Residents receive a bed, food and clothing while participating in the shelter’s 120-day Levels Program, which offers a structured path towards obtaining stable income and housing.

On-site services include one-to-one case management, medical care, child care, life skills classes and referrals for employment, housing, social service assistance and educational opportunities. The center also coordinates an active children’s program and an age-appropriate program for teens.

To learn more about potential volunteer opportunities, visit www.ccdenver.org/volunteer.

Roxanne King
Roxanne King is the former editor of the Denver Catholic Register and a freelance writer in the Denver area.
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