Denver’s Homelessness Crisis
It is not compassionate to have over 300 souls dying annually on cold or hot concrete on Denver’s streets. It is a moral and a public policy failure that we must address. This crisis has been exacerbated by the global pandemic, but as civic leaders we must marshall a sense of urgency to collaborate regionally to ensure that our residents rarely experience homelessness, and if they do, they are offered immediate and meaningful assistance to avoid chronic homelessness. Based on Denver’s annual, Point-in-Time Count there were approximately 5000 residents living homeless and 24% of those were unsheltered.
Affirming the Needs of Each Person
Implement the “Community Solutions – Built for Zero” initiative, which provides a one-for-one count of every resident who is homeless or unsheltered on our streets. This should augment the annual Point-in-Time count.
Monitor how tax dollars are currently spent within the city to reduce homelessness. Enhance the Department of Housing Stability (HOST) current dashboard to provide an end-to-end view of the transition of individual residents from unsheltered to housed.
Sanctioned Outdoor Spaces
Increase funding for Colorado Village Collaborative Sanctioned Outdoor Sites and place sites throughout Denver.
Implement Root Cause Solutions
- Provide continuum of care – physical health care, mental health and substance misuse support.
- Increase rental protections – rent/utility subsidies and eviction protection.
- Generate innovative solutions – Denver Daily Basic Income.
- Coordinate with DPS to identify families that are considered homeless in their school system because they are ‘couch surfing’ or living in a motel. Collaborate wraparound support services to increase housing stability so they do not become unsheltered. McKinney-Vento Homelessness Definition.