Heading Home is a collaboration of individuals, public service, and faith-based organizations from the community determined to end homelessness in Jefferson County. Heading Home is a subcommittee of Jeffco Connections (JC), whose mission is "to establish a collaborative leadership that promotes accountable, efficient, cost-effective, and coordinated systems, in an effort to increase the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in Jefferson County." JC has charged Heading Home with the task of developing a plan to address and end homelessness in Jefferson County.
The plan is built on the following principles:
To end homelessness in Jefferson County, we must first prevent it by utilizing intervention with services and financial support. Emergency shelter must also be available to assist people experiencing a temporary housing crisis.
Affordable housing must be developed to meet the needs of households at all income levels.
Systems change must occur to eliminate policies that are ineffective and hinder the stability of people in need.
Services that enhance and support the independence of people must be readily available and coordinated.
Read the current plan here.
Heading Home Subcommittee Meeting Minutes - 2019
Moving Forward to End Homelessness in Jeffco
Over the course of five years, Heading Home has been moving forward on developing and implementing a plan to address homelessness in Jefferson County.
One of the projects coordinated by Heading Home is the Severe Weather Collaboration, developed as a full-service response system to severe winter weather and its effects on people experiencing homelessness.
In the efforts to find long-term solutions, Heading Home’s housing work group has been working to identify and develop relationships with housing developers and property owners willing to work with formerly homeless individuals and families. This group also is conducting research on community perspective on having neighbors who may have formerly been experiencing homelessness
This constant work, supported by the community, has allowed local police departments to get even more involved in addressing homelessness including Arvada PD, Lakewood PD and Wheat Ridge PD, especially for the Point in Time
Jefferson County Public Library identified homelessness as a critical issue they wanted to address and joined Heading Home. JeffCo libraries have played a very active role in addressing homelessness needs, including hiring two special population outreach employees and a licensed clinical social worker
In addition, Heading Home supported the start-up, development and logistics of Live Well Showers and created an outreach group for Jefferson County. This pilot program kick-started August 2018 in collaboration with Arvada Housing Authority, Wheat Ridge PD, Family Tree and Mean Street Ministry