Ridge View Supportive Residential Community at the Ridge View campus
- legislative declaration
(a)The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that:
(I)As the United States department of housing and urban development stated after the passage of the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021”, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated our nation’s already severe housing affordability crisis;
(II)Today, one in five renters is behind on rent and just over ten million home owners are behind on mortgage payments;
(III)People of color face even greater hardships and are more likely to have deferred or missed payments, putting them at a greater risk of eviction and foreclosure;
(IV)At the same time, our nation’s homelessness crisis has worsened during the pandemic, as people experiencing homelessness are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 transmission, illness, and severity due to their use of congregate shelters and their high prevalence of underlying health conditions;
(V)Colorado is no exception, as the COVID-19 pandemic has hit low- and extremely low-income individuals and families who were already severely cost-burdened, increasing their risk of experiencing homelessness or inability to resolve their homelessness;
(VI)In the Denver metro area alone, shelters saw a ninety-nine percent increase in people experiencing homelessness for the first time from January 2020 to January 2021; and
(VII)The number of deaths due to overdose among people experiencing homelessness in the city and county of Denver increased by thirty-four percent from 2020 to 2021.
(b)The general assembly further finds and declares that:
(I)The Ridge View campus, that formerly operated as the Ridge View Youth Services Center, is no longer being used as of July 1, 2021, and the state has the opportunity to repurpose the campus to ensure that it continues to support Coloradans most in need;
(II)Converting the Ridge View campus into a recovery-oriented community for individual adults without stable housing who wish to focus on recovery from a substance use disorder will provide low-barrier access to comprehensive care and treatments and will allow people to recover and heal in a safe and stable environment;
(III)The Ridge View Supportive Residential Community at the Ridge View campus will include multiple components to provide comprehensive support across a continuum of substance use recovery treatments and programming, and the goal will be to have individuals leave the Ridge View Supportive Residential Community in active recovery and improved health so they can transition to stable housing and community-based supports, as well as employment where possible;
(IV)While the Ridge View campus will serve an important need as a recovery-oriented community pursuant to this section, the state continues to experience a youth mental health crisis. Colorado remains committed to addressing the behavioral health crisis through collaboration across state government to ensure that children have access to the care they need in the most appropriate setting.
(V)Providing support and programming pursuant to this section at the Ridge View Supportive Residential Community is an important government service.
(a)Beginning July 1, 2022, the Ridge View campus is designated as a supportive residential community for people experiencing homelessness that shall be known as the Ridge View Supportive Residential Community. The purpose of the Ridge View Supportive Residential Community is to provide transitional housing, a continuum of behavioral health services and treatment, medical care, vocational training, and skill development for the residents and the general public. The department of human services shall transfer ownership of all or part of the Ridge View campus to the department of personnel for use by the division of housing for the purposes of this section. The department of human services may retain ownership of any vacant portion of the Ridge View campus that is not required for the purposes specified in this section and use, or allow another state agency to use, any such portion of the Ridge View campus for any other lawful purpose.
(b)The division, in collaboration with the behavioral health administration, created in part 2 of article 60 of title 27, and the department of human services, shall develop a feasible master plan for the redevelopment and operation of the Ridge View campus into the Ridge View Supportive Residential Community, including a financial plan for start-up and ongoing operational costs. The division shall enter into one or more contracts with public or private contractors to establish the community. The contractor or contractors selected by the division must be experienced in providing statewide integrated housing, health care, recovery treatment, and supportive service programs for people experiencing homelessness or similar populations.
(c)The Ridge View Supportive Residential Community shall provide food and room and board to each individual while residing at the community at no cost to the individual.
(d)The department of human services, in partnership with the behavioral health administration and the department of health care policy and financing, will work to ensure that youth bed capacity will be created elsewhere in a manner that most appropriately serves the mental health needs of Colorado’s youth.
(3)Transitional housing program.
(a)The Ridge View Supportive Residential Community shall provide transitional housing for individual adults for up to two years with case management, care coordination, and vocational and housing placement assistance. In alignment with best practices, the transitional housing program shall provide case managers and peer supports at an average ratio of one case manager for every fifteen transitional housing residents.
(b)The transitional housing program shall:
(I)Focus on person-centered goal planning and care coordination;
(II)Connect individuals to permanent housing options in their community of choice;
(III)Provide employment assistance such as vocational education and individual placement and support; and
(IV)Connect individuals to safety-net programs for which they are eligible, such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, SSDI, TANF, housing voucher programs, and unemployment insurance benefits.
(4)Substance use recovery treatment and services.
(5)Federally qualified health center.
(a)To be eligible to reside in and receive services at the transitional housing program, an individual must be:
(I)Experiencing homelessness or be at risk of experiencing homelessness;
(II)Choosing to focus on recovery voluntarily; and
(III)In a position where it is medically safe for the individual to be in transitional housing.
(b)The Ridge View Supportive Residential Community shall prioritize access for individuals based on need, the length of time the individual has been experiencing homelessness, with priority for individuals who have been experiencing homeless for the longest period, and the frequency with which the individual uses public systems, with priority for individuals who are the most frequent users of such systems.
(8)Source of money for repurposing the Ridge View campus.
(a)For the 2022-23 state fiscal year, the general assembly shall appropriate forty-five million dollars from the economic recovery and relief cash fund created in section 24-75-228 (2)(a) to the division for the purposes of this section. Any money appropriated in the 2022-23 state fiscal year that is not encumbered or expended at the end of that state fiscal year remains available for expenditure by the division in subsequent state fiscal years without further appropriation, subject to the requirements for obligating and expending money received under the federal “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021”, Pub.L. 117-2, as specified in section 24-75-226 (4)(d).
(b)The division may use up to ten percent of the amount appropriated pursuant to this section for its costs associated with administering the requirements of this section, including the requirements specified in subsection (2)(b) of this section.
(c)The division shall use up to ten percent of the amount appropriated pursuant to subsection (8)(a) of this section for its costs in connection with transportation.
(a)The division shall comply with the compliance, reporting, record-keeping, and program evaluation requirements established by the office of state planning and budgeting and the state controller in accordance with section 24-75-226 (5).
(b)In addition to the reporting requirements specified in subsection (9)(a) of this section, the division shall prepare an annual report regarding the operations of the Ridge View Supportive Residential Community, including an update on the implementation of this section, the success of the programs required by subsections (3), (4), and (5) of this section, the number of people who have received services at the Ridge View Supportive Residential Community, the contractors that the division selected to establish and operate the Ridge View Supportive Residential Community pursuant to subsection (2)(b) of this section, and any other information deemed relevant by the division. The division shall submit the report to the committees of reference of the senate and the house of representatives that have oversight over local affairs. In addition, the division shall update its committee of reference as a part of its presentation at a hearing held pursuant to section 2-7-203 (2)(a) of the “State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act”, regarding the implementation of this section and the operation of the Ridge View Supportive Residential Community. Notwithstanding the requirement in section 24-1-136 (11)(a)(I), the requirement to submit the report required in this subsection (9)(b) continues indefinitely.
Section 24-32-730 — Ridge View Supportive Residential Community at the Ridge View campus - report - legislative declaration,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-24.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).