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New Housing For The Homeless Opens In Denver

DENVER (CBS4) -- New housing for the homeless opens Thursday in Denver.

The building on North Broadway is made up of 101 units that will give homeless people a safe place to live and improve their lives.

It was made possible through the Social Impact Bond Initiative, a program launched by Mayor Michael Hancock back in 2016.

A lot of the funding used to build this came from private investors through the bond program. They'll get repaid depending on the success of the residents.

More than 250 chronically homeless people who have been cycling through shelters and jails for years will have a roof over their heads and the guidance they need to succeed.

The units at Renaissance Downtown Lofts look like your typical apartment, complete with new appliances, air conditioning, even high speed internet service. But the best amenity here are the supportive services.

Residents will receive individualized support through coalition case management. They'll get help obtaining health care, job training and other tools necessary to transition from street to home.

A resident CBS4 spoke to says he grateful for the opportunity.

"Stability, foundation, keeping me grounded and focused. It's helping me so far," Karene Holst said. "My living situation was in and out of jail, streets, shelters, others people's places."

The initiative has already shown success.

"What we have found is 90 percent of participants who were stably housed didn't leave the program. Those that did are coming back. We are very excited about what this has demonstrated in terms of results," Mayor Hancock said.

It's also reduced for participants the number of nights they end up in trouble and in jail.

The city spends significantly more money on things like jail time, detox programs and hospital visits for the homeless than it did on this. Supportive housing actually saves the city an average of $29,000 per person.


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