Regional Navigation Center

By December 2024: Construct a Regional Navigation Center to Deliver Coordinated Homeless Services Located Out of Olde Town

Description:

Construction of a regional Navigation Center to deliver coordinated homeless services located out of Olde Town is associated with a regional initiative to develop two housing navigation centers in Jefferson County that will serve the North and Central areas. Each Navigation Center will include approximately 75 units of permanent, affordable supportive housing in order to provide a continuum of housing.

Supportive housing combines affordable community-based  housing with access to voluntary and flexible supportive services to help extremely low-income individuals/households who face complex barriers to housing live stable and productive lives.  

Significance:

Over the last several years, Arvada has collaborated with Jefferson County and the cities of Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Golden, Edgewater and Westminster to launch the Homeless Navigator Program. The foundation of this initiative is the belief that homelessness is a regional problem that requires a regional solution. The partners have agreed to utilize the Housing and Homeless Navigation Center Model in order to connect homeless individuals and families to housing and supportive services.  

These centers would include the following components:  a) housing navigation and resource center; b) short-term beds/units; and c) permanent housing units. Through collaboration among the local government units within Jefferson County, resources can be leveraged, services coordinated and county-wide support generated to develop and implement this solution.

Analysis:

The development of Navigation Centers is a regional response to homelessness in Jefferson County. Navigation Centers were discussed during the 9-2-21 Commissioners and Municipalities meeting.  The slides associated with that update are included to reference the discussion during that meeting.   

The Request For Proposals (RFP) to solicit a qualified affordable housing developer to build a combination of workforce and permanent supportive housing was issued in the late summer by Jefferson County and recently awarded to BlueLine Development, Inc.  This Missoula, Montana company has a strong track record of developing high quality affordable housing units throughout the Mountain West, including Denver, Grand Junction, and Aurora.  BlueLine also understands how to incorporate services provided by community based organizations that will support the housing clients and help them to transition out of homelessness.  

City team members met with BlueLine representatives in November to discuss their approach to working with the regional partners and learn how we can support their efforts. In addition, Jefferson County's Lead Homeless Navigator participated in the call.

Our team was encouraged by the information that was shared.  BlueLine definitely has the qualifications and experience to be successful and is interested in moving forward.  In order to meet the timelines for submitting an application for Low Income Tax Credits to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHAFA), we need to identify a site in Arvada and begin the process of gaining site control as soon as possible. 

We also discussed the concept of utilizing the preferred site to accommodate an interim use that we believe could achieve the City Council’s Strategic Result to move homeless services out of Olde Town as soon as possible.  This will be challenging; however, BlueLine expressed their support for working with us so that our investment in the short-term project will also support the long-term project.  The exact path will need to be determined.