Every year, members of our city “take on” the significant challenge of quantifying homeless men and women of Colorado Springs into a Point-In-Time Survey.
It’s an incredibly hard task that sends volunteers and service providers to emergency shelters, transitional housing, safe havens and outdoor locations like parking lots, under bridges and public parks in our city. There, a voluntary survey is conducted, and an even harder task begins — qualifying these men and women.
|Sheltered Persons||Unsheltered Persons||Total Persons – HUD count||Chronic Homeless||Veterans||Unaccompanied Youth||Families households with at least one child)|
See the full survey here: Point-In-Time Survey
Our neighbors are dealing with varying levels of homelessness. Sometimes, it’s chronic.
“Chronic” and “homeless” may not seem like a natural fit. After all, if you don’t have a home, you don’t have a home. But the Colorado Springs Point-In-Time (PIT) Survey reveals that’s not entirely true. Its categories include Sheltered Persons (Emergency and Transitional), Unsheltered Persons, Chronic Homeless, Veterans, Unaccompanied Youth and Families.
The above qualifiers make sense to the average El Paso County reader, but chronically homeless is an outlier. It sounds heartbreaking; yet what does it mean?
Chronic homelessness is a label given to men and women facing severe or insurmountable odds.
These men and women are without hope — struggling with mental or physical disabilities that limit their ability to rationalize, work or set goals. They may be legally blind, confined to a wheelchair or mentally suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, etc.
Each of these 336 chronically homeless men and women is facing truly insurmountable odds that require ongoing care. Their limitations are greater than affordable apartments or transitional housing. The rising Colorado Springs housing costs aren’t even a thought in their minds. But because of our generous donors, we are figuring out a solution for them.
Springs Rescue Mission and local partners are building Colorado Springs’ first permanent supportive housing.
The building will be the first place where men and women categorized as most vulnerable or “chronically homeless” can experience long-term, immersive support. It’s a place they can find lasting hope and begin to heal. It’s a place where deep restoration can happen.
Until then, and for months and years to come, Springs Rescue Mission will continue to provide for the Colorado Springs homeless community in every way possible. We’re encouraged to see the numbers have nearly leveled off this year — from 1551 (2018 total) to 1562 (current) — but that’s not going to slow us down.
We’re constantly expanding to be a place that they can “count on.”
That includes basic needs of food and shelter, addiction recovery, case management, health services, work readiness, life skills classes and faith-based encouragement. “Love Bigger” is a good way to put it — and it’s creating real, positive results in this city.
Because of the amazing people of Colorado Springs, more than two-thirds of the homeless men and women surveyed find shelter (1118 out of 1562 HUD count). Colorado Springs has answered the call by giving generous donations, volunteering countless hours and donating tons of food, clothes, hygiene, and household items, etc.
Want to make that three out of three? Learn more about how you can get involved and help us meet the growing needs of people facing homelessness, poverty and addiction.
And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to receive regular updates on the Mission and inspirational stories of restoration from our guests.