HPRP Youth Program Profiles: Urban Peak

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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Solutions Brief | September 21, 2010

Files: PDF | 107 KB | 1 page

nameUrban Peak of Colorado has programs for homeless and at-risk youth in Denver and Colorado Springs. Their services include emergency shelter, street outreach, a variety of housing programs, education and employment services,
and health and human services support. Urban Peak’s mission is to support and empower young adults. They serve over 2,300 youth a year.

HPRP Initiatives
Urban Peak offers HPRP assistance to their own clients as well as to applicants between the ages of 18 and 24 from the community who are referred by community partners. While other agencies offer one-time rental assistance, Urban Peak’s HPRP program is designed to provide longer assistance. Clients develop a case plan and meet with their case manager at least weekly during the first three months.

The rental assistance is determined by a scoring tool and can range from 3 to 18 months. Eligible clients pay 30 percent of their income and the most common type of assistance is a graduating subsidy. HPRP funds motel vouchers while applicants are finding safe and affordable housing, moving assistance, legal assistance, and rental or utility arrears. HPRP clients are also eligible for Urban Peak’s other supportive services such as workforce development or employment assistance.

Community Partnerships
Urban Peak is under contract with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) to administer HPRP to youth. The partnership is a close one and CCH has allowed Urban Peak to be flexible with their budget and to shift funds
where necessary.

Urban Peak also collaborates with a number of other community providers in the delivery of HPRP as well as in Urban Peak’s other services. These partnerships enhance the depth of services available to HPRP clients while easing the burden on the HPRP case manager.

Constraints
Shawn Hayes, Urban Peak’s HPRP case manager, cites the management of his caseload as a significant challenge. It is difficult to balance a caseload with higher functioning youth and with youth who have more service needs while also striving to ensure no one is set up to fail.

The CCH determined the HPRP program’s eligibility rules, which include a rent matching requirement. This structure poses some challenges. In particular, the rent matching requirement is very challenging because of the tight employment market. Many Urban Peak clients can’t find work while others are under-employed and have difficulty paying their portion of the rent or having enough income at intake to be eligible for assistance.

The contract with CCH also emphasizes eviction prevention. Because of this Urban Peak is unable to serve couch surfing youth who are not on their own lease.

Achievements
To date, Urban Peak has served 18 households, or 23 individuals. Throughout the course of the three year grant, Urban Peak expects to serve at least 60 youth with HPRP.

Despite some of the limitations posed by program requirements and external factors, Urban Peak’s HPRP program has filled a critical gap in services for the at-risk and homeless youth of Denver.