Aurora to spend $4.5 million helping homeless

Posted at 10:53 PM, Apr 05, 2016

The city of Aurora has a population of 370,000 and nearly 400 of those people are homeless.

Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan says the number of people who are homeless is not significant, but those who make the up the number matter to him.

“It is homeless veterans, it is homeless mothers with children who are living in cars and we know that based on reports from the school districts,” said Hogan.

Hogan says over the next three years, the city will spend $4.5 million to help the homeless and the facilities that help them. Hogan also expects the homeless population to go up in his city when the Veterans Affairs hospital opens in 2018.

“We would expect to see more homelessness from veterans, who are currently getting services elsewhere and starting to get them in Aurora,” said Hogan.

However, VA spokesperson Daniel Warvi says the veterans’ homeless population has a place to go -- a vast majority of them come to VA Resources Center in Denver.

Warvi says the resources center has helped bring the number of homeless veterans down from 1200 to nearly 600 over the last five years.  Warvi says he doesn't think the VA hospital will create a homeless problem in the city of Aurora.

"We build the resources center in Denver because that's where the veteran homeless population is at.  When the VA opens up I don't think we are going to get vet homeless population because we don't have the problem here Denver at the VA right now,” said Warvi.

The city will hire advice groups that will provide suggestions on how to use the money. So far, $1.5 million has been approved and will be used as early as April 30.  The money used will come from marijuana profits made in the city.