In 2009 Dennis lost his full time job. Unable to find steady employment Dennis ended up living on the streets. He spent his days selling the Denver Voice and his…Continue reading
Bridge House has launched our Resource Center to make services for the homeless more accessible and effective.
In October of 2012, we opened our doors at 1603 Walnut – the Annex of First Presbyterian Church- on Tuesdays and Wednesday from 9-3pm for a six month pilot.
Bridge House is the lead agency and will coordinate the participation of partners
including non profits and government agencies.
Scope of Problem
Homelessness in Boulder is growing.
According to the 2012 Point In Time Survey conducted by Metro Denver’s Homeless Initiative, there are 1970 homeless people in Boulder county including children. Approximately 750 call the City of Boulder home. Over 60% of these individuals have been homeless more than once in the past three years and over 40% have been homeless for more than one year this time. More than 30% cite loss of employment and over 22% high housing costs as reasons for their homelessness.
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.
Bridge House has opened a Resource Center to provide a single point of access where homeless men and women can learn about and access the services that are available to help them progress. Our Resource Center offers immediate access to the agencies that specialize in treatment or have the resources most urgently needed such as employment opportunities, benefits and housing.
By creating a single location to standardize intake and connect people to the resources they need — whether it be food stamps or education and training, or treatment to address causes of their homelessness — the Resource Center coordinates the existing services available in Boulder improving our success in moving clients from homeless to housed.
How the Resource Center works
1. 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.
2. On-site service delivery
During regularly scheduled hours, staff from our partner organizations will meet with clients on an appointment basis to discuss their individual cases and sign them up for services such as mental health treatment.
3. 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.
What we hope to achieve:
• Improve the experience of homeless clients
• Increase access to services and benefits to all who are eligible
• Promote inter-agency collaboration around outcome-based services for homeless individuals
• Better understand the needs of homeless individuals through a single assessment tool and data tracking
• Make service delivery more efficient and identify gaps in services
• Build upon Boulder’s existing culture of providing basic needs services, to create more best practice, outcome-based services
• Use the resource center as a hub to deliver programs not currently available for or reaching homeless individuals such as employment services