On June 7, 2021, the Homeless Solutions for Boulder County Executive Board, which includes representation from the City of Boulder, approved several changes to its homelessness services and policies, including:
- Removing the six-month residency requirement for shelter services starting Aug 9. This timing aligns with when the City of Boulder’s July 2021 decision to ban tents and propane tanks in public spaces will start being enforced.
- Providing unlimited stays in the shelter for people who use the shelter’s Reserved Bed program and are actively engaged in services .
- Opening available beds to people who are not actively using the Reserved Bed program. This means that there will no longer be a weather-triggered severe weather shelter season. However, on critical weather nights, increased space will be made available and grace nights will be provided for people who have not been able to access Coordinated Entry.
These changes do not reflect an increase in funding for homelessness services. Rather, they are designed to better offer access to shelter and services with existing bed space and resources. The new system aims to meet the needs of frequent system utilizers and those with self-reported vulnerabilities and to allow for more engagement with services, resources and staff.
In 2017, the City of Boulder approved a comprehensive Homelessness Strategy. This strategy, built around a “Housing First” approach and regional collaboration, prioritizes housing and helps address obstacles to housing stability. Ongoing efforts to develop permanently affordable housing and prevent homelessness in the community are critical components of the strategy.
“Homelessness is national issue but looking through a local lens there are about 340 unhoused individuals in our community at any point in time,” said Housing and Human Services Director Kurt Firnhaber. “Given that we have helped over 1,100 people exit homelessness since 2017, Boulder’s services should be viewed positively. Our hope with the new policies is to provide better access to shelters while continuing to move people out of homelessness.”
For more information please see Homelessness in Boulder.