Adam McCoyAdam McCoyFebruary 5, 20183min1085

An advocacy group has been given the initial OK from the federal government for its plan to construct housing and provide services for those experiencing homelessness in Lakewood.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved an initial application from the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless late last month, the Lakewood Sentinel reports. CCH noted in the application it will use the 59-acre site near the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood to house and provide services for the homeless. Next on the docket, CCH must provide its financing plans for the $120 million project by March 9.

While final plans aren’t yet concrete, a Denverite report noted how CCH hopes to open with low-income housing options on a scale the Denver area hasn’t seen before. The site will start out with some trailers and tents, but could eventually offer some 600 affordable and supportive housing units. The initial build out could include a solar-powered campus, with “trailers, geodesic domes and large, insulated tents on a large tract of federal land.”

The project has sparked a debate in Lakewood, with some neighbors wary, but as the Sentinel notes, the city has no power since the site is federally-owned land.

The U.S. General Services Administration  — the government’s landlord — had planned to sell the land in an auction in July but instead found itself in a federal court, which halted the auction, after the homeless coalition filed a formal objection.

CCH won the court battle in late September after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) declared the Lakewood land suitable for use by the homeless.

The coalition argued letting the sale proceed as planned effectively would sidestep a 1987 law that requires the agency to make the land available for serving the homeless.

Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 5, 20173min631

Forty-five organizations that serve 23,000 Coloradans has $3 million more to fight domestic violence, the Colorado Department of Human Services said.

DHS’s Domestic Violence Program announced the contract awards Thursday morning

“Domestic violence is a tragedy that touches far too many Coloradans,” the program’s director, Brooke Ely-Milen, said in a statement. “DVP funding helps support a network of essential domestic violence services throughout Colorado’s diverse communities. This will give adults and children in Colorado who are affected by domestic violence the opportunity to seek help and explore options that will increase their safety and well-being.”

The contracts include federal and state money.

About $1.7 million is awarded to the state by the Family and Youth Services Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and another $630,000 from a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant. The state provides another $697,000 from the Colorado Domestic Abuse Fund income tax check-off program, which allows taxpayers to donate part of their return each year, as well as money from marriage licenses and divorce filing fees.

Last year, Colorado taxpayers used the check-off to contribute $175,000 to the fund.

DVP supports community-based programs that provide free, confidential support, including crisis intervention, safety planning, case management, advocacy, counseling and emergency shelter for adults and children affected by domestic violence, DHS said.

“These services increase awareness of community resources and help more Coloradans prepare a plan for their ongoing personal safety,” according to the department.

A list of those programs is available here.

The contracts are awarded year-to-year for up to four years. Though non-competitive, each program has to reapply annually to ensure contract and program compliance, DHS said.

DHS noted that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“If you or someone you know would like to reach a free and confidential community-based advocate, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, ” DHS said in its statement about the grants


Tom RamstackTom RamstackDecember 27, 20168min325

Colorado 1st Congressional District U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, stepped back into the abortion debate last week with her praise for a new Obama administration regulation that forbids states from withholding federal family planning services from low-income persons. DeGette said the regulation ensures "vital" health care for low-income women. DeGette is co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus. Although the regulation ensures funding for health care providers of a variety of treatments and tests, the most controversial part refers to funds for Planned Parenthood affiliates that provide abortions. The Obama administration claimed authority for the rule under Title X of the 1970 Public Health Service Act.


Tom RamstackTom RamstackNovember 11, 201610min324

The Obama administration recently gave an unintentional boost to opponents of government-subsidized health care, such as Colorado's proposed amendment for universal health insurance that failed voters' approval this week. Affordable Care Act insurance premiums will rise an average of 22 percent in 2017, according to a White House announcement. The act, also known as Obamacare, was supposed to lower the cost of health insurance when it was enacted in 2010.