Hopeful future

Nov 112010

Halfway through Denver’s 10-year effort to combat homelessness, significant progress and success can be seen.

As the Denver Post reported Thursday, Denver’s Road Home has brought down the number of chronic homeless from 942 in 2005 to 343 in 2009.

The city has developed more than 1,900 units of affordable housing. Panhandling on the 16th Street Mall decreased 83 percent since 2006, the Post reports, according to Denver’s Road Home’s fifth annual report released Wednesday.

The group was even recognized as the state’s top nonprofit organization by the El Pomar Foundation of Colorado Springs, which comes with a grant of $50,000.

But Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s plan sputtered at first. The idea to end homelessness in just one decade seemed “outlandish.”

Denver’s Road Home today, however, is a national model to combat homelessness. And such success in a disastrous economic climate gives hope.

Homeward 2020, Fort Collins’ own homeless combat project, kick started this year with the same lofty goal of ending homelessness in just a decade.

As the Fort Collins Coloradoan wrote in its Aug. 16 special report on homelessness in Larimer County, “Fort Collins has struggled with homelessness for decades.”

Fort Collins has spent money, created programs, 5k-ed and spent millions to combat homelessness. But still people go without a home.

But we can be encouraged by Denver’s progress in ending homelessness. There’s hope Homeward 2020’s attempt can follow suit and give a home to those who go without.

 Posted by at 2:05 pm

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