This dashboard report is an at-a-glance informational resource on utilization and performance of the adult homeless services system launched Oct. 1, 2017. The countywide system is focused on housing outcomes, with coordinated entry as a gateway to services. Although the adult homeless services system is a countywide effort, this dashboard primarily targets services and outcomes within the City of Boulder. For countywide information, visit Homeless Solutions for Boulder County. More information on terms and services featured in the dashboard can be found by hovering over text and graphics and visiting the ‘?’ page for definitions and extra context. For more information on homelessness programs and strategies, visit https://bouldercolorado.gov/guide/homelessness-boulder.
Coordinated Entry: In Boulder County, people experiencing homelessness can access services and housing resources through Coordinated Entry. Coordinated Entry is a short screening, during which people are asked questions to determine their needs and match them with services. During the Coordinated Entry process, people are also assessed for possible Diversion and Reunification Services. If a person’s homelessness can be immediately resolved, the Diversion Specialist can provide financial (e.g., bus passes, car repairs, etc.) or non-financial (e.g., landlord discussions or conversations with long-term treatment facilities) assistance to make that happen.
Housing-Focused Shelter: Facilitates housing for individuals who have significant barriers to housing (disabling conditions, long-term homelessness, etc.) by providing overnight sheltering and wrap-around services on an extended basis with the goal of connecting these individuals to long term housing and supportive services. Those participating in HFS can remain at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (BSH) until they have been successfully, permanently housed if they are also participating in the Reserved Bed program.
HFS case management focuses on connecting people experiencing homelessness with supportive housing, aiding in housing searches, and transitioning clients to permanent supportive housing programs.
Reserved Bed Program: Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (BSH) prioritizes available beds for participants of the Reserved Bed program. Program participants agree to staying consistently at BSH, upholding codes of conduct, and arranging with the shelter when they cannot stay at BSH for an evening. While there are currently few requirements for the Reserved Bed program, the goal of having people use the program is that consistent stays at the shelter will put them in frequent contact with case managers and resource connectors, thereby increasing their likelihood of engagement with exit-focused resources.
Housing First Approach: Homelessness is a multi-faceted issue that challenges Boulder and communities across the nation to develop creative, meaningful solutions for our most vulnerable community members. Like most social policy issues, this problem is complex, and the answers are not simple or quick.
Research demonstrates that we can make a difference for people experiencing homelessness by focusing on root causes and the core issue of housing. Evidence suggests that getting individuals into housing as quickly as possible results in the best outcomes for people experiencing homelessness as well as the communities around them.
Boulder aligns its responses to homelessness through a Housing First philosophy. This approach is backed by significant national studies and is the only existing evidence-based solution for homelessness. Housing First anchors all services to exiting people from homelessness through housing. It reaches beyond short-term services to connect people to real, sustainable solutions. However, Housing First is not housing-only. Outreach, engagement, sheltering, counseling, case management and services continue to be provided but are viewed as tools to help people end their homelessness through permanent housing rather than as solutions themselves.
Housing First recognizes that people can more successfully address other problems (i.e., employment, mental health, addiction) once they are stably housed. The city supports unhoused community members by leveraging a tapestry of services to help people in exiting homelessness.
Navigation Services: This program provides short-term support for lower-needs individuals who require limited assistance to get back into permanent housing. Individuals using this program work with a case manager to develop a housing plan and can receive mediation support, financial assistance, legal assistance, assistance reunifying with support networks, and links to county and other community programs as needed. Overnight sleeping space is also available to qualified Navigation participants who need a place to stay in the short term.
Clients are screened as likely to need Navigation Services through the Coordinated Entry screening process when they do not self-report a disabling condition. Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (BSH) works off individually tailored case plans and a person who was screened as likely needing Navigation Services may or may not receive short-term services, depending on their acuity of need.
The most frequent exits from homelessness under a Navigation program are reunification with support systems or connection to long-term or treatment service programs.
Critical Weather Conditions: Critical Weather Conditions are when the forecast to be 10°F or below and/or six inches or more of snowfall is expected. When the forecast shows that Critical Weather Conditions will be reached, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless will increase the number of hotel rooms, as available, used for participants of the Reserved Bed program to make more space available at the shelter. Boulder Shelter for the Homeless uses forecast information from the National Weather Service. Because of the significant effort required to relocate people to the hotels, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless makes determinations at least 24 hours prior to the expected weather (48 hours over weekends).
Before the change was made to allow for people who are not engaged with programming to stay at the shelter, available beds were used when temperatures were forecast to be 32°F or below or 38°F below with precipitation. This was known as Severe Weather Shelter.
Increase exits from homelessness in the City of Boulder. Exits from homelessness is a core goal within the City of Boulder's Homelessness Strategy.
Exits from homelessness have been tracked since the new adult system began on Oct. 1, 2017. Exits will continue to be tracked to assess their impact from program demand, seasonal trends and available resources.
This data is provided by the City of Boulder's Housing and Human Services Department. Many charts on this page will be updated monthly, with the exception of all shelter utilization charts, which are updated daily. Hover over text and graphics for more information and click on the ‘?’ Icon for more information about the data.