Denver, CO

People experiencing homelessness, case managers will rally Denver City Council

David Heitz
Photo byDenver Homeless Out Loud

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) A group advocating for people experiencing homelessness will host a rally June 12 at the Denver City Council meeting to protest the case manager system.

Last month, a group of front-line workers for Colorado Coalition for the Homeless created a petition on demanding a meeting with Coalition CEO Britta Fisher. They complained of bloated caseloads and unrealistic expectations.

In a Facebook post, Housekeys Action Network Denver, or HAND, echoes the sentiments of the Coalition workers. “Case managers are being given 40- to 70-person caseloads. The turnover rate for case managers is massive. It is not uncommon for a houseless person to report that they have been through three case managers in a few months.”

Long waits for case managers, HAND reports

HAND said in the post that some organizations have year-long wait times for accessing a case manager. The group plans to share these concerns with the Denver City Council during the 5:30 p.m. public comment period and ask for an overhaul of the case management system.

“The current system for houseless people to seek housing is entirely through case management as gatekeepers for housing,” HAND explains in the Facebook post. “In our housing survey when asked ‘What is the process you need to go through to get housing?’ the top response was some version of ‘To participate in a program,’ the second top answer was some version of ‘Work with a case manager.’”

HAND: Case managers lack training

According to HAND's post, case managers lack training. “Many new case managers have little training in the areas needed to provide necessary support. The current system expects case managers to mostly stay in their office dealing with paperwork, not go into the community to meet people where they are or help people go look at housing.

“In the current system, case managers are not given the needed time, resources, training, or support, and are forced to be gatekeepers for limited housing resources. This does not need to be the way things are. Instead of picking and choosing who gets limited housing options, case managers can be advocates pushing for the needed housing options to be created and pushing that each individual they work for gets the best possible housing options.”

In the post, HAND said there must be collaboration between case managers, community advocates, and houseless people to fight for the needed housing. “We are people not ‘cases,’” the Facebook post states. “We need doors opened not closed.”

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at community newspapers in Southern California 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 proof that people can rebound from even severe mental illness with proper treatment. 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 in the Mile High City. You can email me news releases and story ideas at

Denver, CO

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