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Homelessness During COVID-19

The City of Westminster is complying with the Centers for Disease Control recommendations to not break up camps of people experiencing homelessness unless housing is available in order to prevent the community spread of COVID-19. However, we are keeping an eye on the various sites throughout the city to ensure they are meeting environmental, public health and safety requirements by regularly visiting them.

COVID-19 has affected homelessness in numerous ways, especially by reducing the number of indoor spaces available for people experiencing homelessness to stay. Social distancing has resulted in a decrease in shelter beds by 53% throughout the metro Denver area. There are fewer places open during the daytime hours for people to linger within as in the past. For instance, libraries are open on a limited basis and dine-in fast food restaurants have time restrictions on eating within them. Consequently, we are seeing more people outdoors.

Currently, jails, prisons and the court systems are only accepting violent offenses, also because of limitations created by COVID-19.

The city’s Homeless Navigator also visits people to connect them to resources including housing.

Services being provided to people experiencing homelessness:

  • Assistance with applications for federal benefits, residential treatment programs, and housing.
  • In partnership with Adams and Jefferson Counties, hotel rooms for isolation and/or quarantine when someone has been exposed or tested positive to COVID-19.
  • Hotel stays are being arranged for people who are at higher risk of COVID-19 due to CDC-identified underlying health risks.
  • Applications for housing vouchers when available.
  • Referrals to various agencies including for behavioral health, physical health.
  • Assistance to provide replacement identification to be able to access services.
  • Rapid COVID-19 testing.
  • Providing severe weather hotel stays when non-profit partners identify the need based on weather forecasts.

Street outreach is also being conducted by Tri-County Health Department, Jefferson County Public Health, Adams County, Jefferson County, and neighboring jurisdictions.

Outreach includes but is not limited to distribution of tents, hygiene items, clothing, food, water, sunscreen, seasonally appropriate weather gear, COVID screening & education, bus passes, gift cards for food, as well as offers to connect to services.

The CDC recommendations for unsheltered homelessness can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/homeless-shelters/unsheltered-homelessness.html.

Neighboring jurisdictions are also complying with these recommendations while, at the same time, breaking camps up for the same limited reasons Westminster is.

These recommendations are only being applied to city-owned properties. If a private property owner does not want people staying on his or her property, the City’s Police Department and Code Enforcement Division can provide support and assistance with the necessary protocols.

Resources for those experiencing homelessness

Metro Denver Homeless Initiative's Housing Stability Flex Fund (Flex Fund) is now able to provide homelessness prevention assistance in addition to move-in expenses or landlord mitigation. Please see the website or view the updated procedures.

Almost Home offers shelter for families with children in Adams County. Visit the Almost Home website or call for an intake assessment at 303-659-6199. 

The Adams County Severe Weather Action Protocol (SWAP) helps people get hotel vouchers on severe weather nights. SWAP intake assessments will occur on February 4, 2021 at Anythink Library, 9417 Huron Street, Thornton. For more information visit the Almost Home website.

Growing Home provides assistance with housing stability and homelessness prevention through its Strengthening Families program. Growing Home is at 3489 West 72nd Avenue, #112 in Westminster. Call 303-426-0430 or visit the Growing Home website for the most current information.

Emergency Rental and Foreclosure Assistance Awards

Maiker Housing Partners may be able to help assist with affordable housing, paying mortgage, rent or utilities. They also offer housing vouchers to Adams County residents who qualify. Call 303-227-2075.

Executive Order D 2020 012 allocated $3,000,000 from the Disaster Emergency Fund to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to provide short-term rental and mortgage assistance to low-income Coloradans. Providers are in the process of contracting to be able to start assisting renters and homeowners. The best way to connect renters and homeowners to resources is to call 2-1-1, or access DOH's Interactive Eviction Prevention Map.​

Eviction Prevention Resources

Colorado Legal Services offers free tenant legal help for qualifying residents in all of Westminster, Adams County and the city and county of Broomfield. Apply online or by phone at 303-837-1313.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued guidance for public housing authorities, landlords, shelters, non-profits, grantees, and stakeholders. Also, learn more about HUD’s suspension of foreclosures and evictions on publicly subsidized housing and federally-backed mortgages