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Severe Weather Activation Program (SWAP)

Sign-Up to Receive Email Alerts When SWAP is Activated

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The Severe Weather Activation Program (SWAP) is a program that activates during inclement weather and provides life-saving measures for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. SWAP will assess households and administer hotel vouchers directly to enrolled households when the weather poses a threat to the well-being and lives of people sleeping or living outdoors.

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SWAP FLYER

SWAP FAQ'S

What is SWAP?

  • SWAP is designed to provide survival resources to literal homeless households during periods of inclement weather.  SWAP provides hotel/motel vouchers to literally homeless individuals/families for the duration of the severe weather activation.

What does SWAP consider severe weather?

  • During periods of inclement weather, 32-degrees Fahrenheit or under wet or 20-degrees Fahrenheit or under dry, SWAP will activate and eligible literal homeless households may receive a hotel/motel voucher through their case manager.

  • “Wet” refers to a 25% or higher probability of precipitation (rain or snow)

  • Almost Home will announce SWAP activation to our MailChimp subscription list by 9:00 AM Monday through Thursday. If activations occur over Fridays, weekends or holidays, the intake will occur the prior business day.

What if those temperatures are not met?

  • If the above conditions are not met, SWAP will NOT activate and SWAP hotel/motel vouchers will NOT be available. See below for resources.

What qualifies me to enroll in the SWAP program?

·“Literal homelessness” is defined as the following:

  • You are living in a place not meant for daily living (park, sidewalk, abandoned buildings, tent, on the street or in a car). You will not have a safe place to sleep tonight.

  • You are being evicted (or forced out) from a private dwelling unit, you have no other safe place to go and do not have the resources and support networks to obtain housing. You will not have a safe place to sleep tonight.

  • You are exiting an institution where you’ve resided for 90 days or less and resided in an emergency shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately before entering that institution. You will not have a safe place to sleep tonight.

AND

· Ties to Broomfield or Adams County with one of the following forms of proof:

  • Enrollment in an HMIS outreach or housing program with an Adams or Broomfield County worker

  • PEAK account or benefits enrollment in Adams or Broomfield County

  • Verification form submitted by a service provider in Adams or Broomfield County

  • Pay stub with Adams or Broomfield County address

  • ID/paperwork from last permanent residence that shows Adams or Broomfield County address

  • Previously issued SWAP ID (Adams County)

  • You can use this interactive map to verify what county your location is in: click here

You are only eligible to receive a hotel voucher in the county where you are enrolled through one of the above forms of proof.

What are the steps I need to take to receive a hotel/motel voucher?

  • Please sign up to receive email notifications about activations at https://www.almosthomeonline.org/swap. Any changes in location or time of intakes will be indicated in the activation email.

  • Check inbox and Almost Home’s social media to see if SWAP is activated. All emails will be sent by 9:00 a.m. on activation days.

  • SWAP vouchers are typically distributed between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

  • All SWAP participants must engage in an in-person initial intake with Almost Home SWAP staff or city and county outreach staff to enroll. Once in the intake, each participant must take a photo, and sign a waiver, participation agreement and form that certifies that they do not have a safe place to stay that night.

  • Any SWAP participant that does not abide by the participation agreement will be immediately terminated from the program.

  • SWAP vouchers are limited and not guaranteed to any participant

Adams County

  • If SWAP is activated, there is no central intake site for Adams County. Hotel vouchers will be distributed through OUTREACH ONLY in Adams County. Adams County SWAP participants are encouraged to seek shelter during inclement weather and get in contact with their case worker.

  • Develop a plan with your case worker on how you can best access a SWAP voucher on an activation day.

Broomfield County

  • If SWAP is activated, Broomfield County residents ONLY can continue to access a limited number of hotel vouchers at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 36 Garden Center, Broomfield, CO between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

 

You will not receive a voucher in a different county than where you are enrolled.

What has changed for the current SWAP season? What’s different from last year?

  • There will be fewer SWAP hotel rooms available this 2023-2024 winter season than the 2022-2023 winter due to funding restrictions.

  • There will no longer be hotel vouchers available at an intake site. Hotel vouchers will be distributed through OUTREACH ONLY in Adams County. Adams County SWAP participants are encouraged to talk with their case manager about their winter sheltering plan.

  • All SWAP participants must complete their first intake in-person and show documentation of their ties to Adams or Broomfield County to receive a voucher.

  • Once a participant is enrolled with SWAP through their first in-person intake, they will be eligible to complete future SWAP intakes over the phone.

What are the rules of SWAP?

To continue participating in SWAP, all participants must agree to:

  • Use the motel voucher as written, for yourself and agreed upon guests. No other guests allowed in motel rooms.

  • Leave at designated check out times, picking up all trash and taking all your belongings with you.

  • No property damage or theft of hotel property.

  • No smoking of any kind on hotel property (must be 25 feet away from the hotel).

  • No conducting business through the hotel room or hotel property this includes sex work, selling and or manufacturing drugs.

  • No illegal activities of any kind.

  • Respect the motel room, motel management and other motel guests.

  • Follow all hotel rules and policies.

  • Voucher holder is responsible for trash and all damage to the room.

  • If a SWAP participant is found to be fraudulently engaging in the SWAP program and receiving a hotel/motel voucher they will be required to repay the full cost of the voucher to Almost Home and will be turned over to the proper authorities for legal action as necessary.

  • Fraudulent behavior includes selling your voucher, impersonating someone else, and falsifying documents.

What if I can’t reach anyone to get a voucher?

  • Call 303-970-8892 for further guidance.

What if I can’t get into the hotel?

  • Ask hotel front desk staff to contact Almost Home staff for voucher verification.

Are motel stays available outside of SWAP activations?

  • No. Unfortunately, SWAP does not have funding for hotel vouchers for people experiencing homelessness outside of activation dates. Please continue to use resource centers or 211 to learn more about other sheltering options.

What are next steps when SWAP vouchers are no longer available for the day?

  • Please check the additional warming shelters/centers and overnight shelters available in your area and call 211 for additional updates or information.

What happens if I miss SWAP activation?

  • Please check the additional warming shelters/centers and overnight shelters available in your area and call 211 for additional updates or information.

 

What are additional warming shelters/centers and overnight shelters in my area?

*Please call 211 for additional updates for each center.

I have a voucher, but how do I get to the hotel?

  • Both Broomfield and Adams County have Lyft services, if you do not have a vehicle or bus passes. After the voucher is administered, ask the intake person to provide those services.

What is the policy regarding disability accommodation within the hotel rooms?

  • Each hotel is held to the federal Americans with Disability Act (ADA) guidelines, however the ADA rooms may already be booked. Please let your intake worker know that an ADA room will be needed and they will work to connect you with an ADA room, as available.

  • The ADA requires the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to businesses, State and local governments, and individuals regarding the law. For more information you may call the ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301. If you believe your ADA rights are being violated, you may learn how to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice here.

How do I know if SWAP is activated?

  • Sign up for email alerts on the main SWAP page of the Almost Home website. Emails will be sent out on the day of activations by 9AM. This email will include the activation’s check in and check out dates.

How do I know if there are still vouchers available?

  1. First, check your email inbox or Almost Home’s social media page to confirm if SWAP is activated.

  2. If SWAP is activated, contact your case manager or outreach worker for an update on whether there are still vouchers available.

  3. Contact Almost Home’s SWAP line at 303-970-8892 for general updates and information.

Should I go to Broomfield or Adams County for a voucher?

  • Follow the guidelines for the ties to Broomfield or Adams County. Whichever county you have the most ties to, go to that county to receive the voucher.

 

What are the next steps if activation gets extended?

  • Almost Home will send an email alert out to the SWAP email list with extension dates.

  • Hotels and Resident Assistants will be notified of the extension prior to check out. Please go to the hotel’s front desk before you check out to verify extension status.

What are the next steps if I would like support finding housing?

  • Let your intake worker know that you are interested in getting housing case management.

  • You may reach out to Almost Home at SWAP@almosthomeonline.org or 303-970-8892.

When is check in?

  • Each hotel has a different check-in time, however they start at 3:00 p.m. and stop normally around 6 p.m. Please ask your intake worker or call the hotel for exact check-in times.

When is check out?

  • Each hotel has a different check-out time between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Please ask your intake worker or call the hotel for exact check-out times. Plan accordingly to move all personal items out of room by the check-out time to avoid being charged for late check outs.

Can I switch hotels?

  • No. Hotel switches are not allowed during the current activation, even if you are removed from the hotel due to a red flag. When a new SWAP activation starts, you may ask the intake person for a specific hotel if you have a preference. If rooms are available at that hotel, you could receive that hotel.

Can I bring an animal to the hotel?

  • Almost Home partners with some hotels that accept animals during SWAP activations at no additional costs to our clients. Please let the intake worker know that you have pets and they will put you in the closest hotel that allows the type of pet you have if there is availability.

  • ADA service animals are allowed at all hotels; however, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not considered service Animals. Hotels that do not accept pets will accept service animals but not ESAs.

Can I have guests?

  • Yes, you must let the intake worker know you will have guests. Information needed for guests includes: First name, last name, date of birth, and photo. All people who are not on the voucher as guests will not be allowed to stay in the hotel. Allowing any people into the room who are not on the voucher could result in the removal of the whole group from that hotel room, including the voucher holder, and a red flag or ban from that hotel.

Can I have visitors that won’t stay the night?

  • No, you may never have any visitors in the SWAP hotel room who are not listed on the voucher as a guest.

What is a red flag?

  • A red flag is placed on a person’s SWAP profile when a rule is broken at a hotel and that hotel will no longer allow you to stay at their hotel. In rare and serious cases, a SWAP participant will break a SWAP program rule outside of a hotel and the Almost Home SWAP team has the right to ban the participant from all SWAP hotels.

  • Here are some, but not all, reasons that you can receive a red flag:

How do I find out what my red flag is or which hotel I can no longer go to?

  • Ask an intake worker, they should be able to explain what the red flag is, and which hotel is no longer available.

  • Reach out to Almost Home at SWAP@almosthomeonline.org or 303-970-8892.

I have three red flags and the intake worker is telling me I can’t receive a voucher, what are next steps?

  • If you have received three red flags from three separate hotels, the SWAP program is no longer available to you. Please reach out to your case manager or Almost Home staff after that SWAP season for the possibility to remove those red flags from your profile for the next SWAP season.

o smoking in the room

o property damages

o minor: trash, stains, etc.

o substantial: graffiti, burning items, defecation, etc.

o soliciting or engaging with illegal business (including sex work)

o theft

o threats of any type (verbal, physical or sexual)

o assault of another guest or employee

o verbal, physical, or sexual assault of another guest or employee

o engaging in the manufacturing selling purchasing, or use of illegal substances

o public intoxication

o complaints from other guests

o hosting additional guests not listed on SWAP voucher

o fraud (using false identity, selling the room, etc)

o violating hotel policies already in place for all hotel guests.

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