Partners in Housing Adds Apartments for Homeless Families in Colorado Springs | Homeless


Three homeless or near-homeless families will move to a new Partners in Housing apartment complex next week, after a groundbreaking ceremony Monday afternoon.

People may think that just three one-bedroom apartments are added to what has become a shortage of transitional and affordable housing in Colorado Springs, said Mary Stegner, managing director of Partners in Housing, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

And that’s not much.

But the impact of the new project on the community will be exponential, she said.

“It’s a big problem for these three families, as well as the next three and the next three, to have a safe and stable place to live,” said Stegner.

The Myron Stratton Foundation spent $ 430,000 to renovate the Logan Building on its 105-acre campus off Highway 115 south, said chief executive Daniel O’Rear.

Built in 1913 as one of the property’s four orphanages, the building’s addition to Partners in Housing’s park brings the organization’s total to 15 transitional apartments on campus.

They are part of the 65 units that Partners in Housing offers across the city for needy families in crisis.

Clients live in the accommodation for a year as they strive to become self-sufficient through the organization’s support programs.

The organization receives more than 1,000 applications each year for its 65 offers, Stegner said, which include efficiency gains, multi-bedroom apartments, townhouses and single-family homes.

The wait time can be short of two to three months or more, as families are matched by size to available units.

Families must have children and pay up to 30% of their monthly income in rent. If they have no income in a given month, they pay no rent, Stegner said. Partners in Housing covers utilities and security deposit fees.

“Our goal is to get them into paid employment and to build with us a tenant story that they can use to access housing on their own,” she said. “Many have fled domestic violence, and it’s a really low time in their lives when they had to ask for help.”

The offices of Partners in Housing are also headquartered on the Myron Stratton property, along with two other local nonprofits, TESSA, a domestic violence prevention program, a crisis line and shelter, and a Peak Vista Community Health Centers. Each pays a dollar a year to use the facilities, O’Rear said.

Another part of the large campus is devoted to housing and care for the elderly.

The arrangement falls under the Stratton Consortium, which began 16 years ago, O’Rear said, as a solution to best meet the demands of the property benefactor.

Winfield Scott Stratton, who in 1894 became the first millionaire of the Cripple Creek mining district and a major philanthropist, stipulated upon his death in 1902 that the land would be used in perpetuity to “provide aid and a home to those who need a helping hand ”.

“We tried to create family programs, but instead decided to bring in people who already know how to do it,” O’Rear said.

According to him, the current need for affordable housing in the city is “overwhelming” and “legendary”, a condition that he says will endure.

“If we can do a small part of the solution, we feel good about it,” O’Rear said.

Partners in Housing received local COVID relief grants that paid for laptops and internet connection for clients and a paycheck protection program loan to retain staff, Stegner said.

It has been years since Partners in Housing has grown, she said, and the organization aims to add more units.

She expects housing demands to increase in the coming months, as pandemic moratoria on evictions end.

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.


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