Nonprofits  February 8, 2024

Boulder Chamber adds staffers to work homeless issue

BOULDER — The Boulder Chamber of Commerce will add two staff members to help guide the chamber’s campaign to implement homeless policy changes in the city of Boulder.

The chamber, along with the Downtown Boulder Partnership and the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau, last year adopted a Homeless Policy Solutions Framework. The new staff members will assist with implementing that plan, which will require City Council action as well.

Rachel Friend, a former city council member, and former mayor Leslie Durgin, will join the Boulder Chamber to help refine policy practices and help implement local and regional solutions to homelessness. 

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“On the heels of developing our broad Homelessness Solutions Policy Framework of housing, public  safety enforcement, and supportive services, we quickly recognized the need to reinforce our efforts to  achieve concrete results for businesses and residents,” Jonathan Singer, chamber senior director of policy programs, said in a written statement. “We are proud to announce that former mayor Leslie Durgin and  former council member Rachel Friend will be joining our staff. Their connections with human service providers, law enforcement, and residents are equally matched by their passion to generate the momentum  necessary to tackle one of the most challenging issues facing our community.” 

Durgin will return to her role as the homeless research and advocacy specialist. “After last year’s focus on researching best practices and fielding input from homeless service providers, law enforcement officials and our local businesses, I’m excited to help implement the homelessness solutions strategies we recommended,” Durgin said.

Friend will serve as homeless policy implementation liaison. “During my time on the city council, I worked to find common ground on contentious policy issues. I can’t think of a more critical focus of my attention than seeking to implement solutions to homelessness that I championed while on the council that will have a positive impact on our homeless population and  community,” she said.

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