DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis is redefining a state-owned facility as a homeless haven rather than youth center.
According to the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Ridge View Youth Services Center campus in Watkins will be repurposed with federal, state and local funding to give an array of services to people of high risk for homelessness or homeless themselves.
“The Governor included this proposal in a package of homeless response and solutions to be considered by the Economic Recovery and Relief Interim Committee, recognizing that we need to scale proven solutions and connect persons experiencing homelessness to resources, services, and housing supports in collaboration and partnership with local communities,” reads a statement from the department.
Ridge View was a youth services center where at-risk youth went to receive behavioral help.
The state pulled the operating license from Rite of Passage, a Nevada-based youth services provider that ran the Ridge View Youth Services Center campus, in the summer of 2021 following an investigation.
According to the governor’s record-breaking $40 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2022-23, Polis wants to funnel $45 million to the newly-designated Ridge View.
The governor is proposing the Ridge View redraft as part of $200 million of spending to homelessness. The $200 million, in his proposal, will be taken from the state’s share of COVID relief funding given to Colorado under the American Rescue Plan Act.