Common Sense Institute (CSI) has partnered with several local organizations and leaders to conduct a three-phase project to understand the many challenges and types of homelessness. Through a multi-faceted approach, CSI and its partners hope to identify the systemic issues that contribute to a person’s experience with homelessness and find the network of people and organizations working to make change. Bringing clarity and identifying the leverage points in these systems will support all who seek to tackle this challenge by providing critical information about where to invest their time, energy, and money to address the homelessness crisis.

One of the report’s authors, Brenda Bautsch Dickhoner, Ph.D, along with CSI President Kristin Strohm, join our Host and Chairman Earl Wright to discuss Phase 1 of the report, which can be found here.

Homelessness remains a pressing issue for the Metro Denver region. COVID-19 increased the visibility of the issue with shelters closing due the pandemic and greater numbers of individuals experiencing homelessness outdoors. Data indicates that the longer people are unsheltered, the more challenging rehousing becomes. Strategies to improve early intervention, rapid rehousing, and permanent supportive housing are the path forward, as they mitigate the risks to the individual and society of long-term homelessness. Such strategies must also involve wraparound services to help some individuals overcome substance abuse, mental illness, and other trauma. The complexity of the ecosystem surrounding homelessness and the scarcity of affordable housing in the region makes implementing these strategies immensely difficult.

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