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Recent data shows that in Jefferson County, 77% of those experiencing homelessness are families with children. Others experiencing homelessness include veterans and individuals with mental health or substance abuse issues.
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The number is difficult to quantify because those experiencing homelessness tend to move between jurisdictions, and many do not want to bear the stigma and scorn often associated with being homeless, and, therefore, avoid using resources that might identify them as experiencing homelessness.
Homelessness is becoming more prevalent in all Colorado communities. While the reasons for the increase in homelessness are complex, rising housing costs and lack of affordable housing are contributing factors, as are mental health and substance abuse issues.
The City has established a homelessness team from multiple departments. The team meets once monthly to examine and explore resources and best practices that are being utilized across the nation in order to assist those experiencing homelessness. Current projects/approaches are:
Homelessness is an issue growing in communities all over Colorado regardless of how those cities respond to the issue. Arvada is responding by working to find solutions that allow those who are experiencing homelessness to maintain a measure of human dignity while they get back on their feet.
The Arvada Police Department has increased its presence in Olde Town and is conducting extensive outreach to connect those experiencing homelessness with resources, while actively addressing public safety issues sometimes related to homelessness. Arvada PD follows standard procedures for enforcement of code and ordinance violations, regardless of the status of the individual(s) involved. Most recently, the Police Department has developed a new response team: the Community, Outreach, Resource and Enforcement (CORE) team. The CORE team is presently focusing its efforts in the area south of West 58th Avenue and east of Allison Street. Officers have opened lines of communication with residents, visitors, business owners, and the homeless population with the goal to find resource-based solutions. It is important to note that this team will also deploy strategic enforcement efforts when providing resources becomes ineffective.
No. It is not illegal to be homeless, and those experiencing homelessness have the same rights as all other citizens.
If you see someone committing a crime on public property, please call Arvada Police at 720-898-6900. The Arvada Police Department can be contacted in any situation where:
These situations do not constitute the only means as to why police should be contacted. If you believe the situation warrants police response, please contact non-emergency police dispatch at 720-898-6900.