SAFER Opportunities Initiative
SAFER (Solutions for Achieving Fast, Effective Response) — an initiative supported by Mental Health Colorado — provides short-term housing in a hotel setting with the goals of health stabilization, basic resource access assistance, employment assistance, and next-step housing for unhoused individuals experiencing mental health and/or substance use concerns at risk of or experiencing justice system involvement. Safer Opportunities accomplishes this by connecting participants with peer support services, on-site mental health care, case management, and other supportive services. Safer Opportunities serves vulnerable individuals living with mental health issues who are either being released into homelessness from the Arapahoe County Detention Center or who are homeless and in contact with first responders as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. SAFER’s short-term shelter is the essential first step to improving these folks’ situations while connecting them to longer-term housing, health care, support, and services. To date, we have served 150 unduplicated individuals with 56 successful housing placements.
Participant Eligibility Criteria
Eligible individuals must..
- Have a connection to Arapahoe County
- Be experiencing mental health or co-occurring behavioral health concern(s)
- Have the ability to be respectful to Safer staff and Peer Support team
- Be able to take care of themselves, live safely in a hotel setting, and must not be on the hotel’s do not rent list.
- Be motivated to move forward to address their barriers to housing and employment
- Be justice-involved or at risk of justice involvement
- Be an unhoused single adult (no couples or families due to environment and care capacity). No guests are allowed in rooms on site
- Not have a prior Sexual Offense conviction due to hotel policy. If the applicant’s criminal history has offense(s) past or present that is Domestic Violence, Assaultive, or with any type of weapon the affidavit for the offense must be provided with the application.
- Maintain program engagement and demonstrate commitment to addressing needs and barriers by taking steps toward housing
We hope you will give what you can to support this SAFER initiative. With your help, we will continue providing essential services for these vulnerable members of our community — ultimately contributing to the betterment of Colorado, improved health care access in our state, and the decriminalization of mental health.
- About Us
- In the Media
- Community Partners
Here are some partners within the community who’ve helped support our work:
- Mental Health Colorado
- South Metro Fire Rescue
- Gracefull Café
- Arapahoe County
- Division of Housing, Department of Local Affairs
- AllHealth Network
- Movement 5280
- Arapahoe County Pretrial
- Arapahoe County Community Resource Department
- Red Rocks Church
- IFCS (Integrated Family Community Services)
- Change the Trend
- Tri-County Health
- Success Stories
Access testimonial by SAFER program participants.
- Photo Gallery
Thank you again for your interest in SAFER.
For additional information, please contact Adam Goss at AGoss@mentalhealthcolorado.org.