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Chris Conner Named Director of Denver’s Road Home

Conner already shaping mission, strategic direction of venerable Denver office

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Denver Human Services announced today that Chris Conner has been selected to lead Denver’s Road Home, the city’s program to support and connect people experiencing homelessness to vital resources and housing. Conner steps into the role after serving as interim director of Denver’s Road Home since September and has already initiated a refocusing on the mission of the office and its large network of community service providers.
 
“Denver’s increased focus on housing also extends to those experiencing homelessness, and Denver’s Road Home plays a critical role in strengthening and aligning city and partner efforts to support and serve all of our residents,” said Mayor Hancock. “This is some of the most important work we do, and Chris is well respected for his dedication to bringing people together. He will do a phenomenal job leading our city’s strategy to shelter, employ and house those in our city who are experiencing homelessness.”
 
As Interim-Director, Conner has:

  • Overseen the opening of three new overnight shelters (two for men and one for women),
  • Launched a pilot shelter diversion program which works to immediately connect people entering a shelter for the first time to housing alternatives,
  • Initiated a strategic shelter analysis and recommendation for improved coordination and housing focus,
  • Worked with the Denver’s Road Home team to redefine their mission and with shelter providers to define their shelter system strategic vision.

“I’m excited to officially serve as the director of Denver’s Road Home and to invite a community dialogue around how we best work together to house, care for, and support our neighbors living in homelessness,” said Chris Conner, director of Denver’s Road Home. “It’s an honor to lead Denver’s Road Home forward with a focus on galvanizing collective community action around the issues of poverty and homelessness once again.”
 
Prior to joining Denver’s Road Home, Conner worked for five years as a street outreach worker at Urban Peak, providing on-the-spot, street-side assistance to youth experiencing homelessness in Denver. His time as an outreach worker inspired Chris to volunteer for harm reduction efforts to connect intravenous substance users living in homelessness to public health resources.
 
Conner officially began as the director of Denver’s Road Home, August 13, 2018.

The New Mission of Denver’s Road Home: Everything we do we strengthen, align, and empower partnerships to provide safe and supportive pathways out of homelessness. We do this by cultivating strong relationships that build homeless systems, services, and strategies. We embrace our position and ability to convene stakeholders, coordinate and leverage city resources and evaluate collective impact. – Created by Denver’s Road Home employees in Spring 2018.
 
New Shelter System Vision: A collaborative, streamlined, high-quality system offered to anyone seeking shelter, putting them on a tailored pathway to housing stability. – Created by shelter providers in January 2018.
 
“Chris Conner has been a trusted and committed partner who can be counted on to support you whether you’ve got a problem to solve or an idea to share,” said Brad Meuli, CEO and President of Denver Rescue Mission and member of the city’s Advisory Committee to House People Experiencing Homelessness. “I look forward to continuing to work with Chris to identify ways to shelter and support our residents experiencing homelessness.”
 
“I’ve had the opportunity to watch Chris grow from his early days as a youth outreach worker to now leading Denver’s Road Home and his ability to empathize with a wide variety of experiences and views will be a tremendous asset for our city,” said Kendall Rames, Deputy Director/Director of Programs, Denver Urban Peak. “You can already feel a rejuvenation of purpose and direction at Denver’s Road Home. I’m excited to work with him to partner in our work to end youth homelessness by providing opportunities for self-sufficiency and success for all youth experiencing homelessness.”
 
“Chris is a thoughtful partner who has already focused on diversity and inclusion as a principle value in his work guiding the city’s efforts to serve all people who experience homelessness,” said Terrell Curtis, Executive Director of the Delores Project. “I look forward to working with Chris to develop inclusive solutions to the challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness.”