ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A youth shelter will open in Adams County later this year to help young people dealing with homelessness or displacement from their families.

The center will be located at Lipan Street and West 88th Avenue.

Thornton City Council voted to rezone the existing building last week.

“When a child is on the streets, they are more likely to commit a crime or become a victim. That’s why we so desperately need a youth shelter in Adams County and why I’m so proud we’re finally going to get one open,” 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason said.

The shelter will be available to youth ages 12-18 and will be equipped with 10 beds to start. The shelter will be managed by Community Reach Center, a behavioral health services organization that has supported more than 22,000 children, adults and seniors throughout the last 66 years in Adams County.

“It’ll be whatever the kid needs at the time, and we’ll have to determine that kid by kid,” said Rick Doucet, Community Reach Center CEO.

Two twin-sized beds with a blanket and pillow in a room with a window
A new youth shelter in Adams County will be located at Lipan Street and West 88th Avenue. (KDVR)

Permanent housing is the goal

The shelter will offer behavioral and mental health services. The end goal is for the youth to secure permanent housing or reunification with their families or guardians within 21 days.

“We are trying to get that window of opportunity when we know somebody is on the streets and get them help, get them here, get them services and get them stable,” Mason said.

It’s the first youth shelter in Adams County, something the Thornton police chief said will fill a major need.

“When kids come to us and they’re runaways from other jurisdictions, or they’re victims of trafficking from another jurisdiction, it’s very, very difficult after 5 o’clock and on the weekends to find somewhere to take these kids. So we often end up sitting with them for hours,” Thornton Police Chief Terrence Gordon said.

The shelter was made possible after Adams County commissioners secured funding and Thornton City Council approved the rezoning of the building. The shelter is expected to open within three months.