Learn more about the foundations of our work to co-create a community of responsive housing and community services.

The Homeward 2020 Collaborative supports ongoing implementation of Fort Collins’ 10 Year Plan to make homelessness rare, short-lived and non-recurring. We support the Housing First philosophy and approaches. We seek to obtain accurate, actionable data about our local community. We seek to align community resources to prevent homelessness and to achieve housing stability for people experiencing homelessness in Fort Collins.

 

Homeward 2020’s 10-Year Plan

The Ten Year Plan outlines our collective effort and key strategies to build a local system to address homelessness in Fort Collins.

Housing First

A lasting and proven solution to homelessness is permanent housing. Far too often, however, community systems maintain and build up chronic homelessness instead of developing responsive housing options and services to support housing retention. The Housing First approach focuses on ending homelessness by providing safe, stable housing solutions as the first priority for people experiencing homelessness. Once housed and out of day-to-day crisis and survival mode, we can learn much more about a person’s strengths, needs, goals and challenges, and can then help provide effective care and support. Individualized supportive community services, like healthcare, recovery from trauma, or employment searches, can then be effectively provided to help people achieve stability and work toward their personal goals. The basic underlying principle of Housing First is that people are better able to move forward with their lives if they are first housed.

Housing First is an approach that ends both an individual and a community’s experience with homelessness by investing in diverse housing solutions and flexible, responsive services in the community.

Housing First programs across the nation share critical elements:

  • A focus on helping individuals and families access permanent housing as quickly as possible;
  • A variety of client-driven, flexible supportive services—such as access to medical care, counseling, job training or employment services, and basic life skills—to promote housing stability and individual well-being on an as-needed basis; and
  • Access to housing without preconditions, including sobriety, employment, or adequate credit or financial history.

Housing First Fact Sheet

Our Numbers

Collaborative data allows Fort Collins to better assess the status of homelessness in Fort Collins and measure progress towards our collective vision. The Point In Time is one slice of a large spectrum of indicators that identify community needs.

At the end of the day, we’re just like everyone else. We want to be safe but we don’t have a door to lock. We want to know our things aren’t going to be stolen, we want to know that no one will hurt us.

John, Currently Homeless

For me, the Point-in-Time Count is personal and professional—it shows me what the homeless face every day. And it gives me a real picture of what happens when a community doesn’t provide veterans with productive options to better their lives.

Maggie Walsh, Assistant Chief of Staff, Director Veteran Initiatives, CSU

Our goal is simple and straightforward, we want to strengthen and support the wellbeing of our residents while ensuring a safe community for everyone.

Jeff Mihelich, Deputy City Manager, City of Fort Collins

I first became homeless because I lost my job and couldn't pay rent. Now I have part-time jobs, and work every day of the week. But rent is still too high for me to find a place.  

Trent, Currently Homeless

How do you “rebuild” a life that you never even had? I talked with men & women who moved from foster care or broken families to the street. There’s so much they’ve never had a chance to learn.  

Tina, Point in Time Count volunteer

People judge me for being homeless, and then assume I can’t take care of my dog. So many times I’ve seen people freak out over a homeless dog and completely ignore me.  

Jacob, Currently Homeless

I’m not homeless, I sleep in my car. And, I have temporary construction work. I feel bad for those folks sleeping down by the river. It’s not safe—we could sure use more shelter beds around here.  

Buddy, Living in His Truck