October 22, 2018
Boulder County, partners awarded 20 vouchers for permanently affordable housing to serve people facing homelessness
Collaboration between Boulder County, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, the Inn Between, and Mental Health Partners provides pathway out of homelessness
Boulder County, Colo. - Boulder County, the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, the Inn Between of Longmont, and Mental Health Partners have received 20 vouchers through Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs to help provide permanent supportive housing for people facing homelessness in the community. The housing vouchers have an equivalent value of up to $1 million over four years.
The award exemplifies the coordinated approach taken by the partner agencies and organizations that comprise Homeless Solutions for Boulder County (HSBC), a collaborative public-private partnership tasked with overseeing and implementing homeless services across Boulder County. The Boulder County Community Services Department led the two-month-long application effort, and Boulder County Housing and Human Services is providing funding for supportive services. The Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and the Inn Between of Longmont contributed the housing itself (12 homes in Boulder and eight in Longmont, respectively), and together will also provide supportive services to clients. Mental Health Partners will manage the vouchers and provide behavioral health services.
The announcement comes at the one-year anniversary of HSBC. This collaboration between service providers and local government is regional in nature, and applies evidence-based solutions and best practices to provide adults experiencing homelessness with targeted, responsive services to support quick, stable housing solutions. HSBC has incorporated an assessment process to better direct homeless adults to resources and prioritizes Boulder County residents and those in the greatest need. In its first year, HSBC assessed almost 2,500 individuals, directing them to appropriate resources.
“Every agency and organization that is part of Homeless Solutions for Boulder County is now working in close coordination, and this award is testament to our collaborative approach,” said Jennifer Biess, Boulder County Homeless Services Systems Manager. “This award allows us to provide stable and supportive homes to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. The fact that each of these units will likely be filled the moment they become available is an urgent reminder of the scarcity of these crucial resources. We would like to thank the State Department of Local Affairs for supporting this important project.”
“The goal of Homeless Solutions for Boulder County is to help adults experiencing homelessness find stable housing solutions as quickly as possible, and these vouchers will significantly help meet that goal,” said Greg Harms, CEO at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. “Housing people is the solution to homelessness, and these vouchers are important step forward in our shared strategy.”
“These vouchers for permanently affordable housing affirm that solutions to homelessness are best when collaborations allow for creativity and utilize the strengths of each agency and organization, which is exactly why the HSBC is structured as it is,” said Tim Rakow, Executive Director of Inn Between.
“Mental Health Partners believes access to supportive social services, such as stable housing, plays an important role in providing comprehensive mental health care to individuals,” said Kristina Shaw, Marketing Director/Public Information Officer at Mental Health Partners. “We are proud to be an active member of this partnership and manage the permanent supportive housing vouchers as a way to support our commitment to healthy minds, healthy lives and healthy communities.”