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Denver’s Road Home Mayor’s Commission to End Homelessness We Pray June 2016

May 24, 2016

Denver’s Road Home Mayor’s Commission to End Homelessness We Pray  June 2016


# of Commissioners who are reasonably certain to be  at  Commission or any committee Meeting _____20  +  5  Council  # who actually came  _10____ # who participate in a committee ever  _6_____

Tom Luehrs <>
Lindi Sinton <>,
Dale Wanty <>,,
“Conner, Christopher N – HS Office of Community Impact” <>,
Laura Rossbert <>,
Josh Geppelt <>
Cathy alderman JP

Tami Door, Tom Luehrs,, Doug Hock, Leanne Wheeler, Kim Easton  –  Executive Committee


(” <>,
“Aguilar, Victoria R. – DHS” <>,
Andrew Feinstein <>,
Brad Meuli <>,
“Brooks, Albus – City Council District 9” <>,
Carrie Atiyeh <>,
Cheryl Haggstrom <>,
Christine Benero <>,
“Conner, Christopher N – HS Office of Community Impact” <>,
“Crews, Renee L – HS Office of Community Impact” <>,
Debra Gray <>,
Don Burnes <>,
Doug Hock <>,
“Duerson, Morina E. – HS Office of Community Impact” <>,
“Garland, Joshua J – HS Office of Community Impact” <>,
Gary Sanford <>,
Geoff Bennett <>,
“Graves, Anthony E. – Operations & Communications” <>,
“Huerter, Regina M. – HSOA Administration – HSOAA” <>,
Ismael Guerrero <>,
John Parvensky <>,
“Kate Barton (” <>,
Kim Easton <>,
Leanne Wheeler <>,
Leslie Foster <>,
Lindi Sinton <>,
“Lopez, Tony Cmdr – DPD” <>,
“Luper, Jon – DHS” <>,
“Mares, Donald J. – HSOA Administration – HSOAA” <>,
Mark Trast <>,
Mark Wright <>,
“Milliner, Bennie L. – HS Office of Community Impact” <>,
“Zohari, Nachshon – HS Office of Community Impact” <>,
Nancy Rider <>,
“Nelson, Angela M. – HS Office of Community Impact” <>,
Nikki Jackson <>,
“Ortega, Deborah L. – City Council” <>,
Randle Loeb <>,
Richard Scharf <>,
Rick Barnes <>,
“Kniech, Robin L. – City Council” <>,
Roger Armstrong <>,
Sharon Knight <>,
Tami Door <>,
Terrell Curtis <>,
Tom Luehrs <>,
Victoria McVicker <>,
“New, Wayne C. – City Council” <>
“Espinoza, Jenna K – Mayor’s Office” <>


“Please find attached the agenda for the Tuesday, MTami Door, Tom Luehrs, Lindi Sinton, Doug Hock, Leanne Wheeler, Kim Eastonay 24, 2016 Commission meeting.  Also attached are the minutes from the special Commission meeting Mayor Hancock held on April 19, 2016 and minutes from the Steering Committee meeting of April 26, 2016.  Both contain points of discussion for the upcoming meeting and specific asks of Commission members as we continue to move forward on determining what our future state should be in addressing the current state of homelessness in our community.”

Denver Homeless Commission

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Denver Human Services, Castro Building

1200 Federal Blvd


  1. Introductions  altogether there are 25 most are staff and gov officials no  council people  two guests one from a radio and the other from BURNS 
  2. Discussion Topics: Bennie is speaking  about structure
  • Shelter Operations: Short and Long Term –  Chris  Peoria  will proceed from month to month  acquiring a more permanent site
  • Policy Discussions for 2016 :  commission structure committee membership  
  • Commission Structure:  Steering Committee has hardly a soul here 
  • Committee Membership and Tasking:  who should be on that committee?  Environment / Landscape

all of these organizations do not need to be on this commission permanently

26th of April  Mayor met at City Hall with Commission and City Council

Tom Luehrs is leading this discussion  He is a member of the Steering Committee


Commission 11 years ago  being representative:  Broad Approach  –  Who would be key people to add to this.  If people are not attending the meetings that they do not have the time or that they are less interested in participating.


we do not have a quorum  50% +1  


7 service providers are around the table  and the greatest number of people here are not commissioners


Councilwoman Kneich  just arrived the sole council person attending this regularly


libraries and parks  important to include these voices


Committee structure includes a number of people who are not on the commission     –     Cadence and scope of responsibility  has been addressed for the changes in the  by-laws in December.


including homeless people  1 of the target groups that we want to have represented on the Commission.

Community representatives and advocates


Blue Print Denver OED Banking Providers  shelter and service  four homeless people  community advocates public safety  neighborhood representative.  


which neighborhood would you have representing the neighbors  Page 21 and 22  steering committee minutes  INC DENVER  


Denver Health


Regina Huerter  Office of Behavioral Health    office of  Behavioral Health subsumes the hospitals


PUBLIC SAFETY   –  is this POLICE?  could be Commander Lopez  helpful to have here at the Commission


Sheriff  fire and EMS  emergency management services  –  intersection of Behavioral Health  CCPC  C


Business Improvement  District


25 people altogether on this Commission  wants to pare all of this down


active committees  this where the main work is accomplished


DON MARES   emanated from Mayor’s Hancock’s rejoinder





BENNIE  will update in a meeting with Mayor Hancock


HOW OFTEN MEETING Bimonthly  professional development  hook  up to their eye balls in this world.


two professional development  meetings annually


educational informational meeting regularly.


bring commissioners bringing people into the town halls and the PHC.


commissioners who are not service providers


Commission is not the same with committees half the size of this proposed size of the commission.


new blood  commissioners could take turns hosting these meetings


broadening this beyond the Commissioner’s perspectives


sign up for the committees  


Randle rags on everyone and the entire process


retreat being proposed


McVickers  wants to be involved in real work  tried a lot we are not moving

SOLUTIONS document


LINDI states that we need to look at the document  and have a reason to meet


break out into the committees


what will look differently from the beginning of the year until the end of the year



  • 2016 Retreat Scheduling:  
  1. Updates
  • Committees
  • Staff
  1. Initiatives/Activities
  • Aging Needs Assessment
  • IBM Smarter Cities Challenge
  • Voices of Youth Count
  • Metro Denver Homeless Initiative Grant Award
  1. Community Comments/Announcements
  2. Adjourn

Next Meeting

July 26, 2016        next    next next next next


ROBIN HABLA    access distinct   –   process role  sat in a meeting   should just talk about specific things to weigh in  fear of mistakes and inclusion  shaping the budget right now


HERE IS AN AGENDA  ITEM  2017 budget  press conference  recommendations around families.  I heard MAYOR tell me  what you think   never have a chance to send this message


MECHANISM  what will be      ROBIN  DON’t NEED A RETREAT  more you put this off is more unrealistic




to this point:   1  pass out what committee on shelter and systems  report



3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

          DHS-Castro Building  

       1200 Federal Blvd, Denver CO 80204

Commission on Homelessness
Denver’s Road Home




Tuesday April 19th, 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Parr-Widener Room, City & County Building


*Special Homeless Commission Meeting called by Mayor Hancock*


Attendees:  Mayor Hancock, John Parvensky, Kim Easton, Victoria McVickers, Leslie Foster, Doug Hock, Cmdr. Tony Lopez, Councilman Wayne New, Randle Loeb, Richard Scharf, Councilwoman Robin Kniech, Goeff Bennett, Tom Luehrs, Lindi Sinton, Tyler Jaeckel, Cheryl Haggstrom, Regi Huerter


Staff:  Bennie Milliner, Chris Conner, Jon Luper, Morina Duerson


Mayor Hancock opened the meeting addressing his decision to not attend the Commission meeting on March 22, 2016.  He reiterated his comments contained in the letter presented to the Commission at the March 22, 2016 meeting that he decided not to attend based on information provided to his office concerning possible disruption of the meeting.  He did not want to contribute to any disruption that would prevent the Commission from proceeding with its scheduled business.  His letter indicated he would have staff work on scheduling an opportunity for him to follow up with a meeting in the near future.  This meeting today fulfills that promise.  He went on to explain the City’s decision to remove the sidewalk encumbrance located at Lawrence and Park Ave. West.  He cited the unsafe, unhealthy, and inhumane conditions the encampments represented and that the situation was unacceptable and would not be allowed to continue.  Outreach and other efforts to engage those at the location into services would continue as they have since September 2015.


Commission Feedback


John Parvensky stated that the actions seem to be sending a message that the City policy in addressing the homeless situation was to criminalize necessary acts of living and to make the homeless disperse to less visible areas.  What was needed was for the City to expand shelters and crank up the efforts around housing.  John and the mayor engaged in a robust discussion concerning City funding of housing including dollars sent to CCH for support of their projects.


Tom Luehrs expressed disappointment that the Commission was not engaged earlier in the encampment discussion feeling providers could have informed the process and final decision.  He felt a new plan was necessary to discuss housing and other needs concerning those experiencing homelessness on the street level.  Numbers are increasing as seen by St. Francis Center and that we aren’t addressing differently and it is becoming a bigger issue.


Randle Loeb wanted everyone not to lose sight of the need to utilize a trauma informed care approach as we search for solutions.


Cheryl Haggstrom wanted to know more about the direction the Administration was going and the Commission’s role in that.  Mayor indicated he wanted to see a more streamlined, comprehensive approach to the entire issue.  Efforts to date have been incrementally successful but the sheer volume of people demanding services and a changed landscape need all of us to think more creatively and collaboratively.  He indicated he believes the Commission needs some restructuring and welcomed member’s thoughts and inputs on that.


Victoria McVickers asked what his vision was and what were his expectations of/for the Commission?  Mayor Hancock believed the Commission remains a valuable partner in our ongoing efforts on this issue, that the Commission does need to be a more coordinated body in order to provide viable advice to him and that the staff should work on better communication to the Commission regarding City activities and places where Commission as a whole or individually can be involved.


Kim Easton brought up concerns around the Office of Economic Development (OED) recent award of the Workforce Development contract to an out of state firm with a really different point of focus concerning youth that seem to present that servicing disadvantaged youth versus opportunity youth was the same.  She felt emphatic that it was not and that if OED had consulted with local providers that difference could have been explained and weighted differently.  The out of state firm has not communicated with local providers so local providers are at a loss to know how if at all they will be utilized in the delivery of these services to youth.  Mayor believed that contact would be forthcoming and that some inquiry to OED would be made.  It is his expectation that local providers would be involved in service delivery, perhaps in a sub-contracting role.

Kim also voiced a concern that the Denver Cares van was dropping off persons released from Detox in front of the Urban Peak facility.  (Regi Huerter has since taken care of this issue.)


Victoria followed up Kim’s questioning of the Work Force contract with her concerns as to what it will mean for Domestic Violence victims.  Re: TANF waivers.  The contract with Safe House expires June 30, 2016 and no communication has come from OED as to what that future status is and what the transition to a new outsource will look like.  We will reach out to OED to schedule a presentation to the Commission regarding the new workforce contract.


Mayor Hancock need to leave the meeting but prior to leaving he charged the commission to consider what a reformatted Commission might look like and to provide their input as he considers that action.

Councilwoman Kniech provided an update regarding the Ad Hoc Group working to develop governance and protocols for the $15 million Housing Fund that will begin to flow to the City in 2017.  The group meets on the 4th Thursday of the month, usually at different location in the City and County Building.  Kniech asked the Commission to consider providing input around goals for supportive housing numbers, actual production versus vouchers.  As she remains involved with the Commission; council looks to inform discussions.


Homeless Commission Steering Committee Minutes

April 26, 2016 by phone

Attendees:  Tami Door, Tom Luehrs, Lindi Sinton, Doug Hock, Leanne Wheeler, Kim Easton

Staff:  Bennie Milliner

Three agenda items were discussed:

  1. Commission Structure
  2. Committees
  3. Future Retreat

Commission Structure

Steering Committee members who were at the special Commission meeting with Mayor Hancock began a discussion around his charge to the Commission to strongly consider what a reformatted Commission might look like.  A preliminary list of organizations and individuals was discussed.  The idea is to determine what should be the mix of organizations and individuals be on the Commission to address the current landscape and environment of homelessness in our community.  The following form the first cut:

  • Government—OED
  • Banking
  • Foundations
  • Providers
  • Housing
  • Shelters-Day, night, female, youth
  • Services
  • Business
  • Denver Public Schools
  • Homeless Representatives (4)
  • Faith Based
  • Mental/Behavioral Health
  • Office of Drug Strategy
  • Community representative/advocate (2)
  • Public Safety


As the discussion moved to Committee work clearly the Steering Committee expressed a desire to look at ways for Road Home, the Steering Committee and the Commission to find avenues to truly build something together and work together for a greater community effort.  We need to push Commission members to get active in committee work to really help in prioritizing work for committees and the Commission.  


Future Retreat Planning

In light of the heightened focus on homelessness and conversations around Commission restructuring, organizational review of some city departments and agencies, including Road Home; potential implications of the IBM Smarter Cities initiative; discussion of the Housing Fund, etc. the Steering Committee believes planning for a retreat is prudent at this time.  One of the recommendations is to return to a review of the Rebound Solutions report that provided good guidance some of which has been acted upon, some that has not.  Initial thought was to try for June but Road Home has not nailed down a good facilitator so July, August or September appear to be good options at this time.  We will look for the full Commission to provide input on this.

General Discussion Points

In light of the meeting with Mayor Hancock last week, April 19, 2016 improved and more frequent communication from the Mayor’s office is hoped for.  Road Home has committed to increased communication through a bi-weekly e-mail update of activities, initiatives, etc.

Articulate ideas of future planning, moving from the big picture to the small aspects with an eye to simplify, simplify, simplify!

It would be helpful for Road Home to identify two or three core questions we need to consider to focus on our desired future state in (Road Home and the Commission) roles and expectations.  

In an attempt to move beyond some of our circular discussions at Commission meetings, the Steering Committee is recommending that members of the Steering Committee run the Commission meeting and allow Road Home staff to operate as staff, supporting Commission work, not directing the outcomes.


Denver’s Road Home Commission

Homeless Systems and Services Committee

Recommendations for DRH Concentration Areas

May 2016


Primary Group Focus: Single Individuals experiencing homelessness

Primary Goal: Provide the best opportunity for each homeless event to be brief, productive, respectful of the individual and the least traumatizing.


Immediate needs – To meet this goal for the single populations currently accessing Denver area shelter, the current gaps and needs were identified:

  1. Improved emergency shelter conditions for all populations
    1. Develop generals standards of care                                   –    select those which do not have $
    2. Provide beds or cots instead of mats                                 –     no cots and mats on the floor ever again
    3. Provide designated square footage per person sleeping-
    4. Include shelter options for couples                                   –     families
    5. Increased shelter options for families and youth  a safe space for development


  1. Specific accommodations for those with high medical needs, including hospice, medical respite, hospital recuperation
    1. Separate from overnight shelter  
    2. Include nursing care
    3. Ensure physical and geographical accessibility


  1. Facility open 24/7 –“rest and resource”  HOW MANY BEDS DO WE NEED?
    1. Provide a variety of needed resources on site
    2. Include case management services
    3. Ensure physical and geographical accessibility
    4. Incorporate Trauma informed approach  


  1. Transportation access  – bus passes, bus tickets, vans  
  2. Storage spaces for personal possessions


Longer Term and Ongoing Needs:  

  1. Increased access to substance abuse and mental health services
  2. Diverse housing options, such as congregate living, roommate matching
  3. Added services in shelters and day centers- stepping stones to jobs and housing
  4. Funding from stable, ongoing sources
  5. Increased partnerships with faith communities for shelter provision, reimburse for costs


General recommendations (all populations):

  1. Incorporate trauma informed practices and trauma trained staff in programs serving people in crisis
    • Ensure safety is prioritized in all shelter locations
    • Service delivery includes those who have experienced homelessness
      • Opportunities to serve, job opportunities and peer support
  1. Continued community emphasis on coordination of services for all populations
    1. Better coordinated emergency shelter and services
    2. Continue and grow CAHPS System (Coordinated Assessment and Housing Placement) for housing prioritization for all vulnerable populations

May 2016

to be continued:   2017 




HOUSING  would be a separate set of recommendations

EMPLOYMENT  would work on their recommendations







7  things on this list   –  standards protocols  only beds  separate accommodations for medical care for the NEW SHELTER


I want to hear from you        no matter what






Robin is attempting to guide this group  which is important because it is needed.  NEXT STEP IS NOT MAILING THIS TO THE MAYOR


committees need to be as engaged


Luehrs  –   take recommendations and come up with 3 only  standards of care are related to $






VOICES OF YOUTH COUNT   KIM EASTON  this summer  JUNE focus groups  Hot spotting  JULY IS THE COUNT  15th


paying the youth as counters and getting them involved


SPRING 2017   results from their surveys  across the country  Chapin and Hall




AGING NEEDS ASSESSMENT:  COMMISSION ON AGING  3 year assessment  over 65  timeline information  will be mailed


IBM  SET UP TECHNOLOGY  200 interviews 7 county assessment in a month the  responses    


subject matter experts  influence people outside of CITY HALL




on going assistance has stepped up to keep families housed


ADAMS COUNTY WE DO NOT KNOW YET  1,000,000  doesn’t exist anymore


state tax credits redevelopment of the site  building   35 permenent units of housing units  95 low-income housing ground breaking in an year


mobile laundry at Bayaud in next month  –   

Laundry on the FAX  free laundry for unhoused neighbors








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