Boulder Sees Milestone as City Reaches 1,000 Exits From Homelessness
This month, the city reached a major milestone in its commitment to addressing homelessness. Through the efforts of local partners, 1,000 individuals have traded homelessness for stable housing in the Boulder community.
In 2017, the City of Boulder approved a comprehensive strategy to address homelessness. This strategy, built around a “Housing First” approach and regional collaboration, prioritizes housing and helps individuals address obstacles to achieving housing stability. Housing stability can involve assistance in obtaining housing, diversion, reunification, long-term programs, substance use treatment or other programs such as Ready to Work.
“Getting an individual into stable housing is the first step,” said Kurt Firnhaber, director of the City of Boulder’s Housing and Human Services Department. “Housing stability is critical for individuals to address their challenges and help them reach their goals. Research indicates that getting individuals experiencing homeless to a housing solution quickly results in the best outcomes. We could not be more proud of our community partners that support these paths out of homelessness.”
Recognizing that homelessness is a regional issue, the Cities of Boulder and Longmont, in partnership with Boulder County and the area housing authorities, formed Homeless Solutions for Boulder County (HSBC). HSBC has been able to secure diverse and flexible funding, coordinate resources and create new pathways to housing individuals across the county.
“By working together as a collaborative, Longmont has been able to leverage its resources to make tremendous strides in helping adults experiencing homelessness in the Longmont community secure stable permanent housing,” said Karen Roney, director of the City of Longmont’s Community Services “Through the coordinated efforts of HSBC, we have been able to focus on long-term strategies that expand housing opportunities for some of our most vulnerable community members and help ensure housing retention for years to come.”
HSBC and its partners designed homelessness intervention programs that use tools such as sheltering and case management to help people obtain permanent housing stability. While people participate in these programs, they are also given access to basic-needs services such as job training, medical care, dental assistance, mental health services and respite from COVID-19 and other health conditions.
As the strategy matures, HBSC is focusing on developing new solutions to help those with barriers to housing stability, such as addiction. Because resources are finite, housing and year-round programs will continue to be prioritized for Boulder County residents and HSBC will maintain targeted assistance for individuals that are new to the area. Ongoing efforts to develop permanently affordable housing and prevent homelessness in the community are critical components of Boulder’s Homelessness Strategy.
For more information on exits from homelessness and the city’s strategy, visit bouldercolorado.gov/homelessness/homelessness-dashboard.
Zach McGee, Media Relations, 303-868-6810
Vicki Ebner, Homelessness Policy Manager, 303-441-4235
Published Dec. 11, 2020