AURORA | The City of Aurora is looking at adding more options to its housing stock for people experiencing homelessness in the city.
Lana Dalton of Aurora’s Department of Housing and Community Services updated council members during a Monday study session on safe parking, sanctioned camping and the Pallet shelters at the Salvation Army, describing how dozens of people have been sheltered since last year.
Since opening in June, the safe parking lot at 15660 E. Sixth Ave. has welcomed 20 vehicles, Dalton said, and 42% of the people who sheltered there went on to secure more permanent housing.
The Pallet shelters at 11701 E. 33rd Ave. have sheltered a total of 109 people since July, with the average person staying 80-90 days. Fourteen people were said to have moved on to other housing, and 26% obtained employment.
Dalton said the 25 tents set up at the 15660 E. Sixth Ave. location were not considered to be sustainable, as they cost $1,500 a week to heat.
“They’re running off of a generator, which is just not sustainable from a cost perspective,” she said.
Dalton told Councilmember Juan Marcano that people sheltering in the tents still have a hard time getting rest when temperatures drop.
She also mentioned that the city plans to spend $485,000 in federal grant money on infrastructure for the tents and Pallet shelters as well as 30-36 new shelters.
After Dalton said she did not anticipate the shelters would close down when the weather warms because of the demand for shelter space, Councilmember Francoise Bergan remarked that she was “concerned that it’s going to be a permanent situation when I thought it was going to be temporary.”
The update was only informational, and no decision was made by the council.