We believe all Coloradans deserve safe, stable and dignified housing. Our mission is to build new lives for Colorado's homeless through housing and community outreach. With a home, anything is possible.
Dollar Value of Housing Developed
Dollar Value of Essentials Distributed
Beds Created to House Homeless
Dollars Saved in Construction Costs
Builder Captain Emil Wanatka toured the Volunteers of American Southwest Safehouse planning to do repairs last year, but what he saw inspired a complete renovation of the home.
“They didn’t need to fix the loose cabinet door in the kitchen,” he said, “they needed a whole new kitchen.”
Wanatka, president of Timberline Builders, heard about the construction needs at the Safehouse, which serves victims of domestic abuse, through HomeAid Colorado, a chapter of a national nonprofit that builds housing for the homeless. He later received a list of 120 maintenance projects needed at the Safehouse, such as fixing a hole in the wall and installing a new toilet.
When he inspected the house, he discovered it needed far more work than he could do by himself. So he approached the board of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado for help, and members eagerly agreed to assist on this HomeAid Colorado project, he said. The group donated $8,200 for the renovations, and former board president Paul Beasley helped Wanatka organize the effort.
For women and children fleeing an abusive situation, being able to find shelter in a facility that is not only safe, but inviting and pleasant is the first step in healing. The staff of the Safehouse are experts at providing the necessary service, but Timberline Builders, their trade partners and the Home Builders Association created a home-like environment where VOA can execute their services without worrying about the quality of the building.
During the first phase of the project in December, Wanatka’s team worked for three days on maintenance items, installed rain gutters and painted the interior, among other tasks. The first phase required about $8,400 in donated materials.
After the team finished, Wanatka noticed a shift in how well clients cared for the building.
“There was a pride of ownership that didn’t exist,” he said.
Wanatka’s team remodeled the kitchen, two bathrooms, removed eight dump trucks of debris from the attic and insulated it. The team also insulated the crawl space and regraded the back of the property where water ran into the basement, among other improvements.
About 30 businesses and 24 people helped with the project, and more than half of them were members of the homebuilders association, he said.
“We were all amazed at the level and the extent the home building industry engaged in this project, going above and beyond in providing significant renovations that not only improve the overall appearance of the shelter but provide significant improvements in environmental efficiencies including upgraded insulation and all new windows that will make the shelter more comfortable and more cost effective to operate,” added Laura Brayman, executive director of HomeAid Colorado.
Wanatka estimates $54,100 in private donations were given to the project, although that is not the final tally. In addition, the VOA contributed $7,341 for new blinds, about $22,000 for the windows and installation, $13,000 for an accessible lift for the office and $13,000 for other materials. More than $40,000 came from the Victim of Crimes Act funding, said Rachel Bauske, the nonprofit’s Southwest Colorado division director, in an email.
The improvements have been needed for a long time, but it’s been challenging for the Volunteers of America to raise money for capital projects because of the economic climate, Bauske said.
“These renovations have been invaluable to the guests and staff of the Southwest Safehouse, showing them they are truly cared for and respected by the community at large,” she said. “We’re extremely grateful for the support of HomeAid Colorado, Timberline Builders and the Home Builders Association of Southwest Durango.”
The renovations will likely save the nonprofit money on utilities, because the building is more efficient. The savings should allow the nonprofit to put extra funding into programming, Wanatka said.
HomeAid Colorado plans to renovate the Volunteers of America Durango Community Shelter, with work starting in the fall, Bauske said.
HomeAid Colorado, Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA), and Village Homes have joined together to build five new apartments for Boulder’s transitionally homeless. With this new construction, named 16th Street Transitional Housing, the number of EFAA apartments for qualifying families rises to 58.
"Finding stable and affordable housing is a critical challenge to families, particularly for the most vulnerable who might find themselves homeless otherwise" says Julie Van Domelen, EFAA’s executive director. “This project is one way that EFAA is working to meet the increasing need for transitional housing in Boulder.”
For 15 years HomeAid has connected Colorado homebuilders with respected nonprofits like EFAA to help make sure every Coloradan has access to quality housing.
“We’ve admired the work EFAA does since our first project with them in 2006 and are excited to be able to add more housing for the many families in need who will call these units home,” says Laura Brayman, HomeAid Colorado’s executive director. “This collaboration between EFAA, Village Homes and HomeAid is a perfect example of what we do best.”
Rental costs are up 9.2% on an annual basis in metro Denver and Boulder. While home prices and rent continue to drastically, the wages needed to pay for housing remain stagnant. The northern Front Range boasts one of the nations’ best performing economies, but the supply of homes and apartments affordable to low- and even middle-income families is shrinking.
EFAA, one of Boulder’s oldest nonprofit organizations, serves families, seniors and people with disabilities in need by providing short-term and transitional housing, assistance with food, utilities and other basic necessities to help them on their path to financial stability and self-sufficiency. First partnering with HomeAid in 2006 to build three new townhomes, EFAA has again connected with HomeAid, seeking assistance to create much needed affordable housing for the families they serve.
This time, under the expertise and construction of builder captain, Village Homes, a four-townhome complex will be built, consisting of two 2-bedroom units and two 3-bedroom units, with an additional 1-bedroom carriage home. Expected to be completed by fall 2015, the property will add an additional 25 beds for EFAA’s housing assistance program. Village Homes has generously donated 100% of their costs to this project and, as builder captain, will be seeking additional in-kind donations from the building trades and industry partners.
In addition to the generous support from HomeAid and Village Homes, the construction project is also funded by Boulder County Worthy Cause, the City of Boulder, the State of Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs, Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Colorado, the Gates Foundation, and individual local donors.
Like all EFAA homes, 16th Street Transitional Housing will include support services for its residents. Strengths-based case managers work with each EFAA client to help them move toward self-sufficiency.
With 67 percent of teen moms living below the poverty line and over 4,000 babies born to teen moms in Colorado every year, Hope House of Colorado has a waiting list for its free self-sufficiency, residential and educational programs.
With the goal of helping teen moms become economically self-sufficient, Hope House served 165 teen moms and 245 children last year – and its current rental facility is operating at maximum capacity.
"We are thrilled to break ground on our new Resource Center in Arvada, which will allow us to significantly expand the number of teen moms we empower every year," said Lisa Steven, Founder & Executive Director of Hope House.
Hope House launched a capital campaign two years ago to raise the funds to build their own Resource Center that will allow the organization to ultimately triple the number of teen moms and children served annually.
The campaign gained momentum through a partnership with HomeAid Colorado, a nonprofit provider of housing and services for Coloradans experiencing homelessness.
When Hope House was selected as its 2017 beneficiary, Meritage Homes stepped in as volunteer builder captain of the project, managing the construction of the facility and assisting in securing trade partners to provide in-kind labor, materials and services.
“HomeAid Colorado has been partnering with quality service agencies helping those most in need for 17 years. We are excited for the opportunity to bring together an agency with the heart, passion and experience to help teen mothers and their babies reach self-sufficiency with a skilled and generous home builder. We consistently witness that much more can be achieved with great collaborations,” said Laura Brayman. Executive Director of HomeAid Colorado.
Building the new Resource Center comprises Phase 1 of the project; an Early Learning Center will be built during Phase 2 to provide quality childcare and early learning lessons to the children of the teen moms who are in class at Hope House. Once both phases are complete, Hope House will be able to triple the number of teen moms served annually.
“Meritage is proud to partner with HomeAid and act as the volunteer builder captain of the Hope House project,” said Rusty xxx, title of Meritage Homes. “HomeAid and Hope House are dedicated to reducing the number of homeless mothers and improving the quality of life for so many in our community. We are honored to be part of this extraordinary project and look forward to breaking ground.”
The new facility will be located in Arvada, and a Groundbreaking Ceremony & Pancake Breakfast is scheduled for Sat., Jan. 28, at 9 a.m. at 6475 Benton Street, Arvada. City of Arvada Mayor Marc Williams will officiate.
"This project would not have been possible without our amazing community as well as HomeAid Colorado and Meritage Homes,” said Steven. “Their investment will change the future of teen moms and children from across the Denver-metro area for generations to come.”
Hope House of Colorado is metro-Denver's only resource providing free self-sufficiency programs to teen moms, including Residential, GED and College & Career Support services. Additional supportive services include parenting and life skills classes, healthy relationship classes, financial literacy workshops and certified counseling, all designed to prepare them for long-term independence.
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