By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado’s homeless crisis has reached the point where the state is stepping in. Major contributors to homelessness, like mental health issues, substance abuse, and housing costs, escalated during the pandemic.

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Chronic homelessness has also skyrocketed.

Gov. Jared Polis announced legislation on Monday that will provide resources to quickly and effectively get people into housing. It will provide funding for critical supportive services. Polis said that state investment alone would not solve the problem.

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“Our local leaders in urban and suburban communities need to step up and address the issue,” said Polis. “The state is pushing local communities to invest and be innovative to address this challenge and the state will be a co-investor.”

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Last year, the state announced that it would convert what used to be the Ridge View Youth Center into a haven for the homeless. The campus in Watkins will be repurposed with some of that state funding as well as federal and local dollars.

Jennifer McRae