June 22, 2018
First six months of coordinated homeless services highlighted
Homeless Solutions for Boulder County releases report outlining initial results
Boulder County, Colo. - Early results of Boulder County’s innovative coordinated approach to service delivery for adults experiencing homelessness across the community are promising, according to a report released by Homeless Solutions for Boulder County (HSBC), the group overseeing the collective effort. Among other indicators, within just the first six months 184 clients exited homeless services to successful outcomes. Data also demonstrates that more than half of those being served have been in the county at least a year, with more than 46% having lived here for two years or more. HSBC’s Six-Month Status Report is now available online at bit.ly/HSBC052018.
“The early data show us we’re on the right track toward finding the best long-term solutions for those facing homelessness in Boulder County, and this is really encouraging,” said Robin Bohannan, HSBC Executive Board Chair and Director of Boulder County Community Services. “This new coordinated approach to identifying people’s needs on the front end and keeping track of and evaluating data along the way is what will ultimately lead us to a more sustainable solution for those in our community experiencing homelessness.”
Participants in HSBC include the Boulder County departments of Community Services, Housing and Human Services, and Public Health; the Cities of Boulder and Longmont; area nonprofits working to impact homelessness; and the faith community. Based on the Housing First model, the goal of HSBC’s collaboration is to provide adults experiencing homelessness with targeted, responsive services to support quick, stable housing solutions.
This approach includes a new Coordinated Entry process with access points in both Boulder and Longmont where clients are assessed to determine service needs. Depending on assessment results, clients are either referred to Navigation Services, which focuses on short-term resolution for those with lower-needs and fewer barriers to housing success, or to Housing-focused Shelter for those needing more intensive supports.
Since October 2017, 1,448 single adults were screened for homeless services; 77% of which were in Boulder and the remainder in Longmont. About half of all those screened (45%) were eligible for longer-term services at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, and 55% for shorter-term Navigation Services provided by Bridge House’s Path to Home program in Boulder, and HOPE and the OUR Center in Longmont.
Other significant findings from the data indicate that 60% of those screened had been homeless at least 12 months out of the past three years, and 71% reported a disabling condition of some kind.
“The work of Homeless Solutions for Boulder County is just beginning, and we will adapt and adjust our approach moving forward,” said Jennifer Biess, Homeless Services Systems Manager for Boulder County Community Services. “An important goal is to collect data to better understand needs for housing resources and ways we can improve our services, so we can help individuals experiencing homelessness obtain stable housing as quickly as possible.”
Broader efforts to increase affordable housing are critical to meet HSBC’s goal of supporting stable housing solutions. Boulder County is also helping lead a regional effort to increase the supply of affordable housing to 12% of all housing stock by the year 2035. The Boulder County Regional Housing Partnership is bringing together jurisdictions from across the county to work together to identify creative methods to reach the housing goal. Together with the efforts of HSBC and a similar focus on housing by leaders within the business community, the housing crisis and resulting homelessness issues can be addressed holistically.
Additional information about Homeless Solutions for Boulder County, including the full Six-Month Status Report can be found at bit.ly/BoCoHomeless. Questions about HSBC can be directed to Jennifer Biess at 303-441-1417 or email@example.com.