The sandwich line

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Posted Mon, May 5, 2014

This centrally located church hosts the sandwich line in the back everyday [photo by Mia Szabo]

St. Elizabeth of Hungary church on the Auraria campus hosts the sandwich line in the back everyday. [photo by Mia Szabo]

DENVER, Auraria Campus — Colorado has a pretty big problem and it’s called homelessness. Although homelessness is going down in the country as a whole, it’s rising sharply in Colorado. According to the data gathered by Continuums of Care, in 2011-2012 chronic homelessness rose 25.2 percent in Colorado even as it went down 6.8 percent in the U.S.

The Auraria Campus central location, situated on the cusp of downtown Denver is ideal for most students, it’s within walking distance from Larimer Square and the 16th Street Mall, and it’s just off I-25 and Colfax with its own light rail stations. The shear convenience of the location is great for attracting perspective students and  possibly the occasional trespasser.

Every day the church, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, on in the east side of campus gives away on average 100 free meals on weekdays. “On the weekends that number climbs because other help centers are closed. We have served a record of 300 on a Sunday,” Tim Lenahan said. Lenahan helps coordinate what is called St. Elizabeth’s sandwich line.

Every day the church, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, on in the east side of campus gives away on average 100 free meals on weekdays. “On the weekends that number climbs because other help centers are closed. We have served a record of 300 on a Sunday.” Tim Lenahan said. Lenahan helps coordinate what is called St. Elizabeth’s sandwich line.

St. Elizabeth’s website brings that in proportion: “We make approximately 60 cups of coffee and a minimum of seven quarts of juice. There are 120 sandwiches to be made, mostly meat and cheese.  Hotdogs and egg salad sandwiches are often included.  The soup maker prepares two big cauldrons of homemade soup each day, enough to feed any where from 70-150 men and women who are in need of a good meal.”

With the attraction of the sandwich line one might think that many of the local homeless population they might choose to loiter on campus or nap in the library, but that really isn’t an issue for Auraria’s Police Department.

In the last five months only six people who are not affiliated with Auraria have been found sleeping in the Tivoli building or the campus library. Four of those times were on the weekend, the sandwich line’s busiest time. The other two occasions were on Thursday. About three out of four of those in the sandwich line are regulars, and usually don’t cause any problems.

Despite the rise in homelessness in Colorado, and the rise in popularity of the sandwich line, Auraria’s campus hasn’t suffered any noticeable rise in disturbances from the visiting population. The biggest issues Auraria’s Police work with are of the traffic and theft variety, not homeless loitering.

Mia Szabo

About Mia Szabo

Mia Szabo is a Denver-Area Freelance Writer

View all posts by Mia Szabo

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