Issues surrounding housing often impact community members living in Southwestern Colorado. According to AHCM data, 20% of screened respondents experience social needs related to housing. Adults ages 19-64 disproportionally struggle with housing. Using a housing needs hierarchy for those listing housing as a potential barrier to health, 25% of respondents reported no steady housing while 22% reported potentially unsteady housing.

Highlighting Our Local Partners: Homelessness

community compassion outreach
Community Compassion Outreach
255 E. 11th Street, Durango, CO 81301-5264
Ph. (970) 236-2313 | Cell: (714) 412-1419


Community Compassion Outreach (CCO) is an organization in La Plata County that assists people experiencing homelessness. Their mission is to prevent homelessness and to allow those experiencing homelessness to survive and eventually find stable and safe housing. CCO prevents homelessness by providing rental assistance paid directly to landlords, paying utility bills, and linking people to “rapid housing” opportunities. They help people experiencing homelessness by providing food, necessary supplies, transportation, referrals for recovery services, advisement for completing applications for necessary support services, advocacy relating to safe camping and sheltering and the relationship with law enforcement, and connections to area organizations that can provide additional support. With their support, CCO also helps people find new housing by acting as references, providing security deposits, supporting the use of wrap around services related to mental health and employment, and maintaining relationships that allow clients to maintain housing.

According to Donna Mae Baukat, current Executive Director of CCO, “Moving the homeless out of homelessness has required us to work with clients to navigate the resources available to them — whether to acquire food, transportation, healthcare, housing, social services and health insurance. Exiting out of homelessness is a journey, not an event; and, it’s fraught with hurdles and unique individual challenges. They need someone to come alongside in order to enter the path leading to their journey out of homelessness.”

SWCAHEC is proud to partner with Community Compassion Outreach to increase the wellness of our community members experiencing homelessness and to support their work addressing this social and economic barrier to health. For more information about CCO and/or to support their work, please Contact Donna Mae Baukat at [email protected].