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Denver’s Road Home An Innovative Approach to Ending Homelessness in Ten Years Jamie Van Leeuwen, PhD. Denver’s Road Home, City and County of Denver 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Denver’s Road Home An Innovative Approach to Ending Homelessness in Ten Years Jamie Van Leeuwen, PhD. Denver’s Road Home, City and County of Denver 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Denver’s Road Home An Innovative Approach to Ending Homelessness in Ten Years Jamie Van Leeuwen, PhD. Denver’s Road Home, City and County of Denver 2009 NAEHCY Conference November 15, 2009

2 Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper “I believe smarter and better government can deliver maximum results with limited resources.”

3 We Live In A World Where Shift Happens If you are one in a million in China…. There are 1300 other just Like You!

4 In Denver Shift Is Happening! In Denver … Shift Is Happening!

5 The History  This Plan is a call to action and to partnership for the Denver community.  The short-term goal is a 75% reduction in chronic homelessness in five years.  The long-term goal is to end homelessness in Denver.  The Plan was put together by a 41 member commission and over 350 volunteers.

6 The Eight Core Goals  Permanent and Transitional Housing  Shelter System  Prevention  Services  Public Safety and Outreach  Education, Training and Employment  Community Awareness and Coordinated Response  Zoning, Urban Design and Land Use

7 What are the Faces of Homelessness in Denver?  This is Denver’s Road Home

8 The Count  Metropolitan Denver Homeless Initiative  January 2007, Point in Time Count  Over 3,900 men, women and children in the City and County of Denver live on the streets, under bridges, in alleyways, in cars or in shelters. 46% women and children 40% are working 60% are homeless families

9 The Costs of Homelessness  It costs Denver taxpayers over $40,000 per homeless person per year while the person remains on the streets.  One hospital stay averages $29,921 per person who is homeless.  Shelter Beds versus Housing ($18K vs. $15K)

10 Fundraising Strategy  $46.1 million in new services to fully implement first four years of plan  50% Public Funding  25% Foundation Support  25% Private Sector Support  Over 75% raised at end of Year Two  Leverage

11 Accomplishments  In the past four years, we have developed more than 1,500 new units of housing for the homeless in partnership with our community.  We have prevented more than 3,278 families from becoming homeless and helped 1,974 homeless people obtain employment.  The faith community continues to stand by our side, and has assisted in mentoring 564 families out of homelessness.  In partnership with the Mile High United Way, we have achieved our aggressive fund-raising goal of $46.1 million in the first four years of the plan, with the goal of moving toward a more sustainable and publicly-funded plan by year seven.  And, in the midst of one of our most challenging economic climates, we have 500 new units of affordable housing in the pipeline that will be developed over the next two years!

12 Ending Homelessness Saves Money! While living on the streets the chronically home- less use the most expensive city services – detox treatment and emergency rooms are among the most costly.  25 highest users of Denver CARES logged a cumulative total of 2,657 admissions, an average of over 100 nights each.  After one year in housing first, there was a 79.6% reduction in their admissions to a cumulative total of 541 admissions in a year.

13 Housing the Homeless Works!  Combines service requirement with accountability  Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Study Average monthly income increased from $185 at entry to $ % still in housing one year later. Average length of homelessness is 8 years. 34% of participants obtained benefits. Participants in program for two years:  Hospitalizations, substance inpatient treatment, detox or jail decreased by 60% since enrollment in program.  Utilizing emergency services for 44% fewer days than at enrollment.

14 Cost Avoidance: Denver CARES  There are a total of 446 clients who have entered treatment between one and three years ago.  Prior to entering treatment the total admissions for these clients were 13,773.  In 2009, their overall admissions totaled 3,328. This represents 10,445 or 75% reduction in admissions and a cost avoidance for the city of a little over $2,083,600 from the previous Detox services provided to these individuals based on their Detox admissions one year pre-enrollment to treatment.

15 Cost Avoidance: Jail Census Overall Jail Costs for Homeless Persons Have Gone from $10,315,360 to $7,143,015 with a cost avoidance of $3,172,345; a 31% decrease in costs per year.

16 Cost Avoidance: Jail Census Length of Stay in Jail at $55 per night for Homeless People is down 31% from 187,552 days to 129,873 days.

17 Cost Avoidance: Panhandling  Our summer survey of panhandling indicated a reduction of 83% from 2002 to  In 2002, we noted an average of 36 panhandlers on the Mall.  In 2009, we have noted six. However, this has increased from five last year.

18 Reinvest Cost Savings  Reinvest Cost Savings Summer 2008 City Council passed proclamation for $30 million in new affordable housing for the chronically homeless. Will create 208 new units of housing for chronically homeless.  432 total new affordable housing units.  Current Economic Climate: Homelessness is an economic development issue.

19 Innovations: What Has Worked  Leveraging Funds Across Sectors  Reinvesting Cost Savings  Community Awareness Efforts Project Homeless Connect Donation Meters Pajama Party

20 Community Awareness Matters!  92% decrease in panhandling  Give-a-Better-Way Campaign (Downtown Denver Partnership)  Resource Generator plus Community Awareness  Generating over $100K per year  Downtown business improvement district and DIA

21 Challenges  Sustainability  Prisoner Re-entry  NOPE: Siting Affordable Housing  It’s the Economy Stupid!

22 It’s About Accountability! "...enormous sums of money are already being spent on the chronically homeless, and...the kind of money it would take to solve the homeless problem could well be less than the kind of money it (would take) to ignore it." - Malcolm Gladwell, Author, “The Tipping Point”

23 Contact Information Jamie Van Leeuwen, PhD. Denver’s Road Home "Together, our community can beat homelessness." Denver Mayor John W. Hickenlooper


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