Access the recording of this presentation on Knowledge Finder here.
On May 19, ULI Colorado’s webinar focused on initiatives to end homelessness in Boulder and Longmont. The results will challenge your notions of who the homeless are, what works to end homelessness, and how the private sector can participate in solutions.
For example, did you know?
At least pre-Covid, homeless populations nationwide (roughly 567,000 people) were trending downward, not up.
The average cost to service the homeless (medical, police, shelters, etc.) is $30,000 to $50,000 per person a year.
In 2016, Boulder and Boulder County launched new strategies focused on finding housing rather than sheltering. The strategy included new systems to track homeless individuals, direct them to appropriate services, and help them transition to permanent housing. Various homeless services from nonprofit and government sources have also been coordinated for the first time to complement each other. From October 2017 to January 2020, this new system housed 393 homeless individuals vs. a goal of 200.
Downtown Boulder residents opposed the creation of Attention Homes, new housing for homeless young people located at 15th and Spruce. They now consider them good neighbors who have helped keep “eyes on the street” while downtown has been mostly deserted throughout Covid-19.
Mountain Brook, a 457-home market-rate subdivision in Longmont, is being developed to include a tiny-home village to house homeless veterans—only the second of its kind in the U.S. The developer calls this “compassion as an amenity.” (There are 40,000+ homeless vets in the U.S., and 1.5 million living in poverty.) The actual tiny homes are being built by the nonprofit Veterans Community Project (VCP).
Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), which provides on-site services as well as apartments, has a success rate of 70 percent after two years.
Developed by Boulder Housing Partners, the $7.6 million 1175 Lee Hill PSH project required at least seven sources of financing. Residents of North Boulder also opposed this project but have had virtually zero complaints since it opened in 2015.
Based in Missoula, Montana, the private company Blue Line Development has created permanent housing for the homeless at the Crow Agency in Montana, St. Francis Apartments in Denver, Grand Junction, and Aurora.
Thank you to the Boulder ULI committee (Dave Bacon and Melissa McGinley, co-chairs) for organizing this event. More than 80 attended.