Denver, CO

Denver's HOST: No concerns about Urban Peak contracts

David Heitz
An artist's rendition of Urban Peak's planned "mothership."Photo byUrban Peak

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Despite news that Urban Peak homeless shelter for youth lost a state grant due to performance issues, a representative of Denver’s Department of Housing Stability, or HOST, said the city does not have similar concerns.

“We are contracted with them and have no concerns about those contracts,” HOST spokesperson Sabrina Allie said in an email.

At its Jan. 30 meeting, the City Council added $417,248 and two years to a contract with Urban Peak. The contract is to provide six housing units and case management to youths ages 16 to 22 who are transitioning out of foster care.

Urban Peak broke ground last week on a new “mothership” campus that will locate its supports in one place. The city chipped in $17 million for the project.

According to Denverite, Urban Peak lost the state grant the next day. “Urban Peak (UPD) has failed to meet established performance targets and goals for the number of youth served for multiple years in a row,” BHA spokesperson Stefany Busch told the website. “Furthermore, UPD has been consistently irresponsive to the BHA’s [Behavioral Health Administration] contract management and technical support efforts to work collaboratively to resolve performance issues.”

Trauma, homelessness makes mental health care challenging

Urban Peak CEO Christina Carlson gave Denverite a joint statement with the state’s Behavioral Health Administration. “Urban Peak and the BHA are disappointed that the final year of the Healthy Transitions grant was not renewed,” Carlson said. “Providing mental health services for youth experiencing homelessness does not follow a traditional path. The trauma, complexity of needs, brain development and the reality of experiencing homelessness makes providing intervention and treatment in a traditional manner challenging.”

The statement continued: “Urban Peak will continue their efforts to provide appropriate and effective treatment for youth who are experiencing homelessness. And the BHA is appreciative of their contributions to Colorado’s behavioral health continuum.”

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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. You can email me news releases and story ideas at

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