Colorado Builders Give More Than $600,000 to Create Multifamily Homeless Lodging

By Erin Brereton, Content ManagerDenver–Foreclosures hit an all-time high in 2007, prompting Denver-based housing organization HomeAid Colorado to intensify its efforts–and local builders followed suit, donating more than $600,000 in labor and materials to build homeless shelters.As a result, HomeAid has six projects scheduled for completion or groundbreaking in 2008.On any given night in Colorado, nearly 12,000 people–mostly women and children–find themselves without a home. HomeAid Colorado connects local charities that service the temporarily homeless– who comprise approximately 90 percent of the homeless population, according to HomeAid–with residential builders to create multifamily shelters. Most include two units or more, such as the Partners Crossing townhomes (pictured) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Built by national residential builder Beazer Homes, Partners Crossing, which opened late in 2006, features six housing units in two triplex structures.Before construction begins on a shelter, a local “builder captain” is selected to arrange subcontractors, suppliers and consultants. The builder donates all services and asks its trade workers to do the same. Nearly 50 percent of the labor and materials used in projects last year were donated.According to Laura Brayman, executive director of HomeAid Colorado, the projects will serve Colorado’s transitionally homeless population for years, giving thousands of displaced residents a fresh start.”HomeAid is incredibly grateful to the for-profit building industry for its generosity and continued support,” Brayman says. “Because builders are willing to donate so much, HomeAid can fulfill its mission, and Colorado’s transitionally homeless have dignified housing in which to rebuild their lives.”HomeAid was founded in 1989 by the Orange County chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California (BIASC) and has expanded throughout the country to provide housing for the temporarily homeless. Since its inception in 2000, HomeAid Colorado has built 11 projects totaling 24 housing units and 147 beds and has received more than $2.1 million in in-kind donations from the Colorado building industry.