Expanded Strategies to Provide Housing, Emergency Shelter for Individuals Facing Homelessness Announced
Today, the Downtown Denver Partnership joined Mayor Michael B. Hancock as he announced the first in a series of upcoming public and private contracts to further assist individuals facing homelessness to get indoors and to connect to permanent housing solutions.
A total of 11 new contracts with homelessness service providers will deliver approximately $6.89 million in city funding toward bridge housing vouchers, expanded day shelter access, critical shelter improvements, and enhanced onsite programs and services to better connect residents with permanent housing.
The Downtown Denver Partnership has joined with our partners at VISIT DENVER, Associated General Contractors, the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, Together Denver, and JP Morgan Chase to commit $1 million on behalf of the business community. This commitments send a strong message about the importance of collaboration in addressing some of Denver’s most important challenges. The Partnership commends Mayor Hancock for his leadership and vision in advancing these important efforts. The creation of the Department of Housing Stability is an important step forward in joining efforts in addressing housing and homelessness.
“We believe in and have seen firsthand the power of collaboration and community to support pressing issues facing our community in Denver,” said Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, “While the issues of housing, supportive services and related issues are complex and will require additional solutions, we are aligned on our vision. The business community is proud to continue to be at the table with the public and philanthropic sectors as we face challenges of housing and homelessness head-on.”
Shelter investments include an additional 40,000 hours of operation and support services combined. Through this additional staffing, the city estimates that an additional 1,300+ households will engage with case management across Denver’s network for emergency shelters. In addition, the contracts include funding to launch Denver’s first 24/7 shelter, providing overnight and daytime shelter with 25 new beds for older and veteran women.
Bridge housing investments are projected to assist more than 600 households through next year with accessing temporary housing to help bridge their transition to permanent housing within 30-90 days.
“Housing is foundational, and it matters – that’s why people who are stably housed are healthier, they are better able to stay employed, and children are better able to grow up happy and healthy,” Mayor Hancock said. “These partnerships and expanded services are critical. Our approach of housing first – focusing on getting people indoors and housed, providing support for them and connecting them to resources and programs – has demonstrated positive results, and makes real impacts for real people and families who desperately need housing stability.”
The shelter services investments are designed to help break down some of the barriers individuals and families may encounter when experiencing a period of homelessness. These may include lack of storage for personal belongings, limited shelter hours that don’t align with an individual’s work schedule, safety, and accessibility issues. Service providers selected through a Request for Proposal process have shown how they can address these barriers to get more individuals, couples and families into shelter and connected to needed services.
The contracts represent the first step of a 3-year, $15.7 million homelessness services initiative announced earlier this year and supported by the city and Denver’s business and philanthropic communities.