Denver, CO

Denver to spend $3 million to house more than 325 homeless

David Heitz

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A backhoe destroys a tent and its belongings in one swoop during a city-sponsored sweep of a homeless encampment.Denver Homeless Out Loud

A Denver committee will consider giving contracts to two non-profits to provide homes for chronically homeless individuals and families.

A $2.4 million contract extension to Colorado Coalition for the Homeless will serve approximately 300 people. The city previously gave the Coalition $1.2 million on the contract, which runs through December 2023.

Half of the individuals served would come from street outreach. The other half would come from the OneHome system, a coordinated program for people seeking services.

If the City Council approves the contract, the program will be called "Bridge to Home." The Coalition will place people at Fusion Studios, a former hotel at 3737 Quebec in Central Park, and Beacon Place, 3636 Colfax St.

"Bridge to Home program will serve highly vulnerable individuals and families experiencing 'literal' or 'chronic' homelessness, sleeping in places not meant for human habitation, such as streets, cars, and encampments," according to a city staff report.

Although the Bridge to Home program primarily will serve people referred through OneHome and outreach to encampments, it also will help people at emergency shelters, people fleeing domestic violence, or people who lack the resources to obtain permanent housing, the report said.

The program will match families with temporary housing options before transitioning them to a long-term residence, the report said. The program also will provide case management, clinical counseling, and other support.

Family Promise considered for $451,232 contract

The Public Safety, Housing, Education and Homelessness committee also will consider granting a $451,232 contract extension to Family Promise of Greater Denver. Family Promise would provide housing to 25 families. The organization previously received $225,000 on the contract, which runs through December 2023.

Family Promise of Greater Denver will form partnerships with landlords and local hotels to master lease apartments and rent hotel rooms to provide bridge housing, the report said.

"Weekly case management will be offered to families to support efforts toward increased income, acquiring of necessary documentation, connection to mainstream benefits, and long-term stability.

Next steps

Both contracts are on the committee's consent calendar Wednesday. Consent items are considered routine and usually move on to the full City Council without much discussion. The council will vote on Jan. 24 on whether to approve the contracts.

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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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