DougCo makes strides to provide homeless solutions

Natasha Lovato

Natasha Lovato / NewsBreak Denver 

(Douglas County, Colo.) Douglas County officials are working with Castle Rock leaders to overcome opposition to establishing homeless shelters in the town by providing temporary shelters in unincorporated areas.

After the Aurora camping ban went into effect, county officials worried the ban would push the unsheltered from county to county with no identifiable solution. Soon after, Douglas County began discussions about adding temporary housing units. 

The Castle Rock Town Council voted on May 17 to notify Douglas County Commissioners that the council opposed opening a homeless shelter in town. But Castle Rock leaders want to continue working with the Douglas County Homeless Initiative to use other means to help people experiencing homelessness within the city. 

On June 13, Douglas County announced it purchased 17 temporary structures to use for emergency housing. The commissioners authorized purchasing 400-square-foot pallet housing structures that will provide temporary housing for those who don't qualify for assistance like the GOALS Program

The board approved the pallet housing after learning the county's Homeless Engagement, Assistance and Response Team cannot legally provide code enforcement and address encampments unless it provides shelters somewhere in the county for homeless people. 

The board also envisions potentially using the structures as contingency housing for residents in case of fires, floods, or other emergencies. 

While the Castle Rock Town Council disapproves of adding a shelter in Castle Rock, leaders do approve of establishing one in unincorporated Douglas County. The official location is yet to be determined. 

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