By Audra Streetman

DENVER (CBS4) – The city of Denver is allocating nearly $24.3 million to help people experiencing homelessness and housing instability. Denver City Council passed three resolutions on Tuesday night aimed at serving residents in need.

(credit: CBS)

The funding includes a nearly $22 million federal grant agreement for the Emergency Rental Assistance program and a $1.5 million contract expansion for the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program.

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“Too many residents are facing housing insecurity as a direct result of this pandemic,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “Investing these additional federal and local resources to help keep people in their homes, and to help connect our most vulnerable residents toward stability, will provide much needed relief to those who need it most.”

A third resolution will expand temporary Safe Outdoor Spaces in Denver for people experiencing homelessness. Denver City Council approved a nearly $900,000 contract with Colorado Village Collaborative to operate two sites with room for up to 100 households.

(credit: CBS)

Officials said the funding will support the existing Safe Outdoor Space at Denver Community Church in North Capitol Hill as well as a future site to be determined.

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“These funds represent the city and the community working together to advance meaningful solutions for our most vulnerable neighbors. We look forward to growing this strategy in the days ahead,” said Director Cole Chandler, Executive Director of Colorado Village Collaborative.

There is another Safe Outdoor Space at First Baptist Church in Capitol Hill, which is managed by Earthlinks, Inc. City officials said the new site will be managed by Colorado Village Collaborative with the St. Francis Center as a subcontractor.

These planned campsites will provide shelter and hygiene facilities as well as COVID-19 testing, wellness screenings and housing/employment referrals.

(credit: CBS)

The Colorado Village Collaborative released the following updates about people staying at the Safe Outdoor Sites:

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  • 5 moved into tiny homes in the organization’s Beloved Community Village
  • 5 entered into the OneHome coordinated entry system
  • 14 received dental cleanings
  • 2 continued sobriety journeys
  • 7 connected with mental health services
  • 1 secured employment and is saving for an apartment

Additional funding for Denver’s Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program is expected to serve 310 households. To learn more about rent and utility assistance, call 3-1-1 and press 6. Callers will be asked to provide information such as proof of Denver residency, proof of household income, and proof of rent or utilities due.

Audra Streetman