There currently exist programs and services in Boulder County that provide financial support and supportive services to those who are at risk of losing their primary place of residence. This vulnerability has been made more acute in recent years given the economic down-turn and the resulting loss of jobs and rise in home foreclosures. Prevention efforts are one of the strengths of Boulder County’s current response to helping at-risk families which has been expanded with the recent infusion of Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing (HPRP) dollars. Moreover, American Recovery and Re-Investment Act (ARRA) dollars have been helpful for augmenting job search and placement efforts.
At the same time, there is a need to improve coordination between the various stakeholders, providers and agencies that are involved in these efforts. This includes working with the landlords, utility companies and employers to improve responsiveness to emergent issues while seeking to secure resources that can help support home, rent and utility related assistance. It is also recognized that many at-risk individuals and families qualify for public health and income benefits which they would likely obtain with additional support. Accessing these benefit would help to decrease financial burden and increase economic security. While there are disparate programs designed to support benefits acquisition, there is an opportunity to improve these efforts through the implementation of a client-centered, mobile model that would increase acquisition successes. This approach is included as one of the plan’s strategies.
A final area for focusing prevention efforts relates to issues that confront individuals who are transitioning back into the community. These populations are at greater risk of homelessness given their need to establish an economic base and secure housing resources within the community. They include individuals being released from jail or prison, emancipating from foster care, returning to the community as a veteran of war, or leaving other public institutions such as a mental health center or substance abuse treatment program. While coordination efforts in these areas do exist, they are not optimally and systematically organized and therefore, require additional structure so that individuals are better able to transition into a successful and stable living situation.
Increasing the Capacity to Meet Short and Long Term Housing Needs
Expanding Access to Mental Health, Substance Abuse and other Supportive Services
Improving Infrastructure and the Coordination of Service Delivery
Keeping the Community Engaged
Ensuring Successful Implementation