(March 28) – A bipartisan bill to repurpose Ft. Lyon campus in Las Animas to provide transitional housing, supportive services and vocational training for hundreds of homeless individuals passed the House Local Government Committee today by a vote of ten to three.

HB13-1261, sponsored by Reps. Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) and Tim Dore (R-Elizabeth), will repurpose the Fort Lyon campus, which is formerly a minimum-security correctional facility, into a full-service treatment and rehabilitation center for 300 of Colorado’s most vulnerable homeless individuals to help end veteran homelessness, reduce chronic homelessness and sustain an economic driver for Southeastern Colorado.

“This is an innovative and pragmatic plan that will have a significant impact on reducing homelessness and ensure economic stability for a rural area of Colorado that has faced hardship since the closing of the correctional facility,” Rep. Garcia said. “This piece of legislation is representative of why I ran for office. We have worked in a bipartisan way, putting our minds together for common-sense, innovative solutions that will help cure social ills while creating jobs and boosting the Southern Colorado economy.”

Many stakeholders and organizations worked together on this policy and testified in support including the Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, the Colorado Competitive Council, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the Colorado Municipal League, Colorado Counties Inc., the Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development, Action 22 and Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office.

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