Mapping Our Future - The Human Services Strategy

The 2017 Human Services Strategy is the final product developed through a comprehensive community effort to reflect the current priorities and focus for the city’s human services and initiatives.

  1. Community Engagement

  2. Plan

  3. Design

  4. Implement

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Project Overview

Through more than 40 community engagement activities, over 2000 Boulder residents and community stakeholders voiced their opinions about some of the city’s most urgent challenges and identified opportunities to provide solutions that continue to build a better community for all residents. We endeavored to make sure the Strategy genuinely reflects their thoughtful ideas and input and believe we have captured the community’s highest priorities and its passion for this important work in the Strategy.

This document provides a five-year roadmap to address six top human services goal areas: Aging Well, A Good Start, Economic Mobility and Resilience, Health and Well-being, Homelessness and Inclusive and Welcoming Community. For each goal area, the Strategy details the challenges confronting our community and identifies long-term goals. It also identifies specific strategies for the city through its role as a funder, direct service provider and community partner, while prioritizing future city human services investments.

We intend that the Strategy will be a useful tool that reflects our shared community values and helps the city achieve its goal to create a healthy, socially thriving, and inclusive community by providing and supporting human services to Boulder residents in need.


The Human Services Strategy identifies the city’s goals and priorities and provide a blueprint for the city’s human services investments for the next five years. The Human Services Strategy incorporates a five-year planning horizon to account for more rapidly changing community needs, shifting economic conditions, and the changing roles and resources of state and federal government and local partners.

The purpose of the Human Services Strategy is to:

  • Identify the city’s human services goals and priorities;
  • Clarify the city’s role in providing human services;
  • Identify new or expanded community partnerships to leverage and coordinate resources and services to the community; and
  • Align city investments in human services with priorities and goals as a funder, service provider and community partner.

The Strategy identifies the city’s strategic goals, partnerships, community funding priorities, and direct services. The Strategy update process includes three phases:

  • Phase I (Concluded Summer 2016) - Research and background on key community issues based on local and national research about human services trends, best practices and demographic shifts.
  • Phase II (Second Quarter 2015 – First Quarter 2017) – Community engagement; policy analysis and options related to funding, direct services, and partnerships.

This phase includes:

  • Implemented a robust community and stakeholder engagement process to help inform city priorities for community funding and direct services; outreach included a statistically valid telephone survey, stakeholder, resident and under-represented communities focus groups, open houses and on-line surveys;
  • Conducting a direct services assessment to inform future programming;
  • Identifying options for community funding priorities and methodologies for funding; and
  • Identifying areas of greater integration and partnership with Boulder County.
  • Phase III – Draft Strategy, refinements, final plan and adoption (Second Quarter 2017).

The Strategy document elements include:

  • Research and background on key issues, trends, best practice and demographic shifts;
  • Community and stakeholder engagement;
  • Community funding analysis and options;
  • Direct services priorities;
  • Community programs and partnerships;
  • Policy options and recommendations;
  • Budget and capital needs;
  • Implementation plan and organizational strategy; and
  • Metrics and evaluation plan.