2020 has been a dismal and unprecedented year due to COVID-19. However, United Way of Weld County (UWWC) has some good news to share. Homelessness is being eliminated in northern Colorado one person at a time, especially among the homeless veteran population.
By the end of 2021, UWWC, in partnership with over 40 partner agencies, hopes to end veteran homelessness in Weld and Larimer counties. We will do this by utilizing the Coordinated Assessment and Housing Placement System (CAHPS), which UWWC facilitates by employing the staff member responsible for the coordination of these 40-plus partner agencies. The system provides streamlined and equitable access for northern Coloradans who are experiencing homelessness. CAHPS is a collaborative effort, relying on numerous agencies in Weld and Larimer counties to achieve success. The success of the program since 2016 has been amazing. Below is a story showing an example of the success of CAHPS.
Marcus, an Air Force veteran, had been stably housed for years. Following a stroke, Marcus not only lost the use of the left side of his body, but also his housing. Confined to a wheelchair, he was forced to sleep on the streets. As things got worse for Marcus, he began to lose hope and eventually stopped trying to meet even his most basic needs.
Through CAHPS, Marcus was assessed to determine his level of vulnerability. Based on his score, it was determined that without housing he had a high likelihood of dying while homeless. Marcus was connected, through CAHPS, with permanent housing and the medical health care he needed.
Under the old system, Marcus would have been placed on a waitlist and likely would have waited years to come to the top of the list. Considering his high level of medical needs, it is very probable that Marcus would not have been able to survive this long. Instead, with CAHPS, Marcus was able to access housing within months and is now stably housed, healthy and happy.
- Since February 2016, 406 veterans have found stable housing through CAHPS.
CAHPS has also helped other people find stable housing such as:
- In April 2017, we rolled out CAHPS for single adults experiencing homelessness and 252 single adults have been housed.
- Since March 2018, 241 families have found stable housing because of CAHPS.
- The CAHPS process started with youth in January 2019, and 11 youth have found stable housing.
Call UWWC at (970) 353-4300 or go to unitedway-weld.org for more information.