The Weld Trust has a vision to help make Weld County the healthiest County in the state of Colorado. As part of that vision, they selected housing stability as one of its key funding initiatives. In the third quarter 2021, The Weld Trust awarded fourteen grants to nonprofits in Weld County totaling more than $1.4 million for programs and projects focused on housing.
Among the grants awarded were Catholic Charities, United Way of Weld County, and North Colorado Health Alliance, all of whom are working together to provide wrap-around case management for some of Weld County’s most vulnerable homeless population. Individuals experiencing acute and chronic illnesses who are homeless frequently cycle in and out of hospitals because they have no safe and stable home to afford them the opportunity to stabilize their lives and health. They may be dealing with conditions including cancer, cardiac issues, diseases of the extremities and skin, uncontrolled diabetes, traumatic brain injury, early dementia, and post-surgery recovery.
Catholic Charities offers housing and services for medically compromised homeless Weld County residents through their Hospital to Housing program. Here they are given a place to heal, receive support and education on hospital discharge directives, physical and mental health evaluations, and therapy. Catholic Charities connects these patients with resources for continued health support as well as navigation of the housing search process upon being discharged from their program. In the two years they have offered this program, 100% of their patients completed their discharge directives and obtained stable housing.
United Way of Weld County’s Housing Navigation Center helps people survive their experience of homelessness and connect back to housing. They combine housing and other services to provide holistic, person-centered support for the most vulnerable. They assist individuals with light touch services and resources such as securing IDs, applying for benefits, public transportation, as well as obtaining food, clothing, and hygiene items.
North Colorado Health Alliance (NCHA) utilizes staff resources to help focus on housing for individuals who are referred to them while assessing their physical and mental health needs. NCHA receives referrals from several area agencies including Catholic Charities, United Way of Weld County, Banner Health, UC Health, and Sunrise Community Health. The NCHA staff visit clients when they are housed temporarily in shelters, assess adherence to medication and treatment recommendations, coordinate referrals to meet other social needs including food, as well as accompany clients to medical, behavioral, and oral health clinical visits.
By offering these wrap-around services, these organizations are collaboratively reducing the risk for housing instability. The grants awarded by The Weld Trust provide a vital role in the success of these programs in helping vulnerable homeless individuals find stability in both their housing and health needs. These grants and programs serve a vital step toward the long-term vision of making Weld County the healthiest County in the state.