DENVER (CBS4) – Mayors and leaders across metro Denver met virtually on Tuesday to discuss the issue of homelessness. Seven counties and more than 25 Colorado cities along the Front Range committed to regional coordination to address shelter and housing needs.
“We have to face the uncomfortable truth about the challenges of homelessness in our society,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “Coming together collaboratively as a region gives us the opportunity to be more efficient with the resources we have, whether it is the services to connect people to have their needs addressed, or to housing.”
Metro Denver Homeless Initiative co-hosted the event with the nonprofit Community Solutions, which leads the national Built for Zero initiative. More than 80 cities and counties have joined the movement, using data to measurably reduce homelessness in their communities.
“Driving reductions in homelessness takes more than just resources,” said Jake Maguire, co-director for Built for Zero. “It takes an operating system in your community for ending homelessness across your entire community or region.”
So far, 14 Built for Zero communities have ended homelessness for a population, according to Community Solutions. More than half of those locations have reduced the number of people experiencing chronic and veteran homelessness.
“The answers are there if we can break it down, but that requires radical collaboration,” said Englewood Mayor Linda Olson. “All of us have to come to the table to make it work. And the complicated nature of it is that we need various voices at the table in order to solve it well together.”