Jennifer Longtin and Gina Shimeall, MHDCJS Task Force members, explained Bill #3, which establishes and expands programs with the Department of Local Affairs to build capacity in Colorado communities to provide supportive housing services to certain individuals who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness. A packet of information was distributed about the bill (Attachment F).
Olterian Scott, representing himself, testified in support of the bill and discussed how comprehensive housing services changed his life.
Toni Hunter, representing the Volunteers of America (VOA) Colorado Rapid Rehousing for Re-Entry Program, spoke in support of Bill #3. She discussed the VOA housing program and its eligibility requirements. She also emphasized the positive benefits of comprehensive housing services.
Vincent Atchity, representing Mental Health Colorado, spoke in support of Bill #3. He discussed how stable housing is a fundamental mental health need and how the bill creates opportunities for communities to create their own supportive housing.
Justin Larsen, representing the Second Chance Center, spoke in support of Bill #3. He discussed the importance of housing and explained Second Chance Center's work on building permanent supportive housing.
Brian Veatch, representing South Metro Fire, spoke in support of Bill #3. He discussed housing issues for the mentally ill population in rural areas.
Jerry Rhodes, representing Colorado Association of State Fire Chiefs, discussed that the Association has not taken a position on the bill but acknowledged a state-wide need to help people with mental health issues.
Gina Shimeall read a letter into the record in support of the bill from Carl Anderson of the Araphaoe County Sheriff's office (included in Attachment F).
Kristin Toombs, MHDCJS Task Force member, answered questions about technical assistance and supportive and preventative services, as outlined in the bill. She also discussed the size and scope of the grant program.
Megan Waples, Office of Legislative Legal Services, answered questions about the statutory authority of the proposed advisory committee.
Committee discussion followed about identifying and tracking the grant funds and spreading the resources across the state.
Amendments 1, 2, and 3 to the bill were distributed and discussed (Attachments G, H, and I).