What is Outreach Fort Collins?


A huge thank you to the Burlington, VT Street Outreach Team for hosting Outreach Fort Collins.  Your experience, guidance, and feedback will help our team continue to make positive impacts in the Fort Collins Community!

Outreach Fort Collins is community-driven outreach to maintain our downtown as a safe and welcoming place while connecting our community’s most vulnerable to the services and supportive networks they need.


It is a professionally staffed, on-the-street team who will build relationships with community members, service providers, businesses and city services as a means to address and deescalate disruptive behaviors downtown.


Outreach Fort Collins seeks to:

  • Resolve on street conflicts that currently pull emergency responders away from their primary task of maintaining public safety.
  • Streamline community referrals for those who are vulnerable and in need of community-based resources.
  • Maintain downtown as a vibrant and thriving destination to live, dine, work and visit.


Outreach Fort Collins will positively impact the lives of those living in, working in, and visiting downtown Fort Collins.

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How To Reach Us

You can reach the Outreach Team directly by calling 970-658-0088 or by email at Info@OutreachFortCollins.org.

Where You'll Find Us

Based on successful street outreach models across the country, such as the Burlington Vermont program, Outreach Fort Collins is a visible team of trained and highly skilled professionals with a regular schedule of outreach sites throughout the downtown area.


The Outreach Fort Collins team will cover our walkable downtown business district, within an approximate 10-minute walk on foot in all directions. But they will also actively work with first responders to assist individuals identified outside of the downtown area as needed.

Meet Our Outreach Team



Nick Verni-Lau, Program Supervisor


Lisa Dunworth, Behavioral Health Clinician


Emily Harms, Outreach Worker

Meet Our Board

Outreach Fort Collins is led by a Task Force of community experts. Their goal is to develop and launch a community-driven solution to a very complex challenge. This team is listening, working, meeting weekly, and even traveling to other communities to watch existing programs in action.


Throughout the launch and continued development of the program, the Task Force will continue to engage residents, businesses, service providers and a diverse group of community stakeholders.


Their passion and commitment will ensure Outreach Fort Collins meets the needs of our community and positively impact the lives of those living in, working in, and visiting downtown Fort Collins.


Vanessa Fenley, Homeward 2020

Vanessa Fenley serves as Director for Homeward 2020, a Fort Collins’ community initiative that drives the implementation of a 10 year plan to make homelessness rare, short-lived, and non-recurring.


In this role, she is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating relevant data on homelessness; advocating for evidence-based and research-based strategies to address homelessness; and, convening stakeholders to effect system-level change.


She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Colorado Balance of State Continuum of Care. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Kansas and is a doctoral candidate in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado - Denver. Contact Vanessa at vanessa@homeward2020.org


Derek Getto, Downtown Development Authority

Derek Getto is a Program Administrator, Downtown Development Authority, Fort Collins, CO, and actively works with the City of Fort Collins and other relevant public and private organizations on issues affecting the central business district and the purposes of the Authority.


In this role, he plans and develops the implementation and/or sustainability of programs related to DDA-owned or managed property; creates and/or coordinates programs related to DDA projects and properties including but not limited to the alley maintenance program, patio licensing, alley trash/recycling cooperatives, and warehouse user groups.


Derek serves as the DDA’s primary liaison for public safety with Fort Collins Police Services including but not limited to coordination of public outreach programs and facilitation of business community relationships. He works cooperatively with the Downtown Business Association, Visit Fort Collins, the City of Fort Collins and other related entities on issues and projects of mutual interest. He holds a degree in Business Administration form Colorado State University.

Contact Derek at DGetto@fcgov.com


Stephanie Madsen-Pixler, SummitStone Health Partners

Stephanie Madsen-Pixler, LCSW serves as Program Coordinator, Community Support Programs, SummitStone Health Partners. In this role, Stephanie supervises a range of community-based programs including Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH), federally funded to provide mental health and substance abuse services to people who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness and who have a mental illness. 


She has served as a mental health therapist, and has supervised program teams ranging from vocational, case management, peer services, benefits acquisition team and multicultural services.


Stephanie was a team member of the original managing agency of The Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope in Fort Collins, tasked with development of programming and was physically based there for first 3 years. She holds a Master of Social Work form the University of Utah, a Bachelor of Social Work from Brigham Young University.  Contact Stephanie at stephanie.madsen-pix@summitstonehealth.org


Janice M. Mierzwa, Senior Director of Emergency Services, UCHealth

Janice Mierzwa, RN, MSN, is Senior Director of Emergency Services for University of Colorado Health, Northern Region. In this role, she oversees emergency care at Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, freestanding emergency centers in Greely and Fort Collins as well as UC Health’s behavioral health facility in Northern Colorado, Mountain Crest.


She has served as Director of Emergency Services for hospital of various geographies populations for over fifteen years, and a proven commitment to community health resources. In addition to patient care and operational services, she directs strategic growth and program development across the continuum of community care.


Janice holds both a Masters and Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Lewis University. She is a member of American Organization of Nurse Executives.  Contact Janice at Janice.Mierzwa@uchealth.org


Beth Sowder, City of Fort Collins

Beth Sowder serves as Director of Social Sustainability for the City of Fort Collins.


In this role, Beth provides leadership and direction on issues, policies, and programs including: affordable housing and Community Development Block Grant  as well as various human services, homelessness, and other social issues.


She provides for the systematic and predictable implementation of the City’s identified social sustainability program and represents the City on social sustainability issues; Coordinates public communication relating to social sustainability by convening or collaborating with community-based programs and service providers, groups or agencies.


Beth serves as staff liaison to the COFC Human Relations Commission, recieved certification as a Community Emergency Response Team program manager, and holds a degree in International Trade and Relations from the University of Northern Colorado.  Contact Beth at bsowder@fcgov.com


David Rout, Homeless Gear

David Rout is the Executive Director of Homeless Gear, a Fort Collins-based nonprofit that provides homeless men, women and children with the supplies that they need to survive on the streets and the support and services that they need to navigate the path from homelessness to self-sufficiency.


In November 2015, Homeless Gear became managing partner for the Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope in Fort Collins. In collaboration with Catholic Charities, Neighbor to Neighbor and SummitStone Health Partners, Homeless Gear will provide leadership, coordination of service providers from around Northern Colorado, and shared operational oversight. The Murphy Center provides counseling and community resources for homeless individuals and people on the brink of homelessness. The day center also works with individuals to help them obtain and maintain stable housing and implement long-term change to get their lives on track


He holds a Masters in Social Work from Colorado State University. He completed internships with Hand Up, a program that provides employment-focused case management to job seekers who are homeless and at-risk of homelessness, and Homeless Gear.  Contact David at David@HomelessGear.org


Jeremy Yonce, Fort Collins Police Services

Jeremy Yonce serves as Lieutenant, Community Policing, Fort Collins Police Services, Fort Collins, Colorado and currently supervises 31 officers and 4 sergeants in three community policing units: District 1 (downtown), Neighborhood Enforcement Team, and School Resource Officers.


He has diverse professional background in law enforcement including patrol, investigations, Community Policing, SWAT, training, administration, and supervision. He has extensive instructional experience on topics ranging from crime prevention, community oriented policing, patrol procedures, and problem oriented policing.


Jeremy is a Colorado Crime Prevention Specialist and has received certification as a Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Instructor. He holds a M.S. in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University, Global Campus and a B.A., Political Science, Sociology & Human Services from Fort Lewis College. He is the Vice Director, National Association of Field Training Officers, Colorado Chapter and coordinate various law enforcement training courses throughout the state.

Contact Jeremy at JYONCE@fcgov.com

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