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Homelessness Strategy


The Homelessness Strategy and Action Plan is a City of Boulder specific plan to address homelessness and complement the Boulder County Ten Year Plan to Address Homelessness, adopted in 2010. The Strategy Framework has been developed based on best practices, research, what’s worked in other communities, and local issues and needs. The Strategy identifies community goals and the Action Plan identifies specific implementation strategies to meet those goals. Recent council study sessions on homelessness have been held on August 26, 2014April 28, 2015October 27, 2015 , and August 30, 2016 . Additional council memos related to the Homelessness can be found on the Homelessness webpage.

The purpose of the strategy is to:

  • Clarify city goals in addressing homelessness;
  • Maximize efficiency and effectiveness of city resources in addressing homelessness;
  • Engage community partners in solutions; and
  • Provide a strategic road map for city action.

The draft Homelessness Strategy document is being developed based on:

  • Key guiding plans previously approved by the city;
  • Best practices and evidence based programs;
  • Feedback from City Council;
  • Consultation with local providers of homeless services; and
  • A community engagement process in 2016.
  • The Homelessness Working Group process through April, 2017.

The Action Plan identifies six key strategies for accomplishing these goals:

Develop Long-term Housing Solutions

  • Establish specific targets within affordable housing goals for diverse populations of people experiencing homelessness and those under 30% AMI; Include target numbers and types of housing; Establish policies for planning and disbursing housing to address homelessness throughout other affordable housing projects supported by the city. 
  • Strengthen landlord relationships to expand housing options and retention for renters; explore incentives.
  • Partner with Housing Division, Boulder County Ten-Year Plan to Address Homelessness Board and Consortium of Cities to address land use barriers to developing and acquiring housing and creating new types of housing.      

Prevent Homelessness

  • >Support city and regional programs that help people out of poverty, including affordable housing, eviction prevention, skills training and development and temporary financial assistance programs.
  • Identify and implement evidence based anti-poverty programs.

Support an Efficient and Effective Services System Based on Best Practice

  • Require system improvements (coordinated assessment and entry intake, case management, integrated data) as conditions of city funding.
  • Partner with Municipal Court, Boulder Police Department and homeless service providers to reduce interface with the criminal justice system; expand service connection and to improve community and individual outcomes.  

Support a Continuum of Services as a Pathway to Stability

  • Support access to emergency shelter and services connected to transitional services and permanent housing.
  • Support access to substance use treatment and mental health services. 
  • Support access to affordable transportation.

Strengthen Regional Partnerships

  • Work with other regional partners and service providers to leverage resources, housing, services and system coordination for homelessness solutions. 

Expand Public Education About Homelessness and Community Solutions

  • Provide accessible information about homeless populations, unique characteristics and needs, community programs, and results achieved.
  • Work with community partners to identify and implement consistent community messaging to about homeless populations, community programs, and services available.

As opportunities have arisen, initiatives have been developed and implemented with city and community partners, in all areas of the Action Plan. 

Status and Potential Next Steps

  • Homelessness Working Group action plan development October 2016 - May 2017
  • Draft Strategy refinements - First and Second Quarter 2017

Council Action

  • January 2017 – Homelessness Workgroup check-in with council - IP
  • May 2017 – Working Group Plan and Draft Strategy

Staff Contact

Wendy Schwartz, Planning and Program Development Manager,, 303-441-1818.

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