Emergency Housing Available; 1,000+ Adams County Children Currently in Need
On Tuesday, Dec. 20, the Adams County Severe Weather Activation Program (SWAP) was activated and will be extended through Jan. 3. SWAP is activated when weather conditions become lower than 33°F and wet (rain or snow) or 21°F and dry. This is a program that provides life-saving measures and emergency housing for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. The assessment process may include referral to shelter, a hotel/motel stay, or severe weather supplies.
There are more than 4,400 people experiencing homelessness in Adams County with nearly half being households with youth and children.
“We must show compassion for our unhoused neighbors and provide them with dignified options,” said County Commissioner Chair Lynn Baca. “Innovative indoor solutions like the Adams County Severe Weather Activation Program provides shelter and support for our residents during life-threatening winter storms like Elliot.”
Each year, SWAP participation has nearly doubled. In 2019, Adams County issued 88 SWAP vouchers for the whole season, and in 2022, the county issued up to 316 vouchers per day – a 289% increase.
One of the reasons for the increase in demand is the Severe Weather Shelter Network is no longer providing hotel vouchers in Jefferson County and Aurora. SWAP has inadvertently made up some of the difference. In addition, this fall has been particularly cold which has increased the demand for hotel vouchers compared to last season.
“We have a responsibility for the well-being of the community, especially our most vulnerable residents,” said Community Safety & Well-Being Director Matt Rivera. “SWAP is a powerful example of living up to that promise.”
Hotel partnerships have also tripled. This expansion has enabled the county to serve everyone who qualifies thus far. This season, Adams County predicts SWAP will shelter more than 1,000 unique individuals—averting almost 10,000 nights of unsheltered homelessness.
Limited vouchers will be available at the SWAP intake headquarters, Crossroads Community Center, but vouchers will also be distributed by outreach workers in the community. If you are an individual experiencing homelessness and connected with an outreach worker, please stay in communication with them for a higher likelihood of receiving a voucher.
An in-person assessment is required. When SWAP is activated, people seeking services should visit Crossroads Community Center, 10451 Huron St., Northglenn, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., visit almosthomeonline.org/swap, contact Kristina Owen at SWAP@almosthomeonline.org, or call 720.409.8988.
SWAP is one of many services offered to Adams County’s unsheltered population, which includes men, women, and children. To learn more about services available, visit adcogov.org/humanservices.