City’s final blueprint on homelessness in Colorado Springs focuses on families, outreach

A greater attention to the plight of homeless families, more police patrols and a revamped approach to street outreach are among Colorado Springs officials’ recently finalized plans for addressing homelessness in the coming year.

The 2019 Colorado Springs Homelessness Initiative takes aim at several facets of homelessness in a city that has seen the number of people sleeping outside, in shelters or in their vehicles grow for years, while options for affordable housing dwindle.

The blueprint emerged from months of deliberations and town halls that drew hundreds of people to meetings across the city.

homeless countIt hews largely to a draft issued in October, and its targeted completion date is the same: Dec. 31. However, it includes a few new additions, such as a bid to help families, greater enforcement of camping bans and a different approach to outreach.

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Colorado Springs and Fort Collins leaders nationally for job growth last year

Two Colorado metros ranked among the Top 10 nationally for job growth last year. And sorry Denver, Boulder and Greeley, you didn’t qualify.

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Selena Paulsen enjoys lunch with her two children Jackson, 3, and Sierra, 7, right, and their dog Thor in Fort Collins on July 17, 2016.

Colorado Springs had a 5.5-percent gain in nonfarm jobs between December 2017 and December 2018, which ranked fourth out of 388 metros, according to a survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not far behind was Fort Collins, in the ninth spot, with a growth rate of 4.4 percent. Fort Collins last month made a repeat showing at the top of a list of the nation’s most dynamic economies.

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Why Colorado Springs is the Next High-Growth Colorado City

Colorado benefits from being one of the handful of states in the country where people will move to without a plan, ranking second overall in state growth. Colorado has sold lifestyle, buzz and innovation better than almost any other state– Denver and Boulder have grown so much recently that they’ve gone from affordable to ranking in the top ten of least affordable cities.

Now Denver is expanding further and further south, to the point where the last suburb of Denver, Castle Rock, is on the doorstep of Colorado Springs. And Colorado Springs, less than an hour from downtown Denver and with the greenway appeal of Boulder, is poised to be the Colorado growth city of the next decade.

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Pikes Peak Cog Railway orders engines, cars, rail for $100 million rebuilding project

The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway has ordered three new engines, nine passenger cars and cog-rail and snow removal systems from a Switzerland-based manufacturer as part of the $100 million rebuild of the railway.

Stadler Bussnang AG announced in January that it had received the order for the rack-and-pinion diesel locomotives, the rail cars that will be configured to carry 240-260 passengers, cog-rail and snow removal systems. Stadler spokeswoman Charlotte Thalhammer said the components would be manufactured at the company’s plants in Switzerland, but a delivery schedule had not been set yet because the specifics of the order were still being worked out.

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Colorado Springs City Council approves ordinance to place high-dollar settlements in public spotlight

Lawmakers and open-government advocates are commending the Colorado Springs City Council for passing laws to bring high-dollar lawsuit settlements out of closed-door meetings and into the public spotlight.

The council unanimously approved three ordinances on the topic Tuesday, but city attorneys said they have been following the practices outlined in them since August.

The laws come after The Gazette reported that the council in closed-door meetings had paid about $5.4 million in lawsuit settlements — for cases including claims of racial and gender discrimination — since 2013.

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