State grants funds Lakewood navigation center for those without homes
Oct. 3, 2023 -- A significant state grant and other support will allow Lakewood to make important progress in addressing the challenges surrounding homelessness in the city. Lakewood has been awarded a $9.3 million grant, 40 housing vouchers and $144,000 for tenant support services from the Colorado Division of Housing's program for Denver-Metro Regional Navigation Campus(es).
The city applied for this grant in partnership with an important community partner, RecoveryWorks. The city will serve as a pass-through agency for this grant to allow RecoveryWorks to provide increased and immediate access to services for those without stable housing in a central location at 8000 W. Colfax Ave.
The nonprofit currently leases space in this commercial building and is in the process of moving into it. The $9.3 million will allow the nonprofit to buy the whole building, rehabilitate it and operate an emergency shelter to create a navigation center for those who are without housing. RecoveryWorks will partner with Jefferson County service organizations to ensure a variety of services and resources are available on-site including food preparation, showers, laundry, computer access, medical exams and support services for behavioral needs and case management. RecoveryWorks will operate the center by following best practices and will work closely with Lakewood Police’s Community Action Team and the Planning Department.
RecoveryWorks has extensive experience and success in helping those without stable housing, and this center will help address homelessness in the following ways:
- Provide critically needed services that create a pathway to ending the cycle of homelessness.
- Create a one-stop center in a location close to those who are experiencing homelessness that meets them where they are.
- Address concerns from businesses and residents by giving those without housing one location to seek help and shelter.
- Tap into RecoveryWorks’ established relationships and credibility with those who lack stable housing built on the nonprofit’s medical respite center at 7011 W. Colfax Ave., which provides basic needs and care for the unhoused to recover from illness. This respite center will remain open.
The state also awarded funds to create navigation centers in other cities including Aurora, Denver, Boulder and a central location to serve the cities of Littleton, Englewood and Sheridan.
In addition to the grant, Lakewood received state housing vouchers, and RecoveryWorks will use them to provide safe, stable, permanent housing to 40 households. Support services and case management from the $144,000 in state funds will be available for all 40 households to ensure their needs are met to transition from homelessness to long-term stable housing.
Homelessness is a communitywide crisis requiring a communitywide solution. Lakewood and its regional partners are working on several fronts to address it. While this work continues, this centralized navigation center with services and emergency shelter has been a top priority for the city and county.
Although this RecoveryWorks’ center is a transformative step in Lakewood’s homeless response, it will not solve the problem of homelessness. Safe, stable, permanent housing will continue to be the focus of the city’s collaborative work with service partners and county and municipal leadership.