Bridge House’s Resource Center makes services for the homeless more accessible and effective.
Bridge House’s Resource Center provides a centralized point of entry, coordinated case management, and one-stop-shop for services such as mental health, substance abuse and detoxification, benefit acquisition, assistance with obtaining ID, veterans services, employment preparation, training and education, and housing. All services are geared toward assisting our clients move towards self-sufficiency. Bridge House is the lead agency and coordinates the participation of over 15 partners including nonprofits and government agencies to make services more accessible and efficient. We collect information on clients who access services through the center and who participate in programming. Not only to better understand and address their specific needs but to also be able to understand homeless population in general so we can be more strategic in service delivery.
Scope of Problem
Homelessness in Boulder is growing.
According to the 2015 Point in Time Survey conducted by Metro Denver’s Homeless Initiative, there are over 6,000 homeless people in the Denver Metro area including children.
The past 3 years our Resource Center has recorded more than 50 intake indicators for more than 3,000 unique clients. Bridge House intake data suggests 31% of our clients are chronically homeless and 55% have been homeless less than 1 year. 84% are unemployed. 37% report having a disabling condition, 44% report a history of mental illness, 21% are currently receiving mental health treatment. 39% report abusing drugs or alcohol with 12% currently in treatment. 22% report a traumatic brain injury which is interesting data because traumatic brain injury symptoms present as mental health issues. 51% report having been in jail or prison in the last 5 years.
Boulder has resources to help the homeless and a number of skilled and dedicated service providers. Over the years these organizations, including Bridge House, have focused on the survival needs of those living on the streets. Now, we are entering a new era where we remain committed to helping the most vulnerable not only survive, but also progress to a higher level of self-sufficiency.
At Bridge House, we are becoming more strategic and aligned with a greater focus on solution-oriented services, such as the Resource Center and Ready to Work, and permanent housing. Our focus is shifting to outcome oriented services that stabilize people and help them access the resources they need to leave the streets behind.
Expansion of the Resource Center
Boulder has many resources to help the homeless and a number of skilled and dedicated service providers. Over the years these organizations, including Bridge House, have focused on the survival needs of those living on the streets. Now, we are entering a new era where we remain committed to helping the most vulnerable not only survive, but also progress to a higher level of self-sufficiency. As service providers, we are becoming more strategic. Our focus is shifting to outcome oriented services that stabilize people and help them access the resources they need to leave the streets behind.
What the Boulder community is lacking is an effective and efficient way to help homeless people access programming and rehabilitation services they need to permanently move out of homelessness. Specifically, we do not have a single intake and assessment and a coordinated way for service providers to act collectively and efficiently.
How the Resource Center works
- Intake and assessment
With no appointment necessary, clients will be able to meet with trained intake counselors who will coordinate initial referrals to Resource Center partners and our own in-house case management. All new clients fill out an intake form and have a Welcome Meeting.
- On-site service delivery
During regularly scheduled hours, our staff and partners will meet with clients to discuss their individual cases and sign them up for services such as mental health treatment, assist with employment, housing needs, and offer groups and more.
- Classes and Groups
Bridge House and other organizations provide classes in job skills, money management, and other skills in areas that will lead to more independence.
Benefits of the Resource Center
- Improved the experience of homeless clients
- Increase access to services and benefits to all who are eligible
- Promotes inter-agency collaboration around outcome-based services for homeless individuals
- Better understanding of the needs of homeless individuals through a single assessment tool and data tracking
- Making service delivery more efficient and identify gaps in services
- Building upon Boulder’s existing culture of providing basic needs services, to create more best practice, outcome-based services
- Using the Resource Center as a hub to deliver programs not currently available to, or that do not reach homeless individuals such as employment services
services, to create more best practice, outcome-based services