Hopefully, they will be mindful of all the people who are leaving jail and prisons homeless. There is a woeful lack of services in Larimer County for this population.
BY KEVIN DUGGAN
A report on homelessness in Fort Collins issued Thursday could open the door to efforts to end the homelessness problem, officials said.
The study commissioned by the Homeless Initiative Task Force of the UniverCity Connections program details the number of homeless in Fort Collins and the services available to them. It also looks at the gaps in services, such as transitional housing, day-time shelters and a detox center.
The report is expected to serve as a blueprint for the task force in developing a 10-year plan to end homelessness in the city, officials said.
Government and nonprofit agencies that deal with homelessness will work on the plan.
During a morning announcement of the report held in Old Town Square, Sister Mary Alice Murphy, a longtime local advocate for the homeless, said political will and goodwill are needed to solve the homelessness problem.
Any plan that is developed should not "sit on a shelf and gather dust," she said.
"We don't want to see that happen. We want to see that we looked at the objectives and we looked at the recommendations and as a group we do something about this issue," she said.
The report by Jamie Van Leeuwen, director of the Denver's Road Home project, which is aimed at ending homelessness, looks at successes communities around the country have had at addressing homelessness issues.
The report offers recommendations for the task force as it works on the 10-year plan, including identifying the number of housing units that are needed for the homeless and developing a plan for tapping into federal and private funds that could help bridge the gap in services.