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Housing Stability Task Force plans to review one year of data

Teresa Ristow
Diane Moore, right, executive director of Advocates Building Peaceful Communities, listens during the first meeting of the Housing Stability Task Force, created by Routt County United Way.
Courtesy Photo

— Routt County’s Housing Stability Task Force aims to review a year’s worth of data about people who have faced homelessness locally during its next meeting in October.

The task force, formerly called the Homelessness Task Force, met Thursday to discuss tracking homeless data, as well as next steps for creating some type of housing stability network to help people who find themselves temporarily homeless.

“My hope would be, in October, that we confirm what the issue is, and we work on these solutions,” said Kate Nowak, executive director of Routt County United Way and task force leader.

The group Thursday discussed a proposal presented to the task force in July from the Colorado Rural Collaborative on Homeless Youth.

A representative from the collaborative said then that between $2,000 and $7,000 could be set aside for Routt County if it were interested in joining the collaborative and using the money to help homeless youth.

Members of the task force are still seeking more information from other counties about the experience of being a part of the collaborative, and the group will pass on this year’s deadline to receive funding.

Nowak said she’d like to see the task force dissolved in the future, but first wants to set up some type of housing stability network to help house people, particularly youth, who find themselves temporarily homeless.

Nowak said two local families are currently going through the process to become foster families, adding that foster families without a current child in the home could be a viable place to house homeless youth.

“That’s in the works, but it’s not a solution today,” Nowak said.

The group also discussed the possibility of partnering with Steamboat Springs’ First Baptist Church to create a temporary housing solution on church property for local adults facing temporary homelessness.

Group member Michelle Petix, executive director of Partners in Routt County, suggested that, once the group has a clear understanding of its goals, it should reach out to the community through a public forum to better educate community members about the issues of homelessness and identify more stakeholders from whom to gather feedback.

The group, which includes leaders from local social service organizations and nonprofits, plans to finish gathering data from last October through now, with plans to review the data at October’s meeting.

“Then, we’ll have a full year of data on whether this is a consistent problem,” Nowak said.

The Housing Stability Task Force’s next meeting is set for 4 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Steamboat Springs School District board room, 325 Seventh St.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


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