2023 began like 2022 ended, with severe cold weather and temperatures. In fact, Denver tied a 38-year-old cold record at the end of January.
With those kinds of temperatures our most vulnerable constituents are threatened and for those that don’t have a shelter it could, unfortunately, turn deadly. As the temperature dropped, our community rose up to help those most in need. Citizens, our faith-based community, leaders across the county and our employees went above and beyond to collaborate, organize, and have a presence on our streets to help.
I’ve had time to reflect on the amazing work that was done over the last couple of months but also want to recognize the work that has been done to-date as well as share what we are doing in the arena of homelessness and housing continuum in Jefferson County.
Beginning in 2017, we began to take steps to address the need for housing and homelessness in Jefferson County. In 2018, a Family Homeless Navigator was hired and in 2019 a Regional Homeless Coordinator was hired. In between these very important milestones, a regional collaborative approach was endorsed by county and municipal officials; a regional navigation model was stood up across the entire county, incorporated and unincorporated; and, municipal navigators were hired. View a recent presentation given by staff at a recent Board of County Commissioners’ work session.
Knowing the continuum contains multiple levels from homeless to community housing to affordable homeownership, a lot more work still needs to be done in this arena. This issue knows no boundaries and we are committed to continue working with staff, our municipalities, surrounding neighbors and with state-wide officials, to explore ways to address this issue.
Andy Commissioner Kerr can be reached via email or (303) 271-8503.
To learn more about the Jefferson County Commissioners, visit our website. The Board of County Commissioners’ public hearings are held on most Tuesdays at 8:00 a.m. and we invite you to join us for public comment. Get more information.