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December 2018 Update

150 New Shelter Beds Come Online December 10

As winter temperatures come to stay the Springs Rescue Mission is prepared to open 150 additional low barrier shelter beds at its new entry facility at 25 W. Las Vegas. The opening comes amid reports of growing illegal camps on the southeast side of downtown.


“Camping is not a safe option, nor a dignified one. People experiencing homelessness will find better help and be empowered to take advantage of case management and the many services offered by local non-profits when they are safely sheltered,” said Andy Phelps. “As a city we are grateful to the Springs Rescue Mission, Salvation Army and our own City Council for responding to the need for more low barrier shelter beds which gives this opportunity and also limits the amount of illegal camping on our public rights of way. The addition of shelter beds was point number one in our 2018-19 Homeless Action Plan, and I’m pleased to see progress.”


Service Providers Do Outreach at "The Quarry"

The City of Colorado Springs together with CSPD’s Homeless Outreach Team convened local service organizations to outreach to approximately 100 campers at the illegal camp known as “The Quarry” near the intersection of Fountain and Wasatch. The purpose of the outreach exercise was to connect individuals experiencing homelessness with appropriate services to provide shelter, case management, substance abuse services and more.


“While the HOT team works to direct people to services, it’s really these professionals who can make a difference and meet people where they are,” said Lt. Mike Lux of the HOT team. “We all want to see people get on their feet and off the streets and creeks, and we know that these people are the experts in giving that help that can not only help for the day, but that can actually change lives.”


 Important medical care was also part of the services provided on Dec. 5 with El Paso County Health offering free Hepatitis A shots, in response to a growing number of cases concentrated within the indigent population. Hepatitis A has been a common problem at homeless camps nationwide. Anyone who believes they may have been exposed is encouraged to call El Paso County Health at (719) 578-3199.


Two Points Added to Homelessness Action Plan

Responding to public input at a number of well-attended Homelessness Town Hall meetings, the City has added two action items to its Homelessness Action Plan. 

Together with Catholic Charities, the city has committed to working to establish more emergency family housing. In addition, CSPD has committed to training additional officers to address issues specifically related to homelessness. Funding mechanisms and detailed programming is still in discussion. 

The City, City Council and CSPD want to express appreciation to all who provided productive input, either in person or digitally, on the Homelessness Action Plan.


Veteran Homelessness Mitigation Fund Solicitation to Launch in 2019

In an effort to pursue the launch of another point on the Homelessness Action Plan, the City will begin soliciting for donations to the Veteran Homelessness Mitigation Fund in 2019. The fund is aimed at improving acceptance of housing vouchers provided to homeless veterans. Often times federal vouchers do not rise to the level of competitive rent prices, and the fund promises to make up the difference between federal funds and market rents. In addition, the fund will provide assurances to landlords who may have concerns about damage deposits or other damage to property that may not be covered by vouchers. To donate to the veteran homelessness mitigation fund, contact Andrew Phelps.


Pedestrian Safety Efforts Target Homeless Population

In an effort to pursue the launch of another point on the Homelessness Action Plan, the City will begin soliciting for donations to the Veteran Homelessness Mitigation Fund in 2019. The fund is aimed at improving acceptance of housing vouchers provided to homeless veterans. Often times federal vouchers do not rise to the level of competitive rent prices, and the fund promises to make up the difference between federal funds and market rents. In addition, the fund will provide assurances to landlords who may have concerns about damage deposits or other damage to property that may not be covered by vouchers. To donate to the veteran homelessness mitigation fund, contact Andrew Phelps.


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