Each of the categories for the working groups is directly based on the findings from the initial outreach to Boulder County communities. This community engagement process identified Economic Challenges, Housing Affordability, Mental Health, and Social Resilience among the greatest concerns for residents, business owners, workers, and students in Boulder County. You can find detailed results of the community engagement process in the link to the ARPA Steering Committee Preliminary Engagement Report.
The following is the description of the focus areas and the priority issues for each of the three working groups:
Economic Challenges – Economic challenges are the number one issue affecting Boulder County residents, businesses, and students. Many survey respondents raised the interconnected issues of cost of living, small business needs, workforce development, childcare, and other economic issues. This working group will recommend initiatives that address economic challenges within the community, with a particular emphasis on the issues magnified by the pandemic.
Co-Chairs: Rebecca Novinger, Human Services Alliance and
Susan Caskey, Boulder County, Co-Director of Housing and Human Services
Sponsor: Marta Loachamin, County Commissioner
Housing Affordability – The challenge of housing affordability for the residents of Boulder County existed before the pandemic. For some community members and businesses, the loss of income due to the pandemic exacerbated housing instability. This group proposed solutions to address the housing crisis in Boulder County for both renters and owners alike.
Co-Chairs: Karen Gerrity, InterMountain Alliance, and BOCO Long Term Recovery Group
Paul Jannatpour, Boulder County, Co-Director of Housing and Human Services
Sponsor: Claire Levy, County Commissioner
Mental Health and Social Resilience – Being physically apart from friends and family during lockdown brought on many challenges, including social isolation, worsened mental health, workforce burnout, and compassion fatigue. While some suffered due to too much time in a digital world, others struggled due to lack of access or ability to use technology. This group researched policies and programs that will bring communities together and address social isolation, and mental health and public health challenges.
Co-Chairs: Katrina Harms, Peak to Peak Housing and Human Services and
Robin Bohannan, Boulder County Director of Community Services
Sponsor: Matt Jones, County Commissioner