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Five Boulder County organizations providing services to the homeless are getting a funding boost from the federal CARES Act.

Homeless Solutions for Boulder County, along with its nonprofit partners, will receive $581,000 for shelter operations, hazard pay and staffing, street outreach and housing support.

Boulder County Community Services, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Attention Homes, Bridge House and Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence all applied for grant funding through the CARES Act Emergency Solutions Grant, coordinating applications to avoid asking for money for duplicate services.

The grants support providers with homelessness prevention and intervention, ensuring homeless people are quickly connected to housing resources.

The Boulder County group was awarded more than half the funding amount requested to continue operations during the pandemic, ensuring enhanced safety protocols and services for the most vulnerable in the community.

The Boulder County commissioners also granted the group $22,400 through CARES funding. The money was used to buy 400 prepaid phones for people experiencing homelessness so they can stay connected to services.

The Boulder Shelter for the Homeless CEO Greg Harms said the shelter will receive about $240,000.

Plans for the money include helping cover the cost of hotel rooms for the most vulnerable, which also frees up beds. The shelter has a capacity for 120 people each night, which is 40 beds fewer than what they had available before the pandemic.

The money also will be used to help cover increased food costs and hazard pay for front-line staff members.

“It’s allowing us to run as normal of operations as possible, given all the restrictions,” he said. “That’s our goal, to serve as many people as we possibly can and still keep the place safe.”

Safehouse, which was awarded $30,000, also will use the money for hazard pay for staff members working in the shelter, said Executive Director Anne Tapp. The money also will support buying personal protective equipment for shelter residents and staff members.

Chris Nelson, CEO of Attention Homes, said his organization expects to receive about $90,000 that will go to street outreach to connect people with services. The outreach is a partnership with Boulder and Mental Health Partners, allowing the organization to include a mental health clinician on its outreach team.

“We want to build those relationships that people need to have so they will access services,” he said.

Attention Homes, which serves 12- to 24-year-olds, also received state grant money to provide rental assistance to 18- to 24-year-olds. So far, Nelson said, the money has helped 10 young people, including one person who was six months behind on rent.

“We know so many young people have lost their jobs and their rent is just piling up month after month,” he said. “We would love 18- to 24-year-olds to know there’s a resource for them. It’s so much better to get support before you get evicted.”

Isabel McDevitt, CEO of Boulder’s Bridge House, said her organization is receiving about $50,000 in CARES Act money to support its Community Table dinners and Coordinated Entry outreach program. The money also will help increase shelter capacity for Ready to Work program participants.

The Community Table dinners, while now held outside with grab-and-go food because of coronavirus restrictions, still provides hot meals.

“It’s so important to offer hot meals,” she said. “We are all allocating the money in a really expeditious and thoughtful way.”

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