In the summer of 2016, the City of Longmont engaged in a process to assess the homeless service delivery system in Longmont, Colorado. The process was intended “to provide data leading to the creation of a more responsive and effective service delivery system for people who are chronically homeless and are surviving on Longmont ‘streets’ (public infrastructure, facilities and other public places and/or in temporary shelters).” Information from the assessment would inform City officials about their role in planning, coordinating and/or serving people who are homeless in the Longmont community. The data would also be used “to determine how to best support agencies to work collaboratively in offering a seamless set of services to help stabilize people who are homeless."
Guided by a Project Team representing city staff and Housing and Human Services Advisory Board members, and managed by the consulting team from Longmont-based interSector Partners, L3C, the project set out to:
- Identify the prevalence of people who are chronically homeless in Longmont including the contributing factors and circumstances
- Understand and explore the barriers to access and gaps in service provision
- Identify opportunities for service alignment, collaboration and enhancements
- Suggest approaches that could optimally serve Longmont’s chronically homeless adults
The project was outlined in three phases with key process points:
- Phase I: Information gathering/discovery, data interpretation and stakeholder input
- Phase II: Identifying existing and new opportunities and vetting feasibility of ideas
- Phase III: Interpretation of findings, developing recommendations, preparing and presenting the final report
A deliverable for the Longmont Homeless Services Assessment is to determine the prevalence of people who are chronically homeless in Longmont including the contributing factors and circumstances surrounding their homelessness. The Assessment Project Team developed a definition of “chronically homeless” for Longmont. This definition broadens the Housing and Urban Development definition and makes it more inclusive to better meet the needs of the Longmont community.
Fortunately, the current situation and its implications are not lost on the Longmont community seeking to impact the lives of people who are homeless. Service providers and the city of Longmont express clear understanding of the need to coordinate and prioritize services in a time of limited resources. Additionally, service providers across the community expressed, on numerous occasions, a sincere desire to work together to address gaps and reduce barriers to accessing services through coordinated and collaborative efforts.
As a result of the assessment process and active engagement by Longmont’s service providers, an integrated service delivery model was developed that includes the following key components:
The City of Longmont will play an important role in creating and sustaining the integrated service delivery system. While the system is created, the role of convener will be critical. This may include scheduling coordination, use of space, development of early agendas and agreements, facilitation and/or documentation.
From a sustaining perspective, the city’s role will encompass compliance, accountability and enforcement, developing and implementing community policies to address dynamics that contribute to homelessness, and providing funding support to the system. With an integrated service delivery system, there is significant opportunity for the Housing and Human Services Advisory Board to move toward more directed grantmaking in support of the system and its intended outcomes.
The Homeless Services Assessment Final Report & Recommendations contains detail of the project, as well as attachments to provide background on the process utilized to conduct the assessment and arrive at the recommendations.
As outlined in the assessment, an integrated service delivery model will leverage the best that the community has to offer toward a collective approach that allows Longmont to prioritize services, leverage and attract new funding and achieve greater community impact—significantly reducing the number of people who are chronically homeless in Longmont.
For more information, contact Karen Roney, Community Services Director at 303-651-8633 or [email protected]