The Denver area has seen an overwhelming rise in housing costs, yet 90% of the families we serve in the Native community report an income of less than $14,000 for a family of four. We believe that housing is a major factor to the overall health and well-being of those we serve. We are also aware that there are many Native homeless individuals and families within the Denver metro area. Therefore, Denver Indian Family Resource Center is proud to announce that we will be seeking a potential Permanent Supportive Housing project.
We are partnering with Cardinal Development and Lebeau Development to create a Native urban cultural center that includes 50 units of affordable housing. These units will vary in size and space based on future analysis of the community needs. We envision a center where dental care, parenting classes, diabetes programs, family services, youth empowerment programs, healthcare services, and resource and referral services are available in the building on the main floor area. Currently these services are available to Native families in the Denver metro area; however, each service has independent location that causes families difficulties in getting to each service. Difficulties could include such things as time available to use multiple types of public transportation, cost of transportation, transporting multiple children to various sites, weather elements, and then trying to navigate this system while wondering where you might sleep that night. Our interviews with families indicate that preventative services and preservation services often are prioritized the least when Native families are seeking an affordable place to live. It is also important to note that many Native families lose housing, services, or both due to non-compliance on their specific case plan. This housing-first structure would support an environment where all families living there would have equitable access to all the healthcare and family services named above, while not having a fear of losing their housing over one potential bad decision.
Our agency will continue to seek funding partners, community partners and supports, and focus on obtaining the most appropriate land opportunity for this venture. We are excited to travel this journey into the next step with creating a space for families to not just be ‘ok’ in poverty but to actually get out of the cycle of poverty. We believe that by creating a permanent supportive housing project we can achieve such wonderful goals.
If you any additional questions or would like to inquire about how to become involved, please contact me directly.