02_08_24 Edited Headlines Kennedy Pickering
Boulder City Council to give input on approach to homelessness
The Boulder City Council will have an in-depth study session tonight about their approach to handling homelessness. The goal for the city’s homelessness strategy, first implemented in 2017, comes down to housing as many people as possible while also offering supportive services.
According to a city memo, the “housing first” approach to homelessness is considered a best practice nationwide. The city has implemented that concept but has been through complex and ever-developing programs.
The Daily Camera reports that relatively few people who have entered homelessness are finding their way out. According to the city’s memo, the ratio of people leaving the system compared to people entering the system was 27% between December 2022 and November 2023.
The city has added new programming to serve the unhoused community within the last 18 months, such as the Building Home program and the Tribe Recovery Center.
Fewer new immigrants are arriving in Denver for now
The number of migrants arriving in Denver has decreased in recent weeks, allowing the city to re-organize amid what has become a crisis.
Denverite is reporting that as of January 11 this year, Denver’s temporary hotel shelters for new immigrants peaked at 5,205 individuals — nearly three times the number from when the city first initiated emergency operations for immigrants in January 2023.
Despite this peak, the number of shelter stays has declined. This trend began even before the city started to enforce time limits on hotel-shelter stays this week, which left many to sleep on the street. Now, thousands of migrants who have exceeded their allowed stay at city-run shelters face the challenge of finding housing and employment in Denver.
The city continues to provide migrants with bus tickets to other parts of the country.
This reduction in both arrivals and shelter occupancy offers the city an opportunity to reassess and start planning for a sustainable long-term strategy to address the needs of its new immigrant population.
Over half of Colorado hospitals are posting required consumer price information
Over half of the hospitals in Colorado have posted all consumer price information required by the federal government, but some still have a long way to go for total transparency.
According to a new state report released Tuesday by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, over 30 percent of Colorado hospitals have poor price transparency, as reported by The Denver Post.
This Colorado law allows patients to sue if the hospital isn’t complying with federal price transparency requirements; the report doesn’t label hospitals as noncompliant, though, leaving that determination up to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The agency has only punished four hospitals nationwide for failing to comply with the transparency requirements since 2021. As stated by special financing division director Nancy Dolson, the department is reaching out to hospitals flagged for having poor performance to help them improve.
The idea behind requiring price transparency is that people or insurers will start to move towards lower-priced alternatives, saving themselves and the system money.
Boulder preschool loses playground
A Boulder homeowners association has revoked the Children’s House Preschool playground access.
The Daily Camera reports that the negotiations between the preschool and the Iris Hollow Master Homeowners Association over the use of the playground have been contentious and have broken down.
The two sides have had yearly agreements since 2020, when a previous ten-year agreement expired. The preschool’s owners say the homeowner’s association wants to raise their annual fee from three to nine thousand dollars, while requiring the preschool to pay for playground maintenance.
A homeowners association lawyer said they are willing to negotiate a lower fee. However, they are not willing to let the preschool have permanent and exclusive use of the playground area. The lawyer stated they want to maintain control over how their property is used.
Library District is seeking applications for trustees
A Board of Trustees governs the newly formed Boulder Public Library District. The Trustees are responsible for several items, including hiring a library director and managing the district’s budget. For a portion of 2023, the library continued to operate as a city department, as it had before voters approved the creation of a library district. For 2024, total capital, managing, and reserve expenditures are budgeted at $21 million.
The Boulder Public Library website has a link to submit applications. One selected trustee would serve a 4-year term, and the other would serve a 5-year term. The applications are due February 29th.