On September 9, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (Coalition), an NLIHC State Coalition Partner, opened the doors on its new integrated healthcare and supportive housing development in Denver. Community leaders, advocates, and other stakeholders gathered to celebrate the Stout Street Health Center and Renaissance Stout Street Lofts as a new resource. The 53,192 square-foot facility provides 78 affordable loft apartments for formerly homeless households above two floors of medical, dental, and vision facilities.
“We are excited that the new Health Center and Lofts will immediately create a health care home for more than 18,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in Metro Denver, as well as a real home for families and individuals currently living on the streets or in emergency shelters,” said John Parvensky, President of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
The Coalition has been working on integrated care since the 1980s. The previous Stout Street Health Center provided medical and mental health care for more than 100,000 homeless individuals over its nearly 30 years of operation. Combining both housing and health center in the same facility was an idea pursued by the Coalition because housing stability is viewed as an essential element to a successful integrated services model. The Coalition conducted a study with the support of the Colorado State Innovation Model and issued a report in October of 2013. Developing an Integrated Health Care Model for Homeless and Other Vulnerable Populations in Colorado described the benefits of integrated care, showing that better results can be achieved when various services are not scattered throughout a city, but can be found under one roof.
Overall, the project required a complex mixture of several funding sources. The supportive housing was supported by Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, other City and County of Denver resources, and numerous community foundations and individual donors.
The Health Center was financed by combining New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) equity with Affordable Care Act capital funding from the Health Services Resource Administration. Without question, the expanded services offered by the Stout Street Health Center are made possible by the expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Colorado under the Affordable Care Act. Due to the new health legislation, homeless individuals served by the Coalition have seen an increase in Medicaid eligibility from 15% to almost 70%. According to Mr. Parvensky, the new law “allows us to expand health care and supportive services for homeless families and individuals, while improving their health status and decreasing unnecessary emergency healthcare costs for the community.”
In addition to considering the costs of rent and health care, the Stout Street Health Center and Renaissance Stout Street Lofts were built in accordance with Enterprise Green Communities guidelines. The use of energy efficient building materials and appliances along with water conserving plumbing fixtures will allow the Lofts and the Health Center to operate more affordably.
Developing an Integrated Health Care Model for Homeless and Other Vulnerable Populations in Colorado is at http://bit.ly/1Dk3G3g
For more information contact Bette Iacino, Vice President of Public Policy and Communications, at email@example.com