The City of Colorado Springs recently distributed more than $700,000 in grant funding to local organizations focused on issues of homelessness and housing stability.
The city received the money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city's Community Development Division apportioned it among 11 organizations.
The Place, formerly Urban Peak Colorado Springs, received $180,000 to support programming for rapid rehousing, street outreach and expanding shelter offerings.
The Place's shelter program works with young people between the ages of 15 and 20. Youth can stay in the 20-bed shelter as they build their stability, said executive director Shawna Kemppainen.
Kemppainen said the grant funding from the city is essential to help expand hiring and increase youth access to programming.
"We provide roofs, resources and relationships for the young people who are trying to exit street life," she said. "We can't do any of that if we don't have the right people in place."
One of the organization's goals with funding, said Kemppainen, is to create a drop-in center during the day for youth who might not stay at the shelter overnight.
The Place worked with about 600 people in 2019, said Kemppainen, providing access to housing resources and wrap-around health services like mental health counseling.
Springs Rescue Mission also received $100,000 in grant funding to increase programming and its emergency shelter. Travis Williams with the organization said the emergency shelter has 150 beds currently.
Williams also said the funding is helpful as they haven't stopped services during the pandemic.
"Homelessness is one of those things that's 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and so services like Springs Rescue Mission have not closed down," said Williams.
The organization's future plans, said Williams, involve expanding the campus to include a new dining hall and resource center.
Family Promise, Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, Mt. Caramel Veterans Service Center and the Salvation Army were also among the organizations that received grant funding to provide housing stability support in Colorado Springs.
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