The Weld Trust board of directors approved a one-year grant of $230,637 benefiting United Way of Weld County (UWWC) for community health worker positions to help end homelessness in Weld County.
“The Weld Trust hopes this funding will help the United Way along with other community organizations in their mission to end homelessness in Weld County,” said Tom Grant, chairman of The Weld Trust board of directors. “Funding these vital positions will help those most vulnerable in our community get connected with resources that are the root cause of their housing insecurity.”
The grant is being used for:
- Three community health workers employed by North Colorado Health Alliance who work with some of the most vulnerable households experiencing homelessness and unstably housed people in Weld County. The goal is to help these individuals establish and maintain care plans, to get back into housing as quickly as possible and to maintain their housing and health care.
- Two part-time registered nurse positions that will help to provide immediate, flexible care beyond that which the community health workers are able to provide. One will be based at the UWWC Housing Navigation Center’s cold weather shelter, and one will be doing outreach in the community and at other service locations in the community.
- A UWWC Housing Navigation Center (HNC) resource navigator who connects HNC guests and those working with the community health workers immediately to resources available at the HNC and in the community.
“An award of this size from The Weld Trust is a vote of confidence in the United Way and their continued efforts to end homelessness in Weld County,” Grant said. “We’re pleased to be able to help.”
Melanie Woolman, director of community impact for UWWC, said the grant will have a major impact in UWWC’s work to help end homelessness. “This grant is three-fold and will help homeless households across Weld County in three main ways: A new HNC resource navigator will be able to assist homeless households with immediate, short-term needs,” Woolman said. “This person helps do everything from new intakes, to providing critical hygiene items, to helping people apply for apartments and jobs. This will complement the ongoing capacity of the community health workers who work one-on-one with the most vulnerable households.”
Ultimately, Woolman said this means that people will get back into housing more quickly which will allow them to better work on other needs such as maintaining health, jobs, etc.
Woolman added that the community health workers are filling a critical gap in UWWC’s service response for the most vulnerable homeless households in Weld County. “They are helping to provide individualized, one-on-one case management for high-needs households,” Woolman said. “They have a low case load so that they can spend the appropriate amount of time supporting people on their journey back to housing and health.”
“Finally, she added, “the RN capacity will allow for more flexible care than ever before. The households we serve have a difficult time making it to critical care appointments, and while the RN cannot fully replace the care needed by a primary care physician or other doctors, they will help to do things like immediate wound care so that a scrape doesn’t get infected.”
The HNC is a physical location in Evans created in 2019 helping those experiencing homelessness regain housing and preventing those at-risk of homelessness from losing their housing.
UWWC depends upon grants from local and state foundations, grants from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and contributions from individuals, companies and faith-based organizations.