On Dec. 6, Northglenn City Council approved the temporary use of the old recreation center located at 11801 Community Center Drive for winter housing from December 2021 through March 2022.
The City Council discussion on Dec. 6 may be viewed at the 1:04 time mark of the meeting. The informational public meeting about the proposed temporary use was Dec. 1. The meeting was live-streamed; it is available to view on YouTube.
Resident and business questions, comments and concerns were collected and may be seen at the bottom of this page. Contact Rupa Venkatesh, Assistant to the City Manager, at email@example.com or 720.376.8069, for additional inquiries.
What is the proposal? There is a proposal to use the old recreation center as a temporary winter housing option for up to 25 individuals in a very limited capacity. Twenty users could apply for short-term overnight stay with a referral from community partners (the 20 would be the same participants for the season, not different people each night); five spots would be open to individuals referred by the Northglenn Police Department. Individuals would only be allowed in the building during evening/night hours; no loitering during the day would be allowed. This use would be one-time only and temporary through March 2022.
Why is this proposal under consideration? To support persons experiencing homelessness in Northglenn. In Adams County, homelessness has rapidly increased by at least 40 to 45% since the COVID-19 pandemic. During the 2020-2021 cold weather season, there were at least 800 unsheltered. This year one of the major Adams County cold weather care programs will not operate, leaving a big gap in services for some of the most vulnerable in our city.
Who will fund and run the program? Adams County would provide the funding for this program and the Denver Rescue Mission would operate it.
Why is it one-time temporary use, December 2021-March 2022 only? The old Northglenn recreation center is slated for a public-private development project. However, the redevelopment agreement is still in progress, so the old recreation center is still owned by the city. There was no planned use of the facility this winter until this request. The use would only be for this winter.
- How can the community help? Though the Denver Rescue Mission (DRM) will provide the staffing and management of the shelter, there are opportunities for the community to participate in blanket, clothing and meal drives. In addition, DRM is a non-profit organization so donations are tax deductible.
- What about People Experiencing Homelessness (PEH) who need shelter but are unable to use this program? PEH will also have the option to participate in the Adams County SWAP (Severe Weather Activation Plan). This option is more suited for people who do not have a place to go during the day as residents are sheltered in hotel rooms until the temperature rises above 20 or 32 degrees depending on if it is snowing or not.
- What happens when the temporary shelter closes? Working with a manageable population of 20 consistent residents who are either working, going to school, or have community connections would provide a good opportunity to see these residents obtain stable housing. If they have not secured housing, other programs in Denver will be offered and assistance with applications will be available.
- Will case management be provided? Yes. Northglenn’s Crisis Response Unit (CRU) will be available to work with the residents staying in the program.
- What about families that have children? These families will be referred to Adams 12 Five Star Schools, which can provide resources through the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
- What happens if there are safety issues? The Northglenn Police Department will be utilized in emergency situations. DRM staff have backgrounds in shelter management to ensure proper safety protocols to prevent and address any potential safety issues.
- How can we ensure that individuals will not be hanging out during the day? DRM and CRU will do their best to take referrals for residents who have a place to go during the day. These are residents who are working in the community, have a car to utilize during the day, are taking work trainings, or have community connections such as friends and family.
- How can we ensure that other individuals who hear of the shelter will not be lined up trying to get in? Utilizing the knowledge of DRM’s employees who are used to running much larger operations will help in this. Having CRU members available to assist with transportation to other shelters or get people in the SWAP program will also help if this situation arises.
- Will intoxicated individuals be allowed to stay at the shelter? The program will be a harm reduction model. No drugs and alcohol can be used in the facility or adjacent property. If an individual is intoxicated or under the influence at check-in, this does not prevent the individual from staying at the shelter. This approach is in line with most shelters’ rules and regulations. This program will work closely with the Northglenn Police Department to address any safety issues.
- How will this impact the future use of the old recreation center? It will not impact future use of the site. Negotiations and research are still underway for the public-private development project. This temporary program will end long before any physical action is taken on the old recreation center.