The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) has announced the award of $4.7 million dollars that will be utilized to build and launch a Northern Colorado overnight shelter and daytime drop-in center for youth and young adults ages 15-20. The shelter will be located at 814 E. 16th Street in Loveland, the former site of Thompson School District’s Monroe Early Childhood Center. Collaborative partners for the project include Thompson School District, Poudre School District, The Matthews House, Thompson Education Foundation, Larimer County and several local nonprofit organizations.
The Northern Colorado Regional Youth Shelter project is designed to address a gap in service for youth and young adults. Currently, infrastructure to support housing insecurity in the region is built around the needs of adults. The nearest youth shelters are located 45-60 miles away and are out of reach for many due to very limited public transportation. The new facility, which will be operated by The Matthews House, will address the immediate needs of unaccompanied youth and provide trauma-informed care to support their mental health, help them stay in school and graduate, and provide enrichment activities to build a more inclusive community. The shelter will have the capacity to serve approximately 25 individuals on an overnight basis, as well as 15-20 people for drop-in support. Design work for the shelter is currently underway and community meetings will be scheduled this fall to share additional information.
“We are deeply honored to be part of this exceptional project as the lead operator of the NoCo Regional Youth Shelter,” said The Matthews House Executive Director Nicole Armstrong and the organization’s Board of Directors. “As a youth service provider for the past 17 years, we understand the unique needs and vulnerabilities of the youth. We will support the immediate shelter needs and provide essential services, including education, employment assistance, and life skills training. Our primary goal is to create an inclusive and empowering space where youth and young adults can find stability, guidance, and resources to help them overcome challenges and build a brighter future. Collaboration and partnership have been and will continue to be central to our work. By leveraging the expertise and resources of our partners, we aim to create a network of support that extends beyond the shelter walls and empowers youth to thrive in all areas of their lives and our communities.”
For Thompson School District, the project provided an opportunity to work with regional partners on a critical effort, while continuing to utilize a building that has long served the district community. “Thompson School District is proud to work with our valued partners and serve as the host location for the NoCo Regional Youth Shelter,” said Superintendent Dr. Marc Schaffer. “As educators, we know that students are not able to learn and grow to their fullest potential if their basic needs are not being met. The services that will be offered through this shelter will provide critical support to youth in need throughout our community. As we move into the next phases of this project, we look forward to partnering with our community to share additional details and garner feedback, while continuing to build strong relationships that will benefit our youth.”
“Poudre School District and the PSD Board of Education are in strong support of the youth homeless shelter to expand the services and spaces available to our students who need our community’s support the most,” said Superintendent Brian Kingsley. “PSD is proud to support and contribute to this project because a safe space like this has the potential to change students’ lives in significant and long-lasting ways.”
The state funding for the project was awarded through two Colorado state grant programs – the Transformational Affordable Housing, Homeownership and Workforce Housing Grant program (grant award of $3,757,160) and the Transformational Homelessness Response Grant program (grant award of $1,000,000). In addition, the project has been awarded a grant of $1,500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding by Larimer County.
The stated aim of the Transformational Homelessness Response Grant program is to “create a future where homelessness is rare and brief when it occurs, and no one gets left behind.” The program achieves this goal by advancing and implementing proven solutions and program models that reduce homelessness in a holistic and sustainable way by targeting many of the key underlying factors necessary for people to thrive. This includes advancing equity, improving overall well-being, connecting to benefits and stable housing, and increasing employable skills and experiences that allow individuals to meet their needs, pursue their goals, and achieve self-sufficiency. In addition to reducing homelessness, the program works to reduce public utilization costs, revitalize public spaces, and increase workforce opportunities.
For additional information, please contact:
The Matthews House
Chief Communications Officer
Thompson School District
Chief Communications Officer
Poudre School District