Homelessness Strategic Planning

Homelessness Strategic Plan Project Overview

La Plata County and the City of Durango have co-funded an effort to develop a strategic plan to identify short-, mid-, and long-term strategies to reduce homelessness in La Plata County, with a focus on areas within and around the City of Durango. The Athena Group and partners Arlosoul, and Heather Martinez, are leading this initiative. The consultant team brings expertise in affordable housing and homelessness, bridge-building facilitation of community conversations, and strategic illustration that allows a community to see itself in new ways and find mutually satisfying paths forward.  

The Durango-La Plata County Planning and Action Team on Homelessness (PATH) - including people with lived experience in homelessness, service providers, businesses and other concerned citizens - has been assembled to build shared understanding about the experience of homelessness in the greater Durango area, set actionable goals and develop strategies that are feasible, impactful and sustainable. 

The chart to the right provides a snapshot of the project process. It is intensive and condensed into a tight timeline in order to maximize the potential of implementing high priority, actionable strategies by the time winter returns to La Plata County. 

The timeline requires that the PATH work as a highly productive and collaborative team prepared to participate in community-oriented decision-making and to actively communicate with the broader community throughout the process.

Regular updates to City and County elected officials will occur throughout the process.

Homelessness Strategic Plan Process Map

December Update

The PATH met one more time on November 20, 2019, to discuss results of the Community Strategy Workshop held in October and the joint City-County meeting on November 18. PATH members shared feedback on various aspects of the proposed plan, which the consultant team folded into the full written plan.

Information presented in the meeting is available in the following links:

November Update 

The PATH Group continues its community outreach and dialogue with City and County officials in anticipation of a December release of a draft strategic plan. The following presentations are summary of information gathered at the October 29, 2019 Community Workshop and presented at a November 18, 2019 work session with the Board of County Commissioners and City Council:

October Update

The PATH met in September 23, 2019, to review results of the August listening sessions, discuss areas of potential action based on common ground identified in those sessions, and consider best practices to guide specific strategic action. Information considered in that meeting is available in the following links:

September Update 

Last month, PATH members joined the Athena team in hosting listening sessions with people directly affected by homelessness about their thoughts on possibilities for common ground within several themes that appear to be highly important to people in the community. An open house was also held to explore the results of those conversations and to gather more insights into potential for common ground on which to build the strategic plan. Thanks to the Colorado Health Foundation for their support, which made these events possible!

Read the report on what happened in those events, who participated and the potential common ground that was identified. The PATH will be meeting on September 23 to discuss this and other important information and to identify a set of goals and strategies for further exploration with the broader community in an open workshop on October 29.

August Update

The PATH met for the second time on July 18, 2019, taking a deep dive into:

  • What we know about homelessness in the greater Durango area and beyond and
  • What people in our community care about, based on comments gathered through individual interviews and surveys that tested early thinking on potential goals for the strategic plan and ways of looking at success in this planning process.

Check out details of the data that PATH members explored here.

This exploration affirmed the significant divide in this community about what to do about homelessness and identified a set of themes to explore further with more community members.

View a summary of results and recommendations for next steps here.

On August 20, PATH members will host listening sessions to explore these themes and ask people directly affected what possibilities for common ground they see, and they will host an open house for the whole community on August 21 to engage even more people in this conversation.

More information on these events is available on the Schedule of Events and Activities page. We hope you will get involved!

Homelessness Strategic Planning in the News

Will Joint Effort on Homeless Work Now? Durango TV, 8/1/19