Alison Perkins, 51, had gotten used to sleeping outside in freezing cold temperatures after she lost her home due to financial and personal problems two years ago.

Each day was a struggle to survive, she said. Finding shelter was her first priority, especially during the winter. Then, a warm meal. Looking for a job or getting mental health care while mourning the death of her son, whom she lost in 2019, were much lower on her to-do list.

“I was just existing, really,” said Perkins, who has lived in Fort Collins for most of her life. “I would follow all the other homeless people to make sure I had a place to stay at night and food and whatnot.”

Then, one day earlier this year, Perkins was visiting a local shelter when a caseworker pulled her aside. A room was available in a new supportive housing project in town, the worker told her. Would she be interested?

“Absolutely,” Perkins said.

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