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Colorado communities launch effort to end homelessness in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Community Solutions, and Division of Housing

Five Colorado communities join Metro Denver as communities in Built for Zero
November 7, 2019

DENVER—Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Community
Solutions, and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ (DOLA) Division of
Housing (DOH) today announced the creation of a cohort designed to end chronic homelessness
in Colorado. The newly announced cohort of Colorado communities includes metro
Denver and five other local communities along the Front Range, mountain
communities, and Western Slope.

“This is an exciting effort supporting local communities to create a continuum of housing-focused solutions all geared to make homelessness rare, brief and a one-time occurrence,” said Alison George, Director of the Division of Housing within the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

This new cohort is part of Community Solutions’ Built for Zero initiative which includes
more than 70 communities across the country working to measurably and
sustainably end chronic homelessness. The cohort is being supported through $500,000
in community health funding from Kaiser Permanente as part of the nonprofit
health care organization’s national collaboration with Community Solutions.

Communities that are a part of Built for Zero will collaborate on building tailored plans to address homelessness in their specific community, adopt proven best practices, use data to improve homelessness plan performance, and share and deploy existing resources more efficiently.

“Built for Zero was built on an
understanding that when communities come together, it is possible to create a
future where homelessness is rare and brief,” said Melanie Lewis
Dickerson, Portfolio Lead at Community Solutions. “We are thrilled that
communities in Colorado are joining forces with each other and Built for Zero,
Kaiser Permanente and the Division of Housing to make this shared vision a
reality.”

Metro Denver joined the Built for Zero
initiative in 2016 and now, five other Colorado communities have signed up. The
new cohort of Colorado communities includes:

  • Metro Denver
  • Fremont County
  • Mesa County
  • El Paso County (Pikes Peak Community of Care)
  • Pitkin, Garfield, and Eagle counties
  • Larimer and Weld counties

“The link between housing and health is
well-documented. With nearly 11,000 Coloradans experiencing homelessness each
day, we know more must be done to improve the health of our communities. But we
can’t do this alone,” said Mike Ramseier, president of Kaiser Permanente
Colorado. “We are honored to partner with these local institutions and
communities as we work collectively to end chronic homelessness.”

Kaiser Permanente is a mission-based nonprofit
health plan, and this support is the latest example of the organization’s
commitment to address the social factors that affect health outcomes, such as
access to stable, secure, affordable housing. Last year Kaiser Permanente
created the Thriving Communities Fund, a $200 million impact investment fund
focused on addressing affordable housing and other factors that contribute to
the homelessness and housing crisis.

In addition to the work being done in Colorado,
Community Solutions has an impressive record including working with ten
communities that have measurably and sustainably ended veteran homelessness.
These communities include: Rockford, Ill.; Arlington, Va.; Montgomery County,
Md.; Fort Myers, Fla.; Gulfport, Miss.; Riverside, Cali.; Norman, Okla.; Bergen
County, N.J.; Abilene, Texas; and Lake County, Ill.

To learn more about Built for Zero or to join the initiative, please visit: joinbuiltforzero.org

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About Colorado Department of Local Affairs Division of Housing

The Division of Housing (DOH) partners with local communities to create
housing opportunities for Coloradans who face the greatest challenges to
accessing affordable, safe, and secure homes. DOH supports projects ranging
from homelessness prevention to homeownership.

About
Community Solutions

Community Solutions is a nonprofit that works to achieve a lasting end
to homelessness that leaves no one behind. We lead Built for Zero, a movement
of more than 70 communities across the country redefining what is possible in
the movement to end homelessness. By harnessing the power of real-time,
person-specific data and problem-solving skills from other sectors, more than
half of those cities and counties have achieved reductions in the number of
people experiencing chronic and veteran homelessness. Eleven of those
communities have ended homelessness for a population by reaching a standard
called Functional Zero. Learn more at. www.community.solutions

About
Kaiser Permanente Colorado

Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan,
working to improve the lives and health of all Coloradans for 50 years. We are
comprised of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado and the Colorado
Permanente Medical Group—one of the state’s largest medical groups with more
than 1,200 physicians. We provide comprehensive care for our more than 640,000
Kaiser Permanente Colorado members through 31 medical offices across the state.
We are also committed to our social mission and in 2018, proudly invested more
than $141 million to community health programs to improve the health of all
Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit about.kaiserpermanente.org or
follow us @kpcolorado or like
us facebook.com/kpcolorado.

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