Homelessness in Durango

Introduction

Homelessness is a national issue with deep roots, but solutions are often expected at the local level. Within this framework, the City of Durango, La Plata County, and numerous stakeholder groups have met for years in search of the best ways to help our local homeless population. The services offered include providing mental health support, housing vouchers, food, medical assistance, trash, and waste cleanup, and law enforcement management.Unhoused in (Click image to view presentation from 9/6/22 City Council meeting)

The combined efforts exemplify the community’s generosity but typically address symptoms of homelessness versus the structural causes. As such, the scale of the challenges inherent in combating homelessness makes finding permanent, long-term solutions based solely on local efforts exceedingly difficult. 

Homeless advocates display great sympathy while asking that the city does more to assist this population. Like most of the community, they are very concerned when people have no place to live, can’t find housing or jobs, don’t have a place to go to the bathroom, shower, dump their garbage, or get mental health or substance abuse help. We appreciate and recognize this view.

We also hear from those in our community who are upset about trash, the safety of our parks, camping on public property, illegal fires, and crime in their neighborhoods. Many of these individuals feel that the city, the county, and support agencies do too much enabling and that many people abuse the system. These are also valid concerns.  

For the police department, the response to homelessness is one of the most critical issues they face daily. Their main concern is the victimization of the mentally ill, inclement weather, and the lack of sobering centers and treatment facilities.

As we move forward as a community, the city seeks a balanced approach that respects the needs of the unhoused while minimizing the impact of the homeless community on the larger population. The city supports a consortium of stakeholder organizations with expertise in specific areas of homelessness to provide services and advise the city on the issue. We welcome the public’s input.”

If you would like to submit comments on this topic, please email us at publiccomment@durangogov.org.

Plan Adoption

On February 18, 2020 the Durango City Council adopted the City of Durango and La Plata County Strategic Plan on Homelessness. The adopted plan can be found here: Adopted Homelessness Strategic Plan

Please use the following link for additional information:  https://www.co.laplata.co.us/services/homeless_support/index.php

In the News

Where will homeless campers go once Purple Cliff closes? (Durango Herald article)


Please use the following link for additional information:  https://www.co.laplata.co.us/services/homeless_support/index.php

  1. Resources & Support
  2. Camping Rules
  3. Trespassing
  4. Prohibited Activities

Resources:

  • Durango Community Shelter: (970) 259-1255
  • Housing Solutions of the Southwest: (970) 259-1086
  • Habitat for Humanity: (970) 382-9931
  • Southwest Safehouse: (970) 259-5444
  • Durango Housing Corporation: (970) 382-2788

City of Durango Support for Unhoused and Housing Insecure Population (2015-2022)


NO COST LAND LEASES

  • VOA Homeless Shelter 
  • Housing Solutions of the Southwest Transitional Housing Facility
  • Manna Navigation Center
  • Espero Transitional Housing
  • Hilltop House Residential Community Corrections
  • VOA Low Income Senior Housing (Land Transfer)
  • Manna/NINA Unhoused Locker Program at Transit Center

ONGOING FUNDING

  • Axis Health Systems (Crossroads Facility) (2015 – 2022: $150K annually)
  • Detox Center (2015 -- 2022: $210K -- $255k annually)
  • La Plata Youth Services (2015 -- 2022: $81K -- $91k annually)
  • Co-Responders (CORE) Program (2021: $184k; 2022: $182k)

UNITED WAY FUNDING
Human Services Block Grant* (2015 -- 2022: $204K -- $220k annually)

  • Axis Health Systems
  • Durango Food Bank
  • Housing Solutions of the Southwest
  • Manna Soup Kitchen (Navigation Center) 
  • Durango Adult Education
  • Southwest Center for Independence
  • VOA Shelter
  • VOA Safe House
  • Women’s Resource Center
  • *Program support to organizations vary annually

OTHER

  • 2015/2016 Homeless Coalition Initiative (February 2016 Final Report)
  • 2020 Homelessness Strategic Plan (participation and cost share with La Plata County)
  • Ongoing Participation on Coordinating Council on Homelessness
  • City/Axis Co-Response Team/Outreach Coordination
  • Low Income Transit Bus Pass Program
  • Food and Utility Rebate Program
  • Ongoing Efforts to Find Shelter Site
  • BID Downtown Ambassador Program
  • Low-Income and Workforce Housing Initiatives