Welcome to Claudia!

With the receipt of a great grant, Nederland Community Church has hired an outreach worker, to serve our area’s homeless campers. Congratulations to Claudia Schauffler, who will be serving as our Summer Homeless Advocate for Residential Encampments!

The SHARE program has three goals. First, Claudia will connect people who are experiencing homelessness in the Nederland-area wilderness with programs and resources that already exist down the hill. Second, she will teach safer camping practices, particularly with regard to campfires, but also to waste, water, weather, and wildlife. And third, by collecting extensive data and stories, we will begin to learn effective strategies for managing care to people in need and for keeping communities and public lands safe; by so doing, we can share best practices with other areas that struggle with the recent and rising phenomenon of homelessness moving into the wilderness.

The SHARE program has been developed out of the Nederland Inter-agency Council on Homeless Encampments (NICHE), a partnership guided by the Community Church and supported by several government offices, law enforcement agencies, human services organizations, and other groups whose work involves responding to issues regarding homeless camping. Thanks especially go out to Boulder County Community Services Department for making this program possible, as well as the ongoing support of the US Forest Service, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Boulder County Commissioners, Peak to Peak Forest Watch, and Nederland Police, Fire, and Town Hall. The Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Bridge House, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, and many others have also helped in coordinating our response to the issues that arise with homeless camping.

From Claudia:

“I have worked in non-profit healthcare all of my career. I was a pediatric respiratory therapist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for 15 years. I left pediatrics when I lost my daughter to Cystic Fibrosis. Shortly thereafter I moved to Colorado with my partner Mona. The healing power of the mountains and my work at People’s Clinic in Boulder has given me a new mission. Working with under-served and marginalized people has become a passion. I am grateful to be able to continue this work in my own community.”

 

And in case you missed the Press Release from last week:

SHARE outreach program to educate and connect people experiencing homelessness near Nederland
Program focused on people camping in the area

Boulder County, Colo. – Boulder County and the Nederland Interagency Council on Homeless Encampments is launching a new Summer Homeless Advocate for Residential Encampments (SHARE) program, a seasonal outreach pilot targeting adults experiencing homelessness who choose to camp on lands near Nederland. The SHARE program aims to educate people in the area about safe camping practices, and provide information and connections with homeless services now available through the Homeless Solutions for Boulder County (HSBC) program.

The SHARE pilot program will support a part-time outreach worker in the Nederland area dedicated to building relationships with individuals experiencing homelessness and living in residential encampments in or near Nederland. Higher numbers of people camp in the area during the summer months, and the new seasonal SHARE position will coincide with this influx of campers. The outreach worker will teach clients safer campfire management, and how to deal more appropriately with waste, wildlife, water purification, and weather. They will also work to connect people in need with existing services in the county. Questions about the SHARE program can be directed to Hansen Wendlandt, Pastor of the Nederland Community Presbyterian Church, 210 N. Jefferson Street, at ncpcpastor@gmail.com, or by phone at 303-258-3579.

Homeless Solutions for Boulder County is a new countywide systems approach that launched in October 2017, and is a collaboration between Boulder County, the cities of Boulder and Longmont, and area service providers. The goal of this collaborative is to provide responsive services to support quick, stable housing solutions for adults experiencing homelessness in the county.

The HSBC approach balances short-term services for those whose situations can be resolved in a manner of weeks, with longer-term efforts aimed at helping individuals with greater barriers to obtaining housing. This includes helping people experiencing chronic homelessness to access permanent housing as quickly as opportunities arise. These long-term efforts are prioritized for people who have a longer history or report a relationship — such as family, school or work — within the county.

The HSBC service delivery system is divided into three primary components: Coordinated Entry, Navigation Services, and Housing-focused Shelter services.

Coordinated Entry provides a single access into the homeless services system using interviews and a comprehensive screening tool. The cities of Boulder and Longmont have separate Coordinated Entry locations, and all screening is conducted by the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. The key objectives are to streamline and standardize access, prioritize assistance, and provide data for systems planning efforts.
Navigation Services are focused on providing short-term resolution assistance to lower need individuals who have fewer barriers to obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. Services can include case management, mediation, financial assistance, legal assistance, reunification assistance, and linkage to mainstream supports. Short-term shelter can be provided (up to approximately seven days) if needed. Bridge House operates Navigation Services in the City of Boulder under their Path to Home program, which provides up to 50 overnight sleeping spaces year-round. Navigation Services in the City of Longmont are provided collaboratively by HOPE for Longmont and the OUR Center. Longmont Navigation Services also offers up to 50 overnight sleeping spaces, but this service is limited to the fall, winter, and spring months.
Housing-focused Shelter is provided for moderate- to high-needs individuals who require more intensive supports to obtain and maintain housing. These individuals can reserve a bed and stay at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless until they are housed. Services are provided by the Shelter staff and include housing-focused case management and wrap-around supports aligned with a tailored housing plan. To support these services the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless provides 160 beds year-round for nighttime shelter, day shelter services on severe weather days, late morning and early evening hours for clients meeting with case managers and service providers, and lockers where people staying regularly can securely leave belongings during the day.

In the first six months of system implementation (October 2017-March 2018), 184 adults have exited services to successful outcomes countywide. These include 72 clients who exited to their own housing, 84 clients who have reunified with support systems in and outside of Boulder County, and 28 clients who have enrolled in other programs (such as Ready to Work, the Inn Between, and residential substance use treatment). If you have questions about HSBC, please contact Homeless-Solutions@bouldercounty.org.

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