Denver, CO

Denver extends homeless hotel vouchers through March

David Heitz

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By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) The Safety, Housing, Education and Homelessness Committee of the Denver City Council approved Wednesday a contract providing hotel rooms to people experiencing homelessness through March 31, 2023.

The contract with U.S. Motels Denver North Inc. is for $3.9 million. That brings the total spent with U.S. motels to more than $8.6 million. The item appeared on the committee’s consent calendar. Those items pass without discussion unless a member of the committee calls them out.

Other homeless hotels funded with federal American Rescue Plan Act funds may close at the end of this year. Quality Inn on Zuni closed last week, sending some occupants back to the streets. That hotel as well as other hotels in the city operate as non-congregant homeless shelters for people at risk of catching COVID.

This contract provides hotel rooms for people experiencing homelessness when the city’s emergency shelters are full. Instead of using ARPA funds, the city mostly funds the contract with permanent revenue sources such as the general fund.

The rooms go to both individuals and families. “In order to be served by the voucher motel program families must have children under the age of 18, or dependent adult children,” the Department of Housing Stability wrote in a memo to City Council. “Families are provided with an initial 30-night stay to ensure they have the opportunity to meet with an outreach case coordinator and develop an exit plan. Extensions of stays are based on family engagement with case coordinators and working toward their own goals.”

How to apply for shelter

Families seeking shelter can obtain more information at the following locations:

The Gathering Place, 1535 N High St, Denver, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays from 8:30-11:30 a.m.

The VOA Mission, 2877 Lawrence St, Denver, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Samaritan House, 2301 Lawrence St, Denver, seven days a week from 5-8:30 p.m.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here.

Denver, CO
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