May 31, 2022

JOINT RELEASE: BILLS SIGNED TO ADDRESS AND PREVENT HOMELESSNESS

Laws direct $155 million to create a statewide grant program and regional navigation campus in the Denver-Metro area


DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed two bills into law that will provide $155 million to address and prevent homelessness across Colorado.

HB22-1377, sponsored by Representatives Steven Woodrow and Tony Exum and Senators Chris Kolker and Julie Gonzales, 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. These initiatives may include emergency shelters, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and property conversion, as well as wraparound services and care coordination.

“This package of legislation works to address and prevent homelessness across Colorado by funding innovative measures that provide shelter and help people transition to permanent housing,” said Rep. Steven Woodrow, D-Denver. “Local governments and nonprofits can’t fill this need on their own, so the state is stepping up to fund the programs and projects we know will help provide the housing and supports people need to get back on their feet and thrive.”

“The crisis of unhoused Coloradans has only grown, and we must take action,” said Senator Chris Kolker, D-Centennial. “This law will enable local communities to better tackle this crisis, and arm them with resources to implement innovative, community-driven strategies that address and prevent homelessness and get more Coloradans the help they need.”

“Too many Coloradans, including over 1,000 veterans, are experiencing homelessness across our state,” said Rep. Tony Exum, D-Colorado Springs. “This legislation provides funding for critical services and shelter for people in immediate need of a safe place to sleep and will also help people transition out of homelessness. We worked to ensure that each community in Colorado would have an opportunity to access this funding. From reducing the cost of housing and increasing access to behavioral health care to making Colorado more affordable and boosting skills training programs, we’re doing everything we can to address the root causes of homelessness and create opportunity for everyone in Colorado.”

“We’ve seen clearly over the past few years that crisis exacerbates inequality. As our state’s housing issues have worsened significantly, even more Coloradans find themselves without a place to call home,” said Senator Julie Gonzales, D-Denver, Vice Chair of the Affordable Housing Transformational Task Force. “This new law is critically important, and will help local communities connect unhoused Coloradans to essential support and resources. It’s only a start – but providing these resources will help folks get back on their feet by expanding access to the housing, care and support services that they need.”

HB22-1378, sponsored by Representatives Iman Jodeh and Tom Sullivan and Senators James Coleman and Chris Hansen, directs $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 homelessness crisis in our communities demands an innovative approach that will deploy best practices and comprehensive strategies, and that’s what we’re doing by creating a central location where people can get the wraparound services they need to avoid homelessness,” said Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora. “I am proud of this legislation that creates and funds a regional navigation campus in the Denver-Metro area that will integrate health care, job services and housing supports – some of the best practices available to reduce and prevent homelessness.”

“The homelessness crisis has hit our communities hard, and addressing it requires all hands on deck, which is exactly the approach this legislation takes,” said Senator James Coleman, D-Denver. “This law will connect folks without stable housing to the services, care and housing they need, and give more Coloradans support to help them move forward and thrive.”

“As a veteran, it is deeply troubling to see so many people who served our nation struggle to find safe and stable housing and access to the job services and health care they need,” said Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial. “I’m proud Governor Polis has signed our legislation into law to invest in proven strategies that will reduce and prevent homelessness. This new regional campus will be a one-stop-location for people experiencing homelessness to be connected with behavioral health care, job training, housing options and other critical services that we know help people find long-term housing and employment.”

“Too many of our neighbors are struggling to find a place to call home, and they need assistance,” said Senator Chris Hansen, D-Denver. “This law will provide significant new resources to support folks experiencing homelessness, and give nonprofits and local governments more capacity to address this crisis and help more Coloradans get back on their feet.”