May 27, 2020
Published on the first Monday of each month by Bob Yates, Boulder City Council
Note: The Boulder Bulletin is published monthly on the first Monday of each month. However, a special weekly issue of the Bulletin also is being published each Wednesday during the COVID crisis to keep the Boulder community apprised of the most recent local developments. The next regular monthly edition will be published on Monday, June 1, and the next weekly special COVID edition will be published on Wednesday, June 3.

And what about the homeless?
By Bob Yates
Lost in this mess is our discussion on homelessness. As folks debate whether we should have a stay-at-home order or a safer-at-home order, there continue to be people who have no home to stay in or be safer in. What was already a complex problem became significantly more difficult when social distancing placed constraints on how many people can be housed together. When the venue for sheltering in place is, quite literally, a shelter, it focuses thought on where people came from, who they might have been exposed to, and how they can be housed safely. Fortunately, the city has an innovative and compassionate staff in our Housing and Human Services department. At last night’s city council meeting, they presented a comprehensive report on the steps they have taken over the last two months to protect our community.
As always, it’s helpful to start with context, provided by facts. In Boulder, there are two principal providers of homelessness services: Bridge House and the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. They, along with other housing providers, like Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) and Boulder Housing Partners, provide nearly all of the housing for those in Boulder experiencing homelessness, with financial and logistical support from the city and the county. The two big organizations have somewhat different missions and services. The Boulder Shelter, located on North Broadway, has primarily focused on short- to medium-term housing, for people transitioning from emergency services to permanent solutions. Conversely, Bridge House’s principal mission has been to train people experiencing homelessness in essential job skills through its Ready to Work program, helping scores of people each year to mainstream back into the community and exit homelessness permanently. 
Two years ago, Bridge House agreed to temporarily expand its mission by operating a facility that became available in the former Robb’s Music store on 30th Street. In that location, Bridge House operated both the wintertime severe weather shelter as well as the Coordinated Entry program. Coordinated Entry requires those seeking services to be registered, after which they are either directed to more permanent housing solutions or reunited with friends and family, often outside of Boulder (referred to as “navigation”). During that time at the 30th Street location, Bridge House was able to provide solutions for 620 individuals, with more than 200 permanently housed, 300 navigated to family and friends, and most of the rest referred to Bridge House’s Ready to Work training program, where they developed job skills and were ultimately placed in employment and permanent housing. 
As successful as Bridge House has been with the Coordinated Entry program at 30th Street, the arrangement was always seen as temporary, for two reasons: First, ..
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Next regular monthly issue June 1
Next special weekly COVID-19 issue June 3

Council Meetings & Study Sessions

Unless otherwise noted, all council meetings and study sessions and other meetings begin at 6:00 at City Council Chambers, second floor, 1777 Broadway. Information current as of first Monday of the month, but subject to change.

View agendas here.

Tuesday, June 2: Regular Council Meeting 
COVID briefing; Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan changes; dockless bike share

Tuesday, June 9: Special Council Meeting 
Financial update

Tuesday, June 16: Regular Council Meeting 
South Boulder Creek flood mitigation

Contact Bob 
Voice Message: 720.310.5829
Office: 1777 Broadway, Boulder (email in advance for appointment)
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