The Denver Foundation, metro area mayors and private contributors have raised more than $100,000 to boost a fund for people who have experienced homelessness.
The Metro Denver Homeless Initiative’s Flex Fund was created last year with contributions from the Metro Mayors Caucus. This year the Denver Foundation put up $50,000 in matching funds to ensure Flex Fund continued. More than 30 mayors responded by pledging nearly $70,000 and another $10,000 came from the private sector.
In a statement Wednesday, M. Julie Patiño, director of Basic Human Needs for The Denver Foundation, commended “mayors throughout the region for coming together to support critical housing needs and for recognizing that we need regional, unified approaches to address homelessness and housing insecurity.”
Nonprofit providers of housing and services for people experiencing homelessness can apply to the fund for one-time payments of up to $3,000 per household for costs such as security or utility deposits.
The fund allowed MDHI to, for example, help a woman who had fallen ill and then got behind on rent and utility payments. The woman, who had experienced homelessness in the past, was able to get help to catch up on her utility bills but still owed rent. She got help from Flex Fund and was able to stay in her subsidized apartment.
Matt Meyer, MDHI’s executive director, said the fund got going in mid-2018 and in its first several months spent nearly $75,000 serving 73 households.