Boulder Homeless shelter hopes to give people help finding a job, permanent housing

But this raises questions about the people coming to the shelter for short-term needs.

The Boulder Homeless Shelter intends to make some major changes to the management plan with the hope of helping more people with long-term needs eventually get permanent housing.

The plan has raised questions about what will happen to those people currently coming to the shelter who need short-term care.

9NEWS learned the goal is for the shelter to focus on those who need more help and others seeking less will be sent to another facility the county and the city calls 'navigation services.' Once there, they will also receive help finding permanent housing.

Boulder Homeless Shelter Exec. Dir. Greg Harms said the plan is to still be at full capacity, but serve a different clientele, which will come with changes to the way the shelter is managed.

“We used to have limits on how long people could stay those limits will go away but we will have more strategy on getting people housed,” Harms said.

The shelter hopes to use their 160-bed facility to give people a place to sleep, eat, but also provide them with the tools they need to find jobs and permanent housing.

“We do not want people staying here for a long period of time,” said Harms.

Wendy Schwartz is the city’s Homeless Program Manager, and she said the new plan would require each person looking for a place to stay to go through an intake process. Swartz also said she thinks there is going to be a more stable environment because there will be fewer people going to the shelter.

“They would answer a series of questions like how long they have been homeless and how long they have lived in Boulder County,” Schwartz said.

She said it is the answers to those questions that will help find the right place for each person and help determine what needs to be done to get them into and then out of the shelters.

“How can we figure out your housing exits; what is it going to take to get you off the streets in a permanent way?” Schwartz said.

Those working with the city, county and shelter understand that time can vary case by case.

“We might have people that are at the high-end need of the spectrum that need a lot of support and it’s going to take time - maybe even more than a year - to find the right housing solution for them,” Schwartz said.

They aren't forgetting about those who may not need as much attention.

“We have another service called navigation services that’s being implemented in the city at the same time that’s helping some clients that may need shorter-term services,” Harms said.

That site is currently being finalized by the city and county.

Some of the new services like the new intake process will start on October 1. Other changes will come after an October 2 meeting where the community has a chance to give their input to the changes.

If all goes in the city’s and county’s favor, people could see the other changes start in late October or early November.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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