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OK, now at 10 after 10, we're talking coordinated entry and homelessness. These things always seem to happen late at night when no one is here.
Kurt Firnhaber: This is really an initiative not just of city staff, but of homeless solutions for Boulder County. 25 organizations that work with homeless in our community.
Starting out with a story, per Mayor Jones' request: James, homeless in Boulder for 26 years, was housed in March 2018.
He was referred to Boulder Shelter for the Homeless from the court system, where he had a 10-yr history of arrests. He has had 0 police interaction since getting housing.
Per case manager from the shelter (Firnhaber is reading): "It became clear he was ready for this change."

Firnhaber said he didn't utilize shelter over his 26 years of homelessness.
Firnhaber: "While we are providing paths out of homelessness, not everybody is going to take the same path."
Wendy Schwartz RE: last week's storm: shelter started accepting ppl at 11 a.m. even though it didn't formally open until 2 p.m.; nobody was turned away.
Bridge House was "a little bit" overcapacity that night at 30th Street; they got permission to go over. Boulder Shelter was under capacity.
"What we do when we see something unusual is we look to work with the service providers, bc they're the ones who really have the connection to the clients and can monitor what's happening on the ground."
In the first year, 188 ppl got housing (including 65 subsidized units), 145 got "reunified"; and 50 went to other programs (including Ready to Work.)
Schwartz: We know how many ppl got housing, which many communities don't.
Those are county-wide numbers btw, from Oct. 2017-Sept. 30, 2018)
"Housing" means someone went to housing, signed a lease, or went into a roommate situation. Not necessarily locally.
"Dif from reunification where they might have moved in with a friend or relative or something like that."
Weaver wondering how many ppl got placed in the city of Boulder.
Schwartz: 3/4 of the ppl coming through coordinated entry come through in the city of Boulder, and the majority of the exits in all of these categories are from City of Boulder services.
Housing "almost always" means rent.
"Housing is the primary evidence-based intervention to solve homelessness," Schwartz says. References Houston, which reduced unsheltered homeless pop by 75% between 2011-2016, added 2,500 units of housing.
"We know costs of providing housing are offset by reducing emergency services."
When you get ppl housed, it frees up shelter capacity.
$3.45M spent on homelessness this first year; 75% on sheltering, navigation.
Jones: What % was case management of that?
Schwartz: "A couple hundred thousand" or "a small proportion"
Yates: Next time you present this, it would be helpful to have a better breakdown. We're doing fractions of fractions, and I'm confused.
Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, 23% of the budget: Majority of ppl in the county 1 yr or more. 64%
"This program have a high vulnerability profile." All report a disability
Path to Home Navigation, takes up 40% of the budget: 68% of clients have been in the county less than 6 months
Longmont navigation services: 8% of the budget
60% of clients have been in county for 1 yr or more
200 ppl need housing. Have been in county for 2yr+
These people are the most vulnerable on the streets, Schwartz says, bc of mental and physical ailments.
$1M extra annually is being requested to house *some* of those folks.
Q from Yates: How many permanently supportive units would that provide, and what's Boulder's share?
Schwartz: Costs $20K per person, per year. (Rent, ongoing services, etc.) "So $1M supports 50 ppl, not 200, but the plan relies on leveraging other sources of funding"
Yates: Are you saying that $1M in local funding is going to generate 200 units?
Schwartz: That is how the plan works, yes.
"Boulder's share hasn't technically been defined by HSBC yet, but in estimates we're going to show you later, one option we've put forward is half of that amount: $500K."
Schwartz: "We found when we had increasing shelter, we had increasing people seeking shelter."
"Sometimes ppl think that increasing shelter is the way to address homelessness. We haven't found that to be true."
Five nights where Path to Home turned people away, in June.
Boulder Shelter for the Homeless had 2 nights of turnaways without severe weather shelter as a backup, in January 2018 and August 2018.
This season, Boulder Shelter had 10 nights of turning clients away, 9 in October 2018; one in December. There was not severe weather sheltering as backup.
Two nights where SWS reached capacity: Feb. 11 and March 6.
Moving onto what's being proposed by Homeless Solutions for Boulder County (board approved on March 8) for when the lease on 30th Street expires.
Recommendation is to consolidate Path for Home into Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. The program would still exist, but they'd be hosted on-site at BSH. Public buildings or partners (like nonprofits) would host coordinated entry.
We recommend continuing severe weather shelter program. But space and service provider are still an issue. City buildings will be looked at, plus faith community facilities.
Q from Weaver: Big difference is there would be no beds for ppl in the diversion program?
Schwartz: That is correct.
So 165 beds would be available for navigation and housing-focused shelter.
Brockett clarifies: Not in wintertime, unless there was a spare bed, there would be no shelter options?
Schwartz: That's correct.
But if clients were moved into housing, that would free up beds.
35 ppl used 2 yrs worth of sheltering nights per person in the first year. Housing 20 of those free ups 13,000 bed nights. Those nights open up spaces for an additional 860 ppl.
Robin Bohannan from the board of Homeless Solutions for Boulder County, explaining why this is the best approach.
"13 yrs ago, we began a 10-yr plan to end homelessness. We made no progress. We've made more progress in the last couple years then we had the past 10."
"It's very exciting to see we're at a tipping point."
"This is about housing. That's the No. 1 value, that's the way we get out of homelessness. We also want to focus on those most vulnerable ppl. We know there are 200-250 ppl living unhoused in our community that are very vulnerable. That's my eye-on-the-prize number."
Morzel asks if it's the collaboration or the housing-first approach that really made the difference?
Bohannan: We've learned the hard way that piling on services doesn't end homelessness. It just doesn't.
Jones: You say you're at a tipping point. What does that mean? I don't understand how the math adds up in terms of bodies in beds or houses.
Bohannan: It's about alignment. It's that we've leveraged new dollars. New resources, understanding the data.
Jones: The math part. We're reducing beds, we're adding housing, but we still have a lot of people. Just show us how it lines up.
Schwartz: What we know is that when we house ppl and focus on most vulnerable, it does free up more shelter resources. And when we have more shelter, we have more ppl seeking shelter. What we really have to look to is freeing resources with housing.
Difference you're looking at is 50 beds for Path to Home navigation. On average, 38 of those are used. 145 of Boulder Shelter's 160 are unused. On a given night, 20-some beds unused. "We think we can make a better dent by housing those people."
Yates: You use a lot of jargon. Let's call everything temporary and permanent. The reason you want to decrease temporary so we can increase the permanent. If $$ was no object, would you still advise reducing the number of beds?
If it was endless money, we'd all love to serve everyone. But we'd have to be willing to accept that more ppl would come to community seeking those resources. So we could have spillover effects.
Artless dodge there.
Yates: You're recommending reducing temporary beds so we have $ for perm, but you have secondary reason of signaling that we're going to turn ppl away?
Firnhaber: I would argue we're going to have more beds at the end. These ppl who were in shelter are now going to be in housing.
Instead of having them in shelter, we're going to have them in housing.
"We need to get 38 ppl out of shelter into permanent housing, and we'll have the exact same number of beds we have now."
Jones: Are you proposing we can do that in the next year?
Firnhaber: Yes.
Jones: There's a lot of this that's exciting. But there's a little bit that's still a rub.
Brockett: New system is amazing. I do have a couple concerns....
"I'm worried about reducing the beds until we have the additional capacity available. If we cut off 50 beds next year before we know we've made progress, to me that's a gamble and it runs a significant risk of leaving ppl unsheltered and out in the cold."
Path to Home has been successful: "I'm not ready to let that function go in a year." Maybe we can get another year on the lease, or use city buildings, whatever. "This is a great vision, but I feel we need a longer path toward that."
"Having ppl, the day they're homeless, have no legal place to sleep, is a concern."
Brockett: Our local homeless ppl is 7.5% African American, as opposed to 1% for general pop. If we're putting more of our homeless pop in a situation they have no legal shelter, we're making it more likely they'll be ticketed/police involvement.
"This week of all weeks is not the time to go in that direction."
Weaver: Can we go back to the community? I really don't want to reduce the number of navigation beds.
"We want to support the move to housing. That's a budget discussion."
Yates agrees with Brockett and Weaver.
Firnhaber: I would say navigation is not going away; it's going to be strengthened. There are ppl there simply to save $$ for housing ( prob 10% of clients)
If we have more $$ to put into those areas, there are some ppl we can get into housing. Our intention is to put a little more $$ into navigation.
Carlisle agrees with Brockett, Yates, Weaver.
Young notes that co-locating navigation with Boulder Shelter will be easier for clients who don't need to find transportation.
Young: I would rather put the resources into housing ppl into making sure there's more shelter beds.
Brockett: I don't think this needs to be an either/or. We can make other tradeoffs in the budget process.
Jones: I think it is really hard to have a camping ban, which a lot of us think is a necessary evil but slightly amoral, but if you can say 'You have somewhere to go,' it's acceptable. That's the rub, is we have people covered. That's the piece I'm not ready to let go of.
Brockett: Direction I'd like to give is that we work sooner rather than later on finding a replacement site for 30th Street, or possibly an extension of that site.
Weaver: We have a year we can have our cake and eat it, too.
Unanimous vote that council supports HSBC, but wants to find a new place for Path to Home services, not co-located with Boulder Shelter.
Firnhaber: We've gotten a lot of emails around this. I would encourage community to volunteer at some of the 25 service providers now listed at bouldercolorado.gov/homelessness/h…
That's it for this. Still paid assistants and board/commission appointments to come. Please unroll @threadreaderapp
Actually I just realized I put amoral instead of immoral in an earlier tweet. I knew it looked wonky; it's late and I'm hungry.
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