While homelessness is clearly a regional issue, the City of Westminster has taken steps towards its elimination unilaterally or through one-on-one partnerships.

The city's current homelessness initiatives include:

Funding: Helping Community Partners

  • Through the Human Services Board, funding is provided to the following homeless service providers and/or food banks: Access Housing, Almost Home, Catholic Charities of Denver, Cold Weather Cares, Community Table, Colorado Homeless Families, The Family Tree, Growing Home, Have a Heart, Jefferson Center for Mental Health, Westminster F.I.S.H. plus more than 20 other nonprofits.
  • Providing funding through the Invest Health grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Reinvestment Fund for the food banks in the southern portion of the city to share a van to reduce waste of fresh food. 
  • Through the Invest Health grant, contributing funds to assist with the transportation and literacy needs of homeless students attending Westminster Public Schools. 
  • Ensure local nonprofits are notified of federal and other grant opportunities to help them build capacity. 
  • Partially fund detox centers with other municipalities. 
  • Supported several nonprofit organizations as they applied for grant opportunities from other agencies.

Connecting People to Services

  • Working with Mile High United Way to ensure that resource providers offering services to those in Westminster are listed in their metro-wide database. This way, when someone needing services calls 2-1-1 or visits the 211 website the resource in closest proximity with capacity will be the first one offered.
  • Created and maintain the Westy Live Better! website to simplify finding Westminster services for low-income community members. 
  • Bethlehem Lutheran Church and School provides a free Living Well shower truck at the Irving Street Library every Monday from 9 a.m. - noon as long as the temperature is 40-degrees Fahrenheit or above. 
  • Bayaud Enterprises provides a free laundry truck  It is available on the first Monday of every month at the Irving Street Library at 7392 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. as long as the temperature is 40-degrees or above.

Housing and temporary shelter

  • Affordable Housing Study presented to City Council on Oct. 23, 2017.
  • Building more affordable housing throughout the city. 
  • Hired a Housing Coordinator. 
  • Recruiting more hotels and motels to accept vouchers in Jefferson and Adams counties. 
  • Now offering motel vouchers on severe weather nights. 
  • Allowed Westminster's portion of the federal Emergency Solutions Grant funds to go to the Growing Home Canopy Transitional Housing program to provide shelter and case management to homeless families.
  • Assigned $5.9 million received from the State of Colorado to a low-interest mortgage and down payment assistance program operated by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority for Westminster residents to access as needed.

Surveying to Ensure We Understand the Issues and Options

  • Surveyed faith-based institutions to determine what services they currently offer and what their capacity and/or interest is in future offerings.
  • Participate in Point-in-Time count annually. In 2018, hosted a magnet event at the Swim & Fitness Center. Warm meals, showers, haircuts, medical checks and a wide variety of incentives were available. The goal is to gain a more accurate count of those who are unsheltered homeless in the city. Coordinated with Jefferson County, Adams County and the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, taking a unified regional approach. 
  • At the Westminster 2018 Everyone Counts event, asked guests to also take a one-page survey asking four questions on how Westminster could better serve them. Sixteen guests who live outdoors or in cars submitted their responses. This information will help guide the direction staff brings to City Council in the near future.
  • Currently planning for the 2019 Point-in-Time count that will take place nationally from sundown on Monday, January 28 to sundown on Tuesday, January 29, 2019.

Regional Collaboration

  • Provided a quick training to those attending the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative's Point-in-Time Count Launch in October 2018 on how to hold a magnet Everyone Counts Event.
  • Offer Mental Health First Aid trainings to staff; advertise publicly available ones to citizens and businesses. 
  • Created a new internal Homeless Task Force to offer training, communication to the public and business community about homeless initiatives in the city. 
  • Participate in the Start by Believing Campaign, Healthy JeffCo and JeffCo Thrives to support initiatives taking pro-active approaches to reducing trauma and its effects within the community. 
  • Training city leadership and staff on homelessness and its many variables. 
  • Serve on the Adams County Community Enrichment Steering Committee. 
  • Collaborate regionally through: The Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, One Home, the Adams County Coalition for the Homeless, Jefferson County Heading Home, Severe Weather Shelter Network, the Cold Weather Cares Advisory Board, the Adams County Municipal Workgroup and the Heading Home Governance Group. 
  • Attend meetings to determine how to best bring street outreach to both Adams and Jefferson counties.
  • Organizations have regular meetings with Westminster staff include: Access Housing, Adams County Housing Authority, Almost Home, The Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness, The Family Tree, Growing Home, Human Services in both counties, school districts' homeless liaisons, other municipalities and faith-based organizations in both counties.