Denver, CO

Plan costs $25,000 per household to house homeless in Denver

David Heitz

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The City and County of Denver will vote Monday on whether to invest another $2.5 million as part of a $6.5 million plan to house 260 households experiencing homelessness.

The money would fund a rehousing collaborative through 2022. The agency overseeing the collaborative, founded in 2020, is Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. They administer the contract, which also sub-contracts for housing and supportive services from Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, The Gathering Place, Urban Peak, and Delores Project.

Those receiving help will come from the city’s shelters and illegal street encampments. They will receive short-term bridge shelter (temporary housing until permanent shelter is found), rapid re-housing rental help and supportive services such as case workers.

Outreach workers will look for individuals who have proven they can hold down a job and pay rent. This will help guarantee success after rental aid ends.

The collaborative is spending about $25,000 per person over the two and half years of the contract. Preference will be given to people 65 and over and those with disabilities. Those already in a respite program or some other protective action also will receive priority for services.

Rental assistance totals $708,824

The program’s goal is to get 20 percent of the clientele garnering an income from a job. Case workers want to obtain benefits such as Social Security Income, Social Security Disability Income, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or Aid to the Needy and Disabled for at least 40 percent of clients. Success will be considered achieved if 65 percent of clients exit into permanent housing.

Of the multi-million budget, annual costs include salaries at around $373,221. This pays for housing navigators, case managers, and a program administrator. Another $99,951 is budgeted for fringe benefits, and $79,512 is for “indirect costs of up to 16.8 percent of direct salaries, wages and fringe.”

Rental assistance and security deposits account for about $708,824 annually. Client support costs such as hygiene products, bus passes, identification assistance, clinical co-pays, furniture, and educational and vocational services total $74,332.

The Gathering Place, which serves women and transgender people and their children, gets about $140,535 for supportive services. Urban Peak’s amount of the contract is $328,727 annually for rental help, property owner incentives and support services. The organization provides services to youths.

The Delores Project, which serves women and transgender people, is budgeted to receive $227,422 for supportive services. Salvation Army is set to receive about $852,314 per year for rental help, property owner incentives and supportive services.

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I have been in the news business more than 30 years, spending much of my career at some of the best local newspapers in the country. Today, I report on Denver City Hall, homelessness and other topics for NewsBreak, much like I did in my twenties covering Newport Beach, Calif. for the Daily Pilot. I consider myself a lucky guy to still be doing what I love after so many years.

Denver, CO
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