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.
  • 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. 
  • The City, in conjunction with other Jefferson County jurisdictions, now has a Homeless Navigator who meets with people where they live to assist them with finding the best service agency or program for them to transition out of homelessness.

Housing and temporary shelter

  • Making rental assistance through CARES Act funds and HOME funds for people financially impacted by COVID-19 available at Westminster's Housing Resources page
  • Colorado Legal Services offers free tenant legal help for qualifying residents of all of Westminster, Adams County and the city and county of Broomfield.  Apply online or by phone at 303-837-1313.
  • Affordable Housing Study presented to City Council on Oct. 23, 2017. It's being updated as part of the Consolidated Use Plan during the first half of 2020.
  • Building more affordable housing throughout the city. 
  • Hired a Housing Coordinator. 
  • Recruiting more hotels and motels to accept vouchers in Jefferson and Adams counties. 
  • Offering motel stays 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. On January 27, 2020 the city hosted a magnet event at the Swim & Fitness Center for those living outdoors. Warm meals, showers, haircuts, connections to benefits, pet care and a wide variety of incentives were available. Four outreach teams canvassed the city as well to connect to as many people living outdoors as part of the regional efforts. 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. The results can be found at the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative's website
  • Participated in the Jefferson County Comprehensive Homeless Count in August 2019. Service providers conducted a month-long survey of those meeting the H.E.A.R.T.H. definition of homelessness. The week of August 19, hundreds of volunteers canvassed the county, including all of Westminster, to best connect to those staying outdoors. They were asked what services they currently receive, what services they need, and what barriers do they face in accessing services. 

Regional Collaboration

  • 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 provide and fund shelter during COVID in 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.