Denver’s Plan to Reduce Homelessness
Continue Pandemic Response
2B will help the city transition from federal emergency funds being used for these pandemic expansions today, and will add daytime services the city has had very limited funding for in the shelter arena.
The need for dedicated, additional funding to address homelessness has become more critical due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Existing shelter capacity in Denver has been reduced by 1,200 beds since March 2020 due to social distancing guidance. The emergency-funded response has reduced the COVID risk among those experiencing homelessness to levels that are currently lower than the general public, but it has also demonstrated the additional benefits of 24/7 facilities that can offer enhanced daytime services to go beyond saving lives to helping to transform them.
Transition People into Existing Housing
2B will help expand on one-time funds being used in 2020 and will grow the reach of on-going federal dollars to house more households, including those living on the streets, unsheltered today. .
As we address the needs created by the pandemic and ramp up the infrastructure for expediting a pipeline of new supportive housing, we will focus our immediate work on getting people experiencing homelessness into existing housing. Rental assistance with service supports to help people access existing housing will also be an important long-term strategy for rehousing newly homeless households quickly.
Create More Supportive Housing
2B will expand and expedite a pipeline of new supportive housing to house more people, more quickly than we would without these funds..
Supportive housing is a proven solution to reduce homelessness. In just the last three years, Denver has transitioned 900 people from homelessness, including more than ⅔ through a proven supportive housing model that combines housing and services like medical care, substance use treatment, employment programs, or behavioral health care. Among the most chronically homeless individuals with the greatest barriers, more than 80% remain housed after 3+ years, with retention even higher for those with fewer barriers.