Brittany Depew joined the Social Sustainability
Department at the City of Fort Collins in 2017 and has been the homelessness response and solutions lead specialist since February 2021.
Why is it important to the City of Fort Collins to partner with Fort Collins Rescue Mission (FCRM)?
Homelessness is a complex issue that requires community and system-wide collaboration, and the
City’s partnership with the Mission is critical. Only together can we make homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring in Fort Collins. It takes data-driven solutions, rebuilding broken systems and planning at all levels to support our houseless neighbors. We must all be united in this common goal.
How has the City’s support of FCRM grown since COVID-19?
COVID-19 highlighted many gaps in our homelessness system, including insufficient capacity,
particularly for single adult men. To provide space for these men, the City worked closely with the
Mission to relocate to the Blue Spruce Temporary Shelter. We have grown our partnership with FCRM and hope to maintain this strong teamwork even beyond emergency pandemic response. We are stronger together.
The City recently provided funds that allow FCRM to operate as a 24/7 shelter for the first time. What inspired the City to support this?
As the Mission was preparing to return to its main location, we discussed how the City could best
support this transition. Given our increased ability to support homelessness programs due to federal
relief funds, we devoted additional funds to the Mission to increase its staff to enable 24/7 sheltering. This shift in operations has allowed more people to be safe and protected during the day and focus on rest, resource navigation, employment searches, and other critical daily needs.
How has being involved in this partnership with FCRM impacted you personally?
I am blown away daily by the thoughtfulness, dedication and kindness of the Mission staff. At all levels, the staff is committed to providing life-changing services with empathy. I continue to be inspired to do my best every day. The Mission has been a strong partner from the beginning and continues to provide service with vision and determination.
This post is part of August’s Changing Lives Newsletter. In this edition, A Day in the Life of a Frontline Employee, you’ll read about Desiree, a current Mission staff member, and see what it’s like to serve people experiencing homelessness at Fort Collins Rescue Mission.