Beyond Planning: Denver, CO


National Alliance to End Homelessness

Solutions Brief | April 25, 2010

Files: PDF | 79 KB | 2 pages

Denver, CO has experienced tremendous success in implementing its Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness, Denver’s Road Home. Much of Denver’s implementation success can be attributed to a few core practices that any community can replicate. This paper presents information on these practices: Denver’s approach to drafting its Ten Year Plan; its strategies for leadership, community engagement, and accountability; the system infrastructure; and the city’s approach to funding its homeless assistance system.

The Plan
This brief discusses the way in which Denver developed content for its Ten Year Plan, Denver's Road Home. Key strategies used include identifying both primary causes of homelessness and linkages to mainstream programs. Using this information, Denver determined potential gaps and opportunities in services, finance, policy, and other resources, and planners then used this information to reconfigure the city's homeless assistance system.

Leadership, Engagement, and Accountability
This Beyond Planning brief also explores ways in which Denver has maintained leadership and accountability in implementing its Ten Year Plan. For example, the Mayor appointed a Commission on Homelessness to lead the drafting and implementation of Denver's Road Home, consisting of a variety of key community stakeholders. The Commission created a public-nonprofit agency to lead these efforts, and the agency works extensively to obtain stakeholder input from across the city.

Another issue explored in this brief is the way in which the infrastructure of Denver's Road Home, the public-nonprofit agency leading Denver's Ten Year Plan efforts, has played a role in Denver's success. Strategies such as appointing a key person whose chief responsibilities are to coordinate all continuum activities and engage all continuum stakeholders, forming a strong partnership with the local United Way, and gaining strong support from the Mayor for prioritizing the issue have all been key to Denver's advancement in this area.

Funding and Resources
Lastly, the brief explains the nature of funding for Denver's Road Home. Denver has raised more than $46 million in private funding from the Downtown Business District, individual philanthropists and community leaders, and others. These stakeholders were engaged in the planning process from the beginning and continue to engage as members of the Commission on Homelessness.

To download the full brief, click here.