Colorado Homeless Families (CHF) partners with families experiencing homelessness or are on the verge of becoming homeless to achieve self-sufficiency for life.
Founded in 1987, CHF began with the goal of helping families experiencing homelessness find housing and other resources necessary to get back on their feet. CHF rented 6 properties from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the first three years and was operated almost entirely by volunteers. CHF has since grown to 40 homes in Arvada, Colorado and has a team of nine individuals (four part time). CHF strives to propel families to success. Since 1987, 435 families have successfully graduated from our transitional housing program. 167 families graduated from CHF to become homeowners. CHF's educational programs have graduated 114 family members from post-secondary education.
CHF takes on a comprehensive, relational approach to allow families to heal from past wounds and to prepare themselves financially for a successful, self-sufficient future. Our collaboration with community partners prevents duplication of services. CHF an average of 165-200 individuals in our program any given year. We focus our efforts in the following areas: affordable housing, career development, group classes, counseling, and direct financial assistance and resources.
Meet the Sheltinga family.
Megan is a single mom of two boys, Tristan and Benjamin. She lived on her own for many years working as a Dental Assistant but still could not make ends meet. She wanted to go back to school to be a dental hygienist but didn't have the means to do so. In 2016, Megan found CHF through Hope House of Colorado.
Megan is one semester away from having her Associates degree from CCD in their Dental Hygiene program. After graduating from school, she plans to save to buy a home.
Since being at CHF, she has attended CHF group classes and met with a counselor to get healing from past traumas, mend her heart, and work on areas of her life that felt out of control. She has avoided bankruptcy, cleared all of her credit card debt, and is now focusing on building her credit. Megan says,
"I have learned that my past does not have to define me and my future is whatever I make of it. With the support and encouragement from CHF, I can now make my dreams into reality. Sometimes all a person needs is someone to believe in them when they can barely believe in themselves. This support has changed my family's life."
We are excited for Megan and her boys as she continues on her journey to self-sufficiency!
Meet the Boyamba family.
Prior to immigrating to the United States, Papy was a Medical Doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo. In fact, he was the head of the Health District of Ingende, a town in the northeast portion of that country. Even though he was a doctor, being able to provide a bright future for their three kids was uncertain.
In 2014, their life changed for the better.
They were able to immigrate to the US because they won a diversity lottery visa. It was a huge opportunity to leave their country where the political system did not give much chance to thrive. They left everything behind to pursue a dream. The transition was very hard for their family but got easier with the help of CHF.
They heard about CHF from friends who were part of CHF. Their goals were to improve their English, and Papy was seeking a master's degree in public health. The Boyamba's graduated to self-sufficiency in the summer of 2018! Their English is now improved through ESL classes they did through Red Rocks Community College. Papy is still working on his MPH at the University of Colorado. Nathalie and Papy have jobs and continue to work very hard. Upon leaving CHF, they purchased their first home. Papy says:
"For all of the CHF community, I can just encourage them to work hard in order to reach their goals and never give up. Also, to use any resource available in CHF to be successful. Thank you to the CHF staff who helped us during the time we spent together."
We are so proud of the Boyamba family and the hard work they put in to achieve their goals of providing a better life for their kids!