Homeless Support

On January 26, 2022, the La Plata County Board of County Commissioners received a presentation from Dr. Kathleen Van Voorhis to discuss the fundamental concepts and common concerns about managed homeless camps.

La Plata County staff held a public meeting seeking input from the community on a proposed site for a transitional housing managed camp on Monday, Dec. 13.  

What is a managed camp?
A staffed, regulated, uniform, resource-rich, housing-first, trauma-informed model of care.  

On November 17, 2021, Neighbors in Need Alliance (NINA) hosted a webinar to educate the community about the managed camp model. It featured experts with experience successfully operating managed camps in other parts of the country.

What are the benefits?
Managed camps allow our unhoused neighbors to have a safe place to sleep while providing basic human necessities and assisting in resource connection. When residents no longer have to worry about where they will sleep or protecting their items, they can begin to focus on stepping stones to stability.

In communities around the nation and across Colorado, managed camps have brought security, safety, humanity, and solutions to communities struggling to ensure all neighbors have a safe place to rest at night. The model strives to place every resident into permanent housing, and it facilitates work training, mental and physical health support, substance abuse support, and trauma and violence support.  

In an effort to reduce the negative impacts of homelessness on the community in Durango and La Plata County, staff is exploring the creation and operation of a safe, secure, well-resourced outdoor option for people experiencing homelessness. Additionally, a managed camp would provide support to connect people experiencing homelessness to housing, hotels, health services and other resources. The proposed site is on a county-owned parcel north of the Durango Tech Center near the old landfill cap.

This will be an informational meeting to solicit public comments and concerns about a proposed managed camp. The Board of County Commissioners will not be present and no decisions will be made at the meeting.

For more information, please contact Ted Holteen, La Plata County Public & Governmental Affairs Manager, at (970) 382-6265 or email ted.holteen@co.laplata.co.us.