Denver nonprofit Urban Peak lost state grant due to “performance issues”

The $500,000 grant was used to fund clinical mental health support for youth experiencing homelessness.
2 min. read
A new sign and fencing installed outside Urban Peak, October 29, 2021.

The state's Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) says "ongoing performance issues" are why the state decided not to renew a $500,000 grant with nonprofit Urban Peak, which serves youth experiencing homelessness.

The grant funded clinical mental health support for youth experiencing homelessness.

"Urban Peak (UPD) has failed to meet established performance targets and goals for the number of youth served for multiple years in a row," said BHA spokesperson Stefany Busch. "Furthermore, UPD has been consistently irresponsive to the BHA's [Behavioral Health Administration] contract management and technical support efforts to work collaboratively to resolve their performance issues."

The state plans to spend the money elsewhere in Denver to focus on youth receiving mental health treatment, Busch said. The state did not say what new providers will receive the money instead.

Urban Peak CEO Christina Carlson issued the following joint statement with the state's Behavioral Health Administration in response to the loss of funding:

"Urban Peak and the BHA are disappointed that the final year of the Healthy Transitions grant was not renewed," Carlson said. "Providing mental health services for youth experiencing homelessness does not follow a traditional path. The trauma, complexity of needs, brain development and the reality of experiencing homelessness makes providing intervention and treatment in a traditional manner challenging."

The statement continued: "Urban Peak will continue their efforts to provide appropriate and effective treatment for youth who are experiencing homelessness. And, the BHA is appreciative of their contributions to Colorado's behavioral health continuum."

Staff at Urban Peak learned about the lost funding a day after the nonprofit broke ground on a new $37 million shelter. The loss of the state grant will not affect the new building.

The new building project received almost $17 million from Denver's 2021 RISE Bond Program, $3 million in federal funding secured by U.S. House Rep. Diana DeGette and $3.78 million from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that the Behavioral Health Administration is the agency that did not renew Urban Peak's grant.

Recent Stories