We've housed almost 400 ppl in the past 2.5 years, which is great.
Not true, he says: Recommendations came too late to be included in the packet.
Vicki Ebner on diversions for ppl who aren't local ppl experiencing homelessness: That's not just buying ppl tickets out of town, she says.
Boulder set up a separate location for this population and never had a widespread outbreak. Only a few positive cases.
Every unhoused person who accesses any service is being screened for COVID.
But still, Boulder did a really good job when it came to COVID and unhoused folks.
2020 Adult Homelessness Budget = $2,113,275
• Services and supplies = $1,143,400
• Housing = $969,875
Affordable Housing dedicated to Permanent Supportive Housing in 2020 ≈ $1,192,550
Forgot to mention earlier (or maybe I did?) family homelessness efforts are all centered on prevention, bc shelters are really bad for kids.
We are all blonde, but still.
Municipal court (Sept. 30, 2009 - Sept. 30, 2019)
114 high utilizers = 455 years of homelessness (avg of 9 years each)
37,184 jail nights
1,354 court charges
Top 30: $753,100 in EMS expenses
Year 2: 28%
Year 3: 33%
(These are staff provided. I haven't crunched the numbers myself.)
It takes many months to get into housing, Firnhaber said. There are just not enough units, though every affordable housing development now sets aside some units for formerly homeless.
There is a "challenges and actions" slide (18) in the presentation, though.
~60% spend more than 30% of their income on rent.
- Mental health professional
- Person with lived experience
- Person with experience providing homeless services
camping ordinances" as well as "reporting encampments."
Would work with the police's HOT (homeless outreach team, which is 2 officers)
Yeah. As in mentioned it once and then never addressed it again or explored it.
What staff supports: Updating the dashboard every 30 days
Educating the community
Exploring creative, alternative funding models
But part of that, it does, which is getting more input from ppl who are experiencing homelessness or previously experienced homelessness
Boards don't always present (often they are just here for qs) but they have before and a lot recently.
Ebner: Diversion primarily is reunification, but it could be paying for someone's car repair or negotiating with a landlord to let them back into housing.
Brockett: But the point would be either that they were housed or kept in housing? All the ppl at the end of it have housing?
Yes, Firnhaber says.
160 at Boulder Shelter
72 at SWS
50 at Navigation
Today: 90-100 at Boulder Shelter + COVID recovery center and hotel placements
SWS will have about 30 beds available if we consolidate at the shelter, right?
What's our plan if we have a blizzard and 30 beds but 60 ppl?
Also (as mentioned earlier): Housing more ppl to free up Boulder Shelter beds.
Firnhaber: "We do not have a backup plan."
Wallach: "Do we have a Plan B if we're still stuck in the grips of the pandemic?"
Firnhaber: Next 30-40 days, with the grant $$ the county is getting.
Firnhaber: Edge is when someone calls 911 and someone needs mental health assistance, providers come with Boulder PD.
Young: How many affordable housing units are coming online between now and the winter sheltering season? (Oct.)
Firnhaber: 220 units in all of 2020 "one of the best years we've had in quite some time."
Firnhaber: It's not a 1-to-1 correlation. It's something like 2-to-1: Every 2 individuals housed is going to free up a bed at the shelter.
Ferro: Target, for example, isn't industrial zoned, so you couldn't have a use that would be considered a campground.
Yes, Ferro says, it would require a use review to allow a campground in either of those zones (which is a planning board/ council process)
Ferro: They're still required on a fixed foundation. Our building code update this year allowed homes as small as 400 ft, but they still have to meet lot standards.
No, Ferro says.
There were some that were possible, Brockett says, but it was a policy decision to not pursue it.
No, Ferro says. The city has partnered with faith orgs in the past to allow camping, but it was on a limited basis.
Ferro: I'm not aware of any campgrounds in Boulder
Now it's KOA Lake and open space!
Ferro: That's typically how we've addressed it in the past.
"To be honest, that doesn't change a lot of behavior."
Swetlik: And couples?
Firnhaber defers to Greg Harms, director of Boulder Shelter.
Swetlik: Any idea if we know what % of homeless population has meth addiction?
Harms: Yes. What we can ask, legally, is what service is the animal trained to do for you?
Ebner: They're typically newer to homelessness but not new to homelessness.
Firnhaber: The county collaborative: City of Boulder, Longmont and BoCo.
Friend: Did council weigh in on that?
Cooke: I'm not sure I can quantify that. We're looking at criminal histories now.
Friend: Does that include peeing in public?
Cooke: No, that's not a sex offense.
Pee freely, my friends!
Ebner: We don't track that on the dashboard, but Dif programs (and the county) does track who returns to homelessness and how long they stay in housing.
Ebner: We have a 30-day followup we've just started doing, but it's hard to get much followup with the low-income population; cell phone numbers change, etc.
Firnhaber: That was a council member request.
Ebner: Nowhere, really, but that's not different from any other time. "In some ways, having some time outside is actually healthier" bc it doesn't facilitate spread of COVID.
Firnhaber: We have an update on that Aug. 4, but it includes increased funding for rental assistance.
Schwartz: We didn't think that would work bc his budget was "optimistic."
Ferro: Not without rezoning, unless it's in industrial or ag zone.
Ferro: There's plenty of parking lots in the industrial zones. Not much non-developed land, though.
Ebner: We'll have more details on Aug. 4 but we're talking about it as a collaborative.
Swetlik is asking board representatives to explain their issues with staff's presentation.
We want public hearings.
We are worried about the severe weather shelter.
One thing she is concerned about: A shortage of beds this winter with shelter consolidation.
"I'm content with our homeless programs to the extent of our resources. ... I believe housing first should remain our guiding philosophy."
Supports HAB and HRC further exploring alternatives.
Other members of council of course pushed back against that.
"Develop some backup plans. Some kind of overflow options."
I'm for looking more into these alternatives, keeping in mind how heavy of a lift this is for the city.
We have to offer options for both groups, she says, to provide safe space.
"I do not want to extend any energy on something that takes away from housing resources."
Sharing stats about the % of ppl screened who have been there 6 mos or less
83% between Jan and April 2020, up from 48% 2 yrs ago