By Robin Clutters

DENVER (CBS4) – The federal eviction moratorium that was created during the pandemic is set to expire July 31, and that means the threat of eviction is looming for many Coloradans. It’s an issue that is concerning for Colorado Access, a nonprofit that works to create better access to affordable health care.

“Anyone who experiences income insecurity is going to be affected by the moratorium,” says Gretchen McGinnis, the Senior Vice-President of Healthcare Systems and Accountable Care. “We have identified the Native American population, which makes up about 1% of the population in Denver and represents almost 5% of the population that experiences homelessness in a given year.”

A study from NYU found evictions increase the likelihood of a person being hospitalized up to two years later and increases the probability of hospitalization due to a mental health condition. Colorado Access has teamed up with organizations like the Denver Indian Health and Family Services and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless to prevent these outcomes.

“We have partnered with these groups to support the hiring of full-time staff that are indigenous that connect directly to these folks and provide culturally-competent advocacy for people facing eviction.”

Colorado Access has also been working to provide mental health support.

“These organizations we’ve worked with have direct abilities to connect with the homeless population, bring them into a safe place, and allow them to get telehealth services in a way that is both safe and secure,” McGinnis said.

Robin Clutters