Bills advanced today direct $155 million in federal funds to prevent and address homlessness across Colorado
DENVER, CO – The House Transportation and Local Government Committee today passed two bills that are part of the governor’s and Legislative Democrats’ package of legislation to address and prevent homelessness.
Local Grants Program: HB22-1377, sponsored by Representatives Steven Woodrow and Tony Exum, directs $105 million in flexible grant funding to local governments and nonprofits that are pursuing innovative measures to address the needs of individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Those initiatives may include wraparound supportive services, care coordination, emergency shelters, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and property conversion.
“This legislation takes a huge step towards addressing our homelessness crisis,” said Rep. Steven Woodrow, D-Denver. “The bill directs $105 million in federal economic relief to local governments and nonprofits to expand capacity while providing critical wraparound services. We’re grateful for all of the community voices who’ve made housing a priority in the wake of the pandemic.”
“One of my priorities has been to ensure that the resources we direct to address homelessness reach every community in our state because this is not just an issue that impacts Denver; it’s impacting every community in Colorado,” said Rep. Tony Exum, Sr, D-Colorado Springs. “The funding in HB22-1377 will be available to communities across our state to help them address and prevent homelessness through proven strategies that provide shelter and connect people with the services they need.”
Denver-Metro Residential Campus: HB22-1378, sponsored by Representatives Iman Jodeh and Tom Sullivandirects $50 million to local governments and nonprofits in the Denver-Metro area to build or acquire and then facilitate a regional navigation campus to holistically respond to and prevent homelessness. This campus will integrate emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing with behavioral health care, substance use disorder treatment, medical care, case management, employment and skills training and more – all in one location. The bill passed the committee 8-5.
“House Bill 1378 asks our Metro area local governments to step up in the midst of a homelessness crisis that has only worsened throughout the pandemic. It provides $50 million in federal economic relief funds to create a regional campus in our area to provide transitional housing, emergency shelter, medical care, skills training and so much more to meet people where they are and address and prevent homelessness,” said Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora.
“For too long, addressing homelessness has been a local issue, but it’s time for the state to step up and respond to the needs in our communities,” said Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial. “These are our neighbors, our fellow Coloradans, who require a human solution to a human crisis, and that’s what this bill, in part, provides. This bill will provide the funds necessary for our local governments and nonprofits to set up the infrastructure to respond to those experiencing homelessness. Whether someone is suffering from a substance use disorder, has struggled to keep a stable job, or is at-risk of becoming homeless, it’s our hope and intention that this bill and the regional campus it funds, will help.”