Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Transitional Housing: CHF residents live in a safe, family friendly housing complex in 2-3 bedroom apartments and townhomes. They pay 30% of their income as rent while working on education and job skill goals with the goal of dramatically improving their earning potential by the time they graduate from CHF.
Supportive Services include: case management, counseling, support group meetings, educational seminars, summer youth programs, Christmas adopt-a-family program, and a food/clothing/furniture bank.
CHF uses intensive case management to work with families on a weekly basis. The case managers work collectively with CHF residents helping to develop marketable skills, employment strategies as well as to help residents to assess their education requirements for their desired employment goals. They guide them as they select and enroll in the appropriate trade school, college or university. Our case managers also encourage residents as well as holding them accountable to their established goals.
The CHF counselor works with some families/individuals on a bi-weekly basis or as needed. The stresses of homelessness, poverty, financial devastation, and personal tragedies are crippling to these families and impact their personal and interpersonal relationships both at home and on the job. The counselor helps the families deal with the issues that contributed to their homelessness.
Families are required to attend bi-monthly Support Group Meetings. These meetings encourage families as they strive toward their goals and overcome their struggles to achieve self-sufficiency. The newly acquired skills enable them to become better parents and contributing members of society.
The Summer Youth Program provides CHF children, ages 9-18, with a variety of activities (museum visits, college visits, swimming, bowling, putt-putt golf, playing games, and hiking) twice a week during the summer months. Most of the children's parents are working or in school, and this program helps to provide them with a safe, fun, and engaging place to interact with caring adults.
Residents that aren't proficient in English are required to take ESL classes.
Christmas for homeless families can be an especially stressful time. They are already living on tight budgets day to day, hoping that they will have enough money to feed their families each week just to afford the basic necessities. Having extra money for Christmas gifts is next to impossible and adds to the pressure these families are already experiencing as they work toward becoming self-sufficient. All of the CHF families are adopted for Christmas. Members of the community, families and/or businesses adopt one or more CHF families and provide them with gifts for Christmas. Then on a special Saturday in December more than 300 individuals, representing businesses, families and schools, gather to share food and festivities while they deliver toys and other gifts to the 40 families who participate in the CHF program. All of the adopted families take their wrapped gifts home to open on Christmas Day. Those adopting the families at CHF help in a very special way, as they relieve the stress of the holidays while helping the families to continue on their journey toward self-sufficiency.
CHF serves all families in the transitional housing program with food, clothing and furniture. The food bank is open twice per week (or more frequently as needed) for families to receive perishable foods donated by Safeway, Walmart, and other generous locations. Our food bank provides non-perishable food and items families are not able to purchase with food stamps. Each family can also furnish their transitional home at CHF with furniture from the CHF furniture bank. Families are allowed to take all of the furniture with them when they leave CHF to ensure that they have the basic necessities when they graduate from the program and are set up for success.
Evidence of the CHF program success comes from a few comments from some of our graduating CHF families:
"Thank you CHF staff, for all you do. May you all have lives filled with lots of love, joy and peace. It has been a true blessing to be a part of the CHF family. We appreciate all of your support and encouragement.
I thank you for the opportunity to give me and my five children a safe place to live for 2 1/2 years.
Connie, thank you for being such a blessing in our life and the life of my kids. You have touched our lives deeply and I am so grateful.
Connie, thank you so much for all you have done for my son and I. You have provided a beautiful home for us when we were at our lowest. You gave me hope that there are good people watching over us. Thank you for all of your support and love. You are an inspiration!
Connie, thank you for all your help. I could not have made it this far without CHF. You have helped us so much! All the babysitting, car repairs, funding, patience and encouragement helped so much. I want to be a success story for Colorado Homeless Families. And your help has brought me one step closer, thank you!
Since housing the first CHF family in 1988 up to December of 2015, Colorado Homeless Families has housed a total of 503 families, including 40 families who are currently living at CHF on a daily basis, 420 families graduated from the CHF program, and 161 families purchased homes. In addition, 109 individuals graduated from tech schools, colleges or universities.
CHF's chief purpose and goal is to elevate families with children from the bonds of homelessness and poverty. Many of our families have found themselves homeless through such causes as personal tragedy, low income, insufficient education and inadequate life skills. CHF provides transitional housing and supportive services for these families to help them become economically self-sufficient and to enable them to become better parents and contributing members of society.
CHF has housed 518 families since 1987. Of those 518 families, 428 families were self-sufficient upon leaving CHF and 165 families were able to purchase their own homes.