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Boulder First United Methodist Church breaks ground for homeless youth housing center

March 14, 2018
Submitted by Claire Clurman
Executive Director, Attention Homes

Over three years ago, Attention Homes embarked on a journey to develop supportive housing for young people experiencing homelessness. In our work with runaway and homeless youth, we discovered that without a home, community, or sense of belonging, highly vulnerable young people experiencing homelessness were at high risk for becoming chronically homeless as adults.
 
With the support of Governor Hickenlooper’s Office, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and Department of Local Affairs, we participated in a permanent supportive housing toolkit that promoted learning and partnerships between developers, property managers and service providers with the goal of increasing the production of housing for those experiencing homelessness. It was there that Attention Homes met Gardner Capital and the rest is history.
 
On February 21, construction began on a 40-unit housing complex that includes community space, flex classrooms, a social enterprise, space for a neighborhood 'grab-and-go' café, enclosed courtyard as well as new administrative offices for Attention Homes. Based on a housing first model, our experienced case managers and clinicians will provide trauma-informed, client-centered, strengths-based case management coupled with employment and career development, independent living skills, substance abuse and mental health counseling, family intervention strategies, supported employment and job training opportunities, and an array of pro-social individual and group activities that are uniquely tailored for each tenant. Our goal is to ensure that tenants “move on” with safe and stable exits within 12-36 months.
 
This project would not be possible without the support of so many, but to our founding partners, the First United Methodist Church of Boulder, their extraordinary gift of providing both land and historical landmarks is a testament to the power of a community coming together to take care of its own.