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Colorado legislators, Polis want to allocate $200 million to confront homelessness

The state is searching for land in the Denver metro area that could be turned into a campus to house hundreds of people currently living on the streets.

DENVER — As Colorado’s homeless epidemic grows increasingly dire in recent years, the governor and his allies in the legislature unveiled measures that collectively allocate $200 million to confront the crisis.

Gov. Jared Polis announced the three-bill package during a press conference Monday, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated homelessness in Colorado from a concern to a crisis. From 2020 to 2021, first-time homelessness in Denver shelters increased by 99%, according to the Denver Metro Homeless Initiative.

“We need to address this issue and we need to address it now,” said Polis, who was flanked by legislators who support the measures. "Mental health, homelessness, substance abuse, housing costs, these were problems before the pandemic, but these last two years have pushed communities across the country into a crisis.”

Using federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act, the three bills would allocate $105 million to create a statewide grant program funding homeless services and another $95 million to build two homeless recovery campuses in the Denver metro area.

The bills are expected to be introduced by the end of the day on Monday.

>Read the full article at Colorado Politics.

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