Denver City Council is moving forward with nearly $30 million allocated towards funding homelessness initiatives and housing.
On Monday, council leaders approved several resolutions dedicated towards providing additional funds to certain organizations as well approving the first reading of a bill that would allocate $15.7 million towards the acquisition of the Best Western Hotel at 4595 Quebec Street. The 194-unit property is already set to operate as a non-congregate shelter until the property is converted into supportive housing.
The remaining money approved today goes towards existing contracts with some of the city's homelessness outreach groups, including Denver Rescue Mission.
"Any funding that the city allots to Denver Rescue Mission is only going to help make this city a more and more welcoming environment," said Stephen Hinkel, Public Relations Manager for the Denver Rescue Mission. "We all go through hard times in our lives, individuals who are experiencing homelessness, it doesn't get much harder than that."
Monday's resolution amends the Denver Rescue Mission's existing contract with the city, adding $255,442 to make $510,884 through December 2024 to provide shelter and housing and mental health support services.
"To make sure people get case management, making sure they can get into more permanent housing," said Hinkel.
Organizations like Family Promise of Greater Denver, Salvation Army, Urban Peak Denver and Volunteers of America Colorado were also awarded additional funding from the city.
FAMILY PROMISE OF GREATER DENVER - $365,907 additional dollars (on top of existing contracts with the city)
SALVATION ARMY - $320,346
URBAN PEAK DENVER - $360,140
VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA - $140,000
"Specifically, this program that is being approved ... is for our family housing program and that serves families in the Denver metro area," said Angel Hurtado, Vice President of Family, Veterans and Homeless services for Volunteers of America Colorado.
With an additional $140,000 towards their existing contract with the city, Hurtado says Volunteers of America Colorado will essentially be able to get 40 new families out of homelessness.
"The bang for its buck is really high in this program," she said. "The 40 families will be able to receive services for at least a year, potentially two years, and the assistance with their ability to maintain their rent is permanent."
Other measures that are still being considered for funding include providing $6.4 million towards the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless towards encampment resolution outreach. However, the council postponed hearing this item until the next council meeting.
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