Colorado Coalition for the Homeless: A Model of Supportive Housing

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commonwealthFor 30 years, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has been working to integrate health care and housing services for the homeless based on the principle that managing serious mental illnesses, substance abuse disorders, and chronic medical conditions prevalent among the homeless requires safe housing.

Over the decades, the nonprofit has overseen the development of 1,600 housing units for homeless individuals and families in Denver and across the state, a significant portion of which are targeted to those in frail health whose recovery has been hindered by lack of consistent access to nutritious food, clean water, and a place to rest.

The coalition’s most recent and largest development—the Stout Street Health Center and Renaissance Stout Street Lofts—combines a 53,000-square-foot federally qualified health center for the homeless with 78 housing units (see video). The building in downtown Denver provides those housed in coalition developments and those that are still homeless with access to a continuum of health care services—including primary care, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and dental and vision care—generally on a same-day basis...

Comments

  1. George Patrin, MD/MHA's avatar
    George Patrin, MD/MHA
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    I watched the video again. Still amazed. Do homeless people have to be "a resident" for a length of time to be able to be placed in a loft apartment? This is the main problem here in San Antonio - all programs are linked to, ironically, having an address, something they don't have by definition!
  2. Laurie Fowler Beckel's avatar
    Laurie Fowler Beckel
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    The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless also runs a program for people struggling with chronic homelessness at the Ft. Lyon facility in SE Colorado. The re-integration of these folks into their communities will be done by using the High Fidelity Wraparound process begun at Ft. Lyon with a team who transitions back into community with them.
  3. George Patrin, MD/MHA's avatar
    George Patrin, MD/MHA
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    This organization and Community Coalition appears to have incorporated all the parts of a true Accountable Care Organization. They have addressed Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs by providing a 'sanctuary' base from which to receive social and medical services in a user-friendly one-stop shop with efficiency. And they have shown this model makes better use of limited resources. Why aren't all Communities applying this model to their local population? What am I missing? Great work. This appears to be "what right (and good) looks like." Thanks for the education.
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