PUBLIC SAFETY: I will continue to support our first responders, law enforcement and municipal court, ensuring they have the resources necessary to do their jobs safely and effectively. This means addressing crime and criminals but also recognizing and diverting individuals in crisis.
- Jail is the appropriate answer for some, and criminals should face the consequences of their choices. But for those in crisis, responses that prioritize mental health are the solution to preventing further harm.
I’m proud of our city for investing in evidence-based, community-oriented solutions that seek to help those in need, and as Mayor I will continue to champion this kind of work:
- Arvada’s co-responder program embeds social workers with police and fire to de-escalate crisis situations and ensure those in trouble get connected to help. As Mayor, I will champion these important, often life-saving services.
- Arvada’s ‘One Small Step’ court program designs justice to meet low-level offenders where they are, diverting those in need away from jail in exchange for them taking appropriate, proactive steps to help themselves with support from case managers and partners invested in seeing them succeed.
HOMELESSNESS: We also need a forward-thinking and collaborative approach to helping our city’s homeless population. Homelessness has become a national crisis; it is not unique to Arvada or even the Denver Metro Region. But to address the local need, we must work with our County and regional municipal partners to provide the supports and services necessary to get people back on their feet.
- Housing solutions must come paired with wrap-around services. Custom-tailored to an individual's unique needs, we are setting many up to fail if we simply provide shelter without the support they need to stay housed.
I am excited about non-profit led projects the City has been able to support:
- The first project with Beyond Home has already opened for housing-unstable families, providing housing, therapy, childcare, job training, and “life-training” services (such as balanced budgeting, understanding credit, etc.), the program aims to move “graduates” out and into home ownership by the time they are ready to leave.
- A second project with Family Tree will provide options for hard-to-house individuals with significant needs and wrap them in tailored on-site supports.
- Finally, I believe in the work that The Community Table is doing, not only providing access to food but also to jobs, medical care, filing for benefits, and more. I look forward to working with them to expand their navigation services and helping residents in need across our amazing city.
Make no mistake, it is nearly impossible to successfully support and treat a person who does not have safe, stable housing, and we cannot criminalize our way out of this crisis. By addressing basic stability alongside care, we will get people off of the street and into an environment where they are able to focus on treatment, set and achieve personal goals, (re)connect with loved ones, and become empowered to take ownership of their journey forward.