Governor Commemorates One Year Anniversary of Las Animas Homeless Campus

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Governor John Hickenlooper visited Las Animas today to recognize the first year anniversary of the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community. KRCC’s Hannah Fleming reports. 

The former prison and Veteran’s Affairs hospital in Bent County was repurposed to provide mental and health care services, as well as vocational training for homeless individuals. The 550-acre campus is serving more than 200 people, with a target capacity of 300.

Residents at Ft. Lyon receive training in areas such as computer technology, construction industries, and agricultural sciences. In addition, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs plans to assist in finding permanent housing as a part of reintegration services. 

An annual survey from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development found nearly 10,000 homeless people in Colorado on a given night, 18 percent of them chronically homeless. The state estimates Fort Lyon will save taxpayers more than $28,000 per resident served at the campus.