Denver Children’s Home had the land and the vision: a transitional group home for teen girls on a lot it already owned in Park Hill. What it didn’t have was someone to build it.
Luckily, the organization knew to call HomeAid Colorado.
“I like to say we’re the matchmaker between the building industry and nonprofit providers that offer services for people who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness,” says Cindy Bell, HomeAid Colorado’s executive director.
HomeAid leverages its industry knowledge and contacts to help nonprofits navigate the building process and find construction professionals willing to discount or donate expertise, labor or materials. On average, 50% to 85% of the cost of a HomeAid project is covered through in-kind donations. Those savings mean the nonprofits served by HomeAid have more budget and resources to spend on their core programs and services.
“Nonprofit organizations trust us to know that we know what we’re doing, that we know about construction, their budget, the schedule, and who to call to make it all work, so they can focus on putting the programs together that help children, families and seniors,” Bell says.
The work of HomeAid and the nonprofits it serves has become even more important as Colorado grapples with rising levels of homelessness. A report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found that the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness in Colorado rose 266% between 2007 and 2021, the largest increase of any state.
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HomeAid’s help has built more than 50 projects to date, from a counseling office for the Boys & Girls Club to a resource center for Arvada’s Hope House that serves more than 250 moms a year.
“We work with organizations with programs that provide counseling, budgeting, parenting, job training,” Bell says. “They help participants get educated so they can get back on their feet and back out into society.”
For Denver Children’s Home, HomeAid’s help has meant not only that its transitional home for girls is being built but also that it’s fully funded by donations from builders including Lennar, Taylor Morrison and Thrive. Rebecca Hea, the organization’s executive director, says hundreds of girls will be served by the house in the years to come.
“It’s staggering the amount of people that are helped every single day by HomeAid, because home builders step up,” Hea says. “This changes lives for children, families, veterans, kids aging out of foster care—a lot of people that would otherwise be on the streets.”