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The Boulder County 10-year Plan Goals, Objectives and Strategies

GOAL3:  Provide permanent housing with supportive services to meet the long-term needs of chronic homeless individuals

The Housing First model places primary emphasis on addressing the needs of the chronically homeless.  Research studies helped to demonstrate that the Continuum of Care approach was less than optimal for moving chronic individuals to secure and stable long-term housing.  Instead, the population remained too reliant on temporary housing options and continued to disproportionately use limited public resources.  By embracing the Housing First model, the County hopes to achieve a more lasting impact on the Chronically Homeless population, leading to greater stability and a more appropriate use of County services. 

This movement toward a Housing First model, however, will not occur quickly.  Without immediate access to financing required for the development of additional Housing First units, the County will need to slowly transition over to the model as resources become available.  As reflected in the table below, the County currently has just 25 Housing First units being managed by the Boulder Shelter and another 220 that are part of the Shelter Plus Care system which is focused primarily on individuals with a major mental illness.  It is estimated that the County needs about 100 more Housing First Units and estimates put this at a cost of approximately (need to get $$ figure from Michael).

Current Permanent Supportive Housing Options in the County






Boulder Shelter

Boulder County

Housing First

Chronic Homeless


Mental Health Center

Boulder County

Shelter + Care

Homeless adults


In addition, the model places emphasis on the provision of intensive services to ensure that the chronically homeless, who frequently have mental health and/or substance abuse issues, are able to maintain their permanent housing arrangement.   This is also an area of needed expansion as these services will need to be largely dedicated to maintaining these individuals in long-term housing. 

In the short term, this means ongoing reliance on the existing shelter, transitional and other temporary housing options, while continuing to resist using resources for short term fixes, such as the creation of additional “bricks and mortar” shelter capacity.  To meet this goal, three objectives have been defined:


  • Implement an evidence-based outreach model that is standard across the county and effectively accesses the chronically homeless population.  This also includes improving the coordination of outreach efforts with related organizations such as law enforcement and first responders.
  • Identify existing housing stock that could be converted into Housing First units with a goal of increasing these by 100 units. This objective also focuses on the continued appropriate use of both shelter and existing transitional housing options.
  • Increase the availability of supportive and wrap-around services, particularly substance abuse and mental health treatment, required to ensure ongoing and stable housing for the chronically homeless.


Goals, Objectives and Strategies to provide permanent housing with supportive services to meet the long-term needs of chronic homeless individuals

Objective 1:  Provide effective outreach to those living on the streets.




Provide street outreach services in the cities of Boulder and Longmont every night during the winter months.


Examine the capacity needs for outreach efforts and expand the number of workers to meet this demand.


Create and deliver basic training for outreach volunteers, library employees, law enforcement, and other frontline service providers and provide information to the business and broader communities about outreach efforts and ways to access services.


Increase collaboration with public safety officials and first responders, including the provision of education and training services, to increase coordination of outreach efforts.

Objective 2:  Address existing inventory as means to move individuals out of temporary shelter.




Conduct annually a resources and gaps analysis to determine the availability of existing permanent and affordable housing.


Expand permanent supportive housing by 100 units over 10 years to meet the needs of the chronically homeless.

Objective 3: Provide supportive services to increase stability of chronically homeless individuals through use of the Boulder County case management system.




Develop and utilize various benefits acquisition efforts to ensure that chronically homeless individuals are enrolled and receiving all entitlements for which they are eligible.


Assist chronically homeless individuals not eligible for public benefits access mental health, substance abuse and medical treatment (including dental) services and secure needed resources to support the provision of these services.   


Expand mental health and substance abuse treatment services in conjunction with housing services as reflected in the Housing First model.


Provide access to methadone treatment to chronically homeless individuals.


Develop and implement employment training, job opportunities and transportation support to meet the employment needs of chronically homeless individuals.


Research and determine the feasibility and resources requirement for implementing a lock-down detox unit. 


Goal 1: Prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless

Goal 2: Provide temporary shelter, alternative housing and supportive services for those who are temporarily homeless

Goal 4: Develop and/or Improve Systems to Support Efficient and Effective Plan Implementation

Goal 5: Promote Public Awareness and Advocacy

Goal 6: Implement an Effective Governance and Staffing Structure