Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness

Colorado faces numerous challenges as it responds to the needs of a growing population of individuals, families and communities experiencing homelessness and other issues related to housing security—issues such as behavioral health, socioeconomic status, NIMBYism and access to affordable housing.

Housing security and homelessness are among our most pressing social justice imperatives, and while there is no single solution — or even a single definition of homelessness — data-driven research, policy and practice are key to addressing housing security issues and ending homelessness in America. The Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness provides information and expertise to communities, policymakers and practitioners to transform the lives of people experiencing poverty, housing insecurity and homelessness by improving access to resources and increasing opportunities and choices.

Addressing Housing Security

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Denver Tiny Home Village

We evaluated Denver’s first tiny homes community for people experiencing homelessness, finding that neighbors reported few issues with the village and no increase in crime associated with its introduction.

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Grand Challenge to End Homelessness

Our Grand Challenges for Social Work workshop brought together local community leaders and national scholars to discuss how issues of homelessness play out locally and affect particular populations.

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New Approaches to Housing & Homelessness

We brought together a wide array of community members to learn about innovative approaches to housing and homelessness, including empty-home taxes, universal basic incomes and accessory dwelling units.

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A Partner in Community Change

We work collaboratively with organizations and communities statewide to understand each community’s unique strengths and challenges and recommend data-driven approaches and evidence-based strategies to address poverty, housing insecurity and homelessness. We assist our community partners with research, program evaluation, community assessments and policy analysis to help address homelessness and issues related to housing security.

“The Burnes Center was an outstanding partner as we sought to learn more about the experiences of the residents of the Beloved Community Village and their surrounding community. It is rare to have a research partner who can connect so thoughtfully and compassionately with people from incredibly diverse backgrounds and experiences. From designing the research strategy to communicating the results, the staff of the Burnes Center offered highly focused and professional consultation and service.”

The Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise
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We can help you better understand poverty and homelessness in your community.

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Cross-Campus Collaboration

In addition to collaborating in the community, we work with a range of University of Denver faculty and programs to leverage specialized expertise in areas such as law and real estate. We also serve as a training lab for students through internships, work-study positions and volunteer opportunities.

Recent Collaborative Projects 

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    Collective Impact Cohort

    Burnes Center Executive Director Daniel Brisson is co-leading a campus-wide, cross-disciplinary student and faculty cohort working to create measurable change in housing and food insecurity that improves daily living in our communities.

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    Traumatic Brain Injuries and Homelessness

    Burnes Center and University of Denver Graduate School of Professional Psychology researchers are assessing the cause-and-effect relationship between traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and homelessness and identifying effective interventions for people experiencing homelessness with a history of TBI.

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Students can work with the Burnes Center to address issues related to housing security.

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