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Fremont’s 100 Day Homeless Vets Challenge

Pictured Wednesday evening at the reception at the Governor's Mansion in Denver to focus on the 100 Day Challenge to end homelessness for Colorado veterans are (left to right:) Fremont County businessman Brad Rowland, UAACOG Housing Director Autumn Dever, Fremont County Commissioner Ed Norden, Loaves and Fishes Director Dee Dee Clemont, and Jim Berg of the Fremont County Department of Human Services

Volunteers in Fremont County who took up the Governor’s challenge to focus on ending homelessness for veterans in Colorado were in Denver Wednesday to be honored for their efforts by Governor John Hickenlooper.   Fremont County was one of five counties in Colorado that was selected to participate in the 100 Day Challenge to House Veterans Experiencing Homelessness. The 100 Day Challenge was created by the Office of Governor John Hickenlooper and the Department of Human Services’ Office of Behavioral Health as part of the ongoing State and National effort to make Veteran Homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.

Loaves and Fishes Executive Director Dee Dee Clemont, Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments (UAACOG) Regional Housing Director Autumn Dever, Jim Berg of the Fremont County Department of Human Services, and Cañon City businessman Brad Rowland, who is interested in transitional housing, are among the volunteers who have spearheaded the 100 Day Challenge in Fremont County.    They were joined at Wednesday’s reception at the Governor’s Mansion in Denver by Fremont County Commission Chairman Ed Norden.

Governor Hickenlooper told those gathered at the reception that 171 homeless veterans in Colorado have been housed so far in 2016.  The Governor said the goal is to house over 500 homeless vets before the year is out.  The Governor said “When we get to functional zero for homeless vets then we can focus on ending homelessness for all in Colorado”.

When the volunteers of Fremont County took up the 100 day challenge early this spring it was estimated that there are 23 homeless veterans in Fremont County.    Key to the effort in Fremont County is pursuit of a 30 unit housing project along Justice Center Road in Cañon City that would target the homeless population in Fremont County.   The UAACOG is in the process of working with the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority to get the financing in place for the project.

Others interested in volunteering to work towards ending homelessness for veterans in Fremont County can contact Autumn Dever at the UAACOG Office in Cañon City.