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Denver’s Fight To End Homelessness Needs More Funding

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Homeless set up camp along the 16th Street Mall in Denver. (credit: CBS)

Homeless set up camp along the 16th Street Mall in Denver. (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver’s fight to end homelessness is need of more funding to continue providing services.

A city contract with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless could be extended if the city council approves the allocation of $350,000. The bill was introduced at Monday’s city council meeting.

The 10-year plan is called Denver’s Road Home and it’s one program within that plan that is looking for more funding.

The 16th Street Housing Placement Program works to support substance abuse programs, mental health care and even housing for the homeless.

“It’s part of the city’s 10-year plan to end homelessness and to meet the needs of those who are chronically homeless; the services are a critical part,” councilwoman Deborah Ortega said.

Funded with money allocated to the Denver Human Services Department, the 16th Street Housing Placement Program works to move the homeless from the streets and long-term, help them stay off the streets.

“This is an annual allocation that assures the service side of the programs are being met,” Ortega said.

Services include mental health support and substance abuse programs and housing. The program touts a $30,000 savings per person in emergency care like detox services and jail time.

Specifically the $356,000 needed will make for a total of about $1 million in support for the program. The money will be used for equipment and supplies, outreach workers, travel and other expenses.

The costliest item that the budget will pay for is a clinical case manager at $156,000.

A second reading for the bill will be presented to the city council next Monday. If approved the contract with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless would extend through Dec. 31.

LINK: Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

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