Sep 3, 2013 5:36 PM by Elaine Sheridan

Fort Lyon new home for homeless

Fort Lyon reopened today as a home to the homeless.

The 550-acre facility, has been used as a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, sanatorium and even a prison before it closed in 2012. Now it will offer participants supportive housing, health services, substance abuse treatment, counseling and job training to enable them to transition successfully into independent living in the community of their choice.

The hope is that the new project will help end veteran homelessness and reduce chronic homelessness throughout the state while keeping jobs in Bent County.

"This project will give homeless veterans and others new opportunities," Gov. John Hickenlooper said. "The men and women who go to Fort Lyon will learn the skills they need to get back on their feet. We are grateful for the General Assembly's support of this effort and applaud the work done by Bent County officials to help us transition this beautiful and historic facility into a place of recovery for some of our state's most vulnerable individuals."

Today, the first 14 residents from Denver, Greeley and Pueblo moved in at Fort Lyon.

Legislation (SB 13-210) passed last spring designating the Fort Lyon property as a supportive residential community for the homeless. Fort Lyon will begin housing 80 clients by late fall; this will increase to 200 by July 2014, and could maintain a maximum capacity of 300 by July 2015.

According to the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, taxpayers annually spend $43,240 on individuals who live on the street without any effort to recover them. Whereas, for individuals who elect to participate in Fort Lyon's supportive housing program, the state will have to invest only $16,813 to provide an effective recovery program.

After at least one-year of residency at Fort Lyon, clients will be eligible to receive a Section 8 housing voucher from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to return to permanent housing in another community.



More News

Story Photo

18 minutes ago

Falcon school fights to save student's life

FALCON- Aden Knar, a third grade student at Falcon Virtual Academy, is in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant. His school, Falcon Virtual Academy, will host a bone marrow donor drive tomorrow to help find a match Aden. Knar, 10, was diagnosed at age 4 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and entered remission in 2008. In November 2013, the Knar family learned that the leukemia had returned, and is now isolated in his bone marrow. In an outreach of support, Falcon Virtual Academy hosted a bone marrow donor drive in January, and will be hosting another tomorrow from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at 6113 Constitution Ave., directly west of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. "We wanted to reach out to the family again," said Jodi Fletcher, assistant principal. Fletcher explained that more than 250 people participated in the January drive, and she hopes to have similar numbers April 19. The money from a bake sale at the drive, and a portion of the proceeds raised from a spring formal...

Most Popular

Top Videos

1 2 3 4