Community Development: helping change lives

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The City of Colorado Springs’ Community Development Division is sharing stories and projects from across our community that are changing lives and strengthening the fabric of our city. 

These stories are some of many examples that highlight the many ways that local governments partner with non-profits and foundations to help vulnerable individuals and families in our community overcome challenges by finding affordable places to live, improving their neighborhoods, and preventing homelessness. 

We want to thank our many partners for improving the lives of over 24,000 individuals and families this past year!

ARDENE & KIM: ​“Creating connection and easing financial burdens”

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two women and a man sitting around a table talking and laughing

Photo by Christian Murdoch/The Gazette
Used with permission.

Ardene and Kim's story

68-year-old Ardene was looking for more affordable housing and had lost her husband two year prior. 59-year-old Kim had medical issues that caused her to need help at home. Ardene moved in with Kim, which eased Ardene’s financial worries and helped Kim with cooking and other chores. It also resulted in a new friendship!

Sunshine Home Care Colorado is a non-profit organization helping seniors utilize extra space in their home as a way to generate income, receive assistance with household chores, decrease isolation and provide housing to someone in need of an affordable place. 

JENNIFER: ​“We were able to keep a roof over our heard and continue to move forward.”

Jennifer had a history of illness and hospitalizations in recent years that limited her ability to work full time. She and her fiancé, Tom, had just moved into their first apartment when COVID-19 restrictions caused Tom to lose his job.  Then his brother died of complications from COVID-19, and the entire family became sick.

Without a job, and being sick for several weeks, Jennifer and Tom fell behind on their rent.  The apartment manager wanted to work with them, but ultimately a court date was set for eviction proceedings.  That’s when they found Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities helped Jennifer and Tom with rent assistance through funding from Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and Emergency Solutions Grant Cares Act, enabling them to catch up on missed payments.  This allowed the eviction proceeding to be canceled, protecting their rental history.  Tom found another job in the food service industry, helping them get back on track. 

BRIAN & SUSAN: ​“Rental assistance has helped us stay housed while we figure out our financial plan”

Brian and Susan were hit hard by the pandemic. Brian texted positive for COVID-19 in November and his work hours were inconsistent for several months. Susan was eight months pregnant and not working. The family utilized their savings to cover expenses for as long as they could.  Not having other financial resources, they applied to Partners in Housing for rental assistance, through the City of Colorado Springs’ Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds in February. They were approved. Susan had the baby and has started looking for work while Brian plans to return to work in April.   

JULIE: ​“If it weren’t for these resources, my daughter and I wouldn’t have a dwelling of our own”

Julie is a single mother of a 7-year-old. She became a tenant of Greccio apartments in 2015, but encountered an unforeseen event and financial hardship in 2018. She received help from the Eviction Prevention Program and was able to stay in her home. It also gave her access to a food pantry and employment assistance. The program helped her again in 2020 when the pandemic caused her to lose her job. She is now back in school and “forever grateful” for Greccio Housing. This program is funded in part with a Community Development Block Grant award through the City’s Community Development Division.

 

The City’s Community Development Division manages three types of funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to address the issues of housing, homelessness, economic development opportunities and quality of life in our community.

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