Record VASH Announcement, Veteran Highlights, Built for Zero: CO, Runaway Prevention & Homeless Youth Month, Final Supportive Housing Toolkit Session
DOH Receives Record Allocation of 200 new HUD-VASH
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Housing (DOH) 200 new HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers, DOH’s largest award since the program launched in 2008.
“We are incredibly excited to receive this award and increase our efforts to house veterans experiencing homelessness across Colorado. This incredibly valuable resource and our partnerships with federal and local partners will advance our efforts to ensure that every veteran has a safe place to call home,” said Katherine Helgerson, Director of the Office of Rental Assistance within DOH.
Freedom Springs is a 50-unit Supportive Housing development located at 734 Western Dr Colorado Springs, CO 80915. Funded with support from DOH, El Paso County, the Colorado Housing Finance Agency (CHFA), and the Colorado Springs Housing Authority, the building opened in October 2020 and serves veterans exiting homelessness.
November is Runaway Prevention & Homeless Youth Awareness Month
November is ‘National Runaway Prevention Month’, a public awareness campaign designed to “Shine a Light” on the experiences of runaway and homeless youth that too often remain invisible.
To encourage individuals, organizations, and communities to work together to prevent youth homelessness in Colorado, DOH’s Office of Homeless Youth Programs (OHYS) and community partners created the National Runaway Prevention Month calendar available here. In support of this effort, Governor Jared Polis proclaimed November 2020 as ‘Runaway and Homeless Youth Awareness Month’ in Colorado.
Governor Polis’ proclamation highlights the number of youth experiencing homelessness across the U.S. and in Colorado, the impacts of homelessness on educational outcomes for young adults, and collaborative approaches needed to address these challenges.
Built for Zero: Colorado Updates - One Year Later
Built for Zero is a national change initiative that empowers communities to use real-time data to coordinate resources, develop strategic investments, and create systems that can ensure homelessness is rare overall and brief when it occurs. Built for Zero has assisted 13 communities across the U.S. in successfully ending veteran or chronic homelessness.
Launched in October 2019 and supported by Community Solutions, Kaiser Permanente, the Colorado Health Foundation, and DOH, Built for Zero: Colorado has expanded to include seven participating communities representing 16 counties. Three communities have achieved quality real-time data. Participating communities have successfully housed 697 veterans and 95 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.
Veterans Renaissance Apartments at Fitzsimons is a 60-unit Supportive Housing development located at 1919 Quentin St., Aurora, CO 80045. Funded with support from DOH, the Colorado Department of Human Services, and the Colorado Housing Finance Agency (CHFA), the project will serve veterans exiting homelessness. A virtual Grand Opening will take place November 13, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. Register to attend here.
Pathways Home Supportive Housing Toolkit Final Presentations
Final presentations from Community Teams participating in the 2020 Virtual Pathways Home Supportive Housing Toolkit will take place November 12, 2020 from 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Invitation available here. Those planning to attend can register using the link available here.
The Pathways Home Supportive Housing Toolkit is an intensive technical assistance process developed by DOH, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), and BeuxSimone consulting designed to help communities develop and refine a feasible project concept as well as understand and navigate the unique development costs, funding sources, property management techniques, and tenancy supports associated with high-quality Supportive Housing.
Veteran Housing Highlight #3 - Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community
The Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community located at the former Fort Lyon Veterans Affairs Hospital in Bent County, CO combines recovery-oriented transitional housing with peer led counseling, educational, vocational, and employment services for up to 250 homeless and formerly homeless persons from across Colorado, with an emphasis on serving homeless veterans. If you know or work with any veterans struggling with substance use disorder that is homeless or at risk of losing their housing, visit the DOH Webpage to learn more about the program