Our friend Matthew Longwell, who has been homeless in Durango many years, now lives in his car with his sweet Shepherd-mix Ifrit.
On Wednesday, July 30, 2019, we learned that a tire of a car ran over the two-year old Ifrit's right hind leg. Manna had referred them to a vet the day before when X-rays were taken. A little-known nonprofit in Bayfield, Aid for Pets, raises funds that is reserved for certain veterinarians; they withdraw from the fund to cover EMERGENCY costs for pets.
The prognosis was that without a $2,250 surgery, Ifrit could lose his leg. Since Matt hasn't worked in a long while, he was considering having the leg amputated. This is where we stepped in.
A personal Facebook fundraiser began with one of CCO's officers, and funds are being transferred to CCO's Bank of San Juan's account. At the same time, a colleague called on another veterinarian who decided by views of X-rays to splint the leg on a weekly basis. She is doing this Pro Bono. Home Sweet Home Veterinarian Clinic in Durango is evaluating the leg by X-rays to see how much surgery it will take to correct the damage. When the new cost comes in, we'll update it here and on Facebook. A link will be added on this blog in the next few days.
CCO's mission is to assist individuals and families to survive and exit homelessness. When we planned a personal fundraiser on Donna Mae Baukat's Facebook page.
Check back here for updates...
The faith-base Neighbors In Need Alliance (NINA) is comprised of representatives from various local congregations. Three groups are responsible for planning a day shelter, night shelter and developing relationships with people experiencing homelessness. If your faith-base group has not yet joined, please contact us here and we will connect you. Community Compassion Outreach is represented.
Durango-La Plata County Planning and Action Team on Homelessness (PATH) is led by the contractor Athena Group to deliver a strategy sometime later in Y2019 to our community. We are represented because Community Compassion Outreach is serving the homeless with various programs and gaps in services. More importantly, CCO is building its capacity to develop The Village of Hope for permanent affordable, low-income, supportive and low-barrier small houses. CCO believes in evidence-based Housing First model with an added criteria: Fostering Community. Permanent housing with wrap around services is the best practice method toward ending homelessness.
CCO needs your support to carryout its programs (see top menu) and to fund the development of the Village of Hope. We have networked with service providers who will be partners when people begin to move-in.
PHASE PRE-DEVELOPMENT -- Search for acreage near to services is ongoing. Funding from private investors and contributors are needed to get title for property we identify as having water, waste management and the Yes-In-My-Neighborhood (YIMBY) attributes. Donations of property are tax deductible under Federal I.D. 82-5001338 and 501(c)(3) Public Charity Status under IRC 170(b)(1)(A)(vi).
John W. Ragsdale, Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist, is directing this program
The new Volunteer Physician Advocate Service professionals will be defining the services they will donate to fill the gap where some people in the homeless community are in need of an advocate to guide them through healthcare options.
We are working with local providers of services with mutual interests to fill the gap where people in the streets are unable to access medical and other healthcare services. Some have said they cannot reach their appointments and often they forget. When a person has no telephone to be contacted for any doctor appointment changes, they are frustrated and unable to communicate with offices when schedules conflict with their jobs or other reasons.
A survey questionnaire is being distributed the week of 1/20/2019 to the homeless. If a person is living in their automobile or in the streets or tent, or in other uninhabitable spaces, he/she is homeless. If a person is in a hotel room one night but has no permanent residence to return to, then that person is considered homeless.
Durango's homeless population include people in poverty. The two conditions of poverty and homelessness describe a situation in which an individual or family is unable to afford paying rent, is lacking healthcare for financial reasons, is unable to hold down a full or part time job, and may be chronically ill (physically or mentally). Those are not the only reasons people are in poverty and homelessness at the same time. Life's interruptions will often come without our being prepared.
Community Compassion Outreach responds to the needs of people experiencing homelessness. We help them to survive.
Successful Volunteers & Stakeholder Meeting
On Saturday the 19th, 2019, we had 35 in attendance. Twenty (20) new people came to learn how they can help CCO implement plans and projects as we enter our Tenth Month as Nonprofit. Two years ago in January 2017, we were a program of Durango Christian Church.
We accomplished much in our efforts to bring supplies, resources, connections and helps to people experiencing homelessness in Durango, La Plata County, Colorado.
Check back to find volunteer opportunities here.
by Donna Mae Baukat, Cofounder & Executive Director of CCO
Community Compassion Outreach had once believed that transitional and emergency shelter for housing people experiencing homelessness is a viable solution. With further consideration and research, we recognize that transitional housing is not a permanent solution to homelessness and poverty.
The Problem In Our View
Transitional and emergency shelters are meant to provide temporary spaces where a person may reside for a limited time. Most shelters and transitional housing have become unsafe for certain individuals in the homeless population. They report crowded facilities, strict rules, and requirements that exclude people with alcohol on their breath or those who have certain criminal backgrounds -- even in extreme weather conditions.
CCO is aware that transitional housing is insufficient in La Plata County, and there are not enough beds for people to be sheltered in severe winter weather. The key to exiting homelessness is permanent housing. Temporary housing is where limited periods of occupancy may be up to two years, and it leaves people in the heightened "suspense-mode" -- anxiety and worries are common when uncertainties are ever present. Questions and fearful thoughts may impair a seemingly stable situation for most people residing in transitional or emergency shelters/housing with many questions:
Permanent Housing Ends Homelessness!
The HHI Essential House is a permanent and affordable home for people with low-income. Anyone earning less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and not more than 120% of AMI is qualified to own one of CCO's housing of choice, "Essential House". click here to view the home We are making it possible to own a two bedroom house at approximately $50,000-$60,000.
We surveyed nearly 18 individuals from the homeless population in La Plata County who are regular clients at Manna Soup Kitchen. They are the young middle-age people who have jobs and are on Section 8 wait list for housing. Some have been on the list more than two-to-three years. Others have old age pensions, are not quite age 65 to qualify for Social Security, and many if not most of them have disabilities.
The community of La Plata County and the City of Durango are being asked to recognize at least 25 persons in the winter have resided in tents for many years in nearby wooded mountainsides. They are the regulars who have families and jobs here. In the summer, there are over 300 people living in tents or in vehicles during warmer months for seasonal jobs that serve tourists.
Land Acquisition #1 Priority
CCO is working on land acquisition. When we acquire adequate space for a Village of Hope, we plan on making a section of the parcel available to tent dwelling people who are experiencing homelessness (a project in development stages). We are actively seeking a minimum of five acres to create a village setting with community building, sufficient parking spaces, children's playground, and open space to develop raised gardens and pathways.
If you're interested in supporting the land acquisition priority, please contact Donna Mae here.
Our clients will be will be expected to attend a mortgage ownership class at HomesFund in Durango. They are experienced educators and have assisted 19 people with downpayment assistance to first-time homeowners. Click HomesFund for further details.
CCO's associate real estate broker and a mortgage banker will review applications from people who wish to purchase an ESSENTIAL house. Depending on how much house a person is qualified to buy, CCO in conjunction with Baukat Enterprises, LLC, may provide a larger size house to match a household with the right house, such as for a family of four or more children. HHI architect is flexible to build custom homes as required. At this time, we are developing the Homeownership Program in the Village of Hope, proposed as an Home Owners Association (HOA).
For further information, please contact us here.
Email Inquiry to: Admin@CCOHome.org.
We are pleased to announce Community Compassion Outreach, Inc., has received the IRS determination letter in which we have been given nonprofit status under the public charity classification of 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Status.
CCO is preparing its website to accept tax deductible online GIVING! In the meantime, please feel free to contribute by check or money order to: COMMUNITY COMPASSION OUTREACH. Mail to: 255 E. 11th Street, Durango, CO 81301.
For further information, please feel free to contact us at (970) 236-2313 ext. 1, or click here.
POTLUCK Sunday, September 23, 2018, at 255 E. 11th Street, Durango, CO.
Join us for our first meeting of representatives and organizations who wish to learn about the Low-Income Housing for people paying more than 30% of income on rent.
It takes a community to build a Village of Hope for low-income workers and people in homelessness.
SIGNUP AT EVENTBRITE.
Village of Hope Is in planning stages for Phase One with ten (10) units of 1, 2 & 3 bedrooms, furnished with all utilities. Every small house in the new village is dedicated for people in low-income and in Homelessness or are on the brink. The reason for only a small number of units is to create a prototype community to the Southwest Colorado region in a well-organized, self-governed with CCO oversight and management, and to include social services.
A community building will be constructed after all units are completed. It will have a commercial kitchen, conference and meeting rooms, space for two computers and an office for the site manager.
CCO, Inc., advocates for affordable and available housing to serve those who cannot access affordable housing in La Plata County:
Persons agreeing to rental agreement, rules and regulations should prove length of homelessness.
Small House designed for persons in poverty and homelessness will be available as soon as we identify a location for the first Phase One. . .
CCO reached a Milestone in May 2018 with a dignified insulated lockable safe Small House for people in homelessness and poverty. The Humanitarian House International (HHi) NonProfit in Denver, CO, redesigned an experimental HHi House of PVC Tubing -- assessed by the Engineering Design and Practice ENGR 315 during 2018 Spring Semester. Students were under the tutelage of Dr. Don May, Professor of Engineering at Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO.
A Final Report was submitted on April 30th to CCO and HHi as agreed in an agreement to collaborate with Fort Lewis College. The Collaboration shared specific responsibilities according to the November 2017 agreement.
Sponsor the cost of a small house.....
If you would like to sponsor the cost to build one or more small houses, please contact us.
Contact “Donna Mae” Baukat for further information.
Private or county property to establish the first Village of Hope in the county. . .
Somewhere in La Plata County, within ten miles from the City of Durango, a minimum of one acre is awaiting a village for sustainable living. CCO Board of Directors and volunteers identified an unmet need for small houses with great insulation and heating. CCO’s goals include scattered sites throughout the County of La Plata in which people may be housed separately and according to celebrating recovery, victims of domestic violence, families with children, and adults dealing with substance abuse. Social workers will be able to meet individuals and families in their small home. Volunteers will coordinate job skills training, workshops and seminars according to the capacity of the villages. This vision is ever-growing with each passing day.
Housing, affordable and available to people of low-income, contributes to reduction of panhandling and homelessness by getting them off the street and back into a small community of people who are also experiencing homelessness.
Who can stop the flow of Homelessness in our region? Community Compassion Outreach is starting with small houses in villages of 10, 20, and 40 units with running water, power and sewage. Five acres will help make this possible.
Saturday, May 19, 2018 - Followup on FLC Engineering Design Study of HHi House & Alternative Shelter Options
HHi SIPs House for the First VILLAGE OF HOPE
255 East 11th Street | Durango, CO 81301
Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM (MDT)
Anxiously waiting until Thursday, April 26th at 7:30AM when we attend the final class to hear two presentations on the engineering design and practice of homeless shelters, to include recommendations
Disassembled components of HHi House built by engineering design students is waiting for a site
Insulated panels were fabricated by the junior class of Fort Lewis College engineering design students under the tutelage of Don May, P.E., Ph.D., professor of the Engineering Department. PVC tube connectors and tube framing & insulated panels lay in wait for relocation if required by the homeless.
CCO, in collaboration with Humanitarian House International and FLC, is raising funds to build the first sanctioned Homeless Village in La Plata County, Colorado. The plan is to start with 10-15 units of the 196-square feet of space.
Re-Designed HHi House
The re-designed HHi House remains portable. HHi Architect Stuart Ohlson decided to eliminate PVC tube connectors and tubing for the frame with insulated panels. In March, 2018, revised plans creates a more substantial space in which the HHi House will accommodate a couple with two children. The flexible spacs allows for two bed spaces with each containing one bunk bed, ideal for singles to share the 196-square foot HHi House. The option to have one bed space created for a couple offers great flexibility and may include underbed storage.
We expect the Fort Lewis College Engineering Design Report to include recommendations for plumbing each unit with water, power and sewage. Those features will create self-sufficient housing units which may become an insulated permanent house for over ten years.
Portable for relocation and reassembly
Imagine a village of HHi Houses for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, with a community building for human and health services that will be available to ensure case management. Residents will be able to live in the village for as long as it is necessary to receive continuum of care for mental illness and drug dependencies. A program to assist residents to enter permanent supportive housing is being developed.
Colorado’s lack of affordable housing and wages do not keep up with cost of living, which impacts rural communities like Durango. Low vacancies of rentals and high median area rent rates in a growing population is preventing low income workers from entering affordable housing. People who have part-time jobs are camping in nearby forest lands, where the current drought is cause for fire concerns. Moreover, there is an unknown number of people sleeping in vehicles, couch surfing, sharing rooms, or sleeping in uninhabitable spaces in this county.
Although Permanent Supportive Housing for 9 people is planned for Durango by a developer of affordable housing in the next year or two, our organization estimates over 30 individuals would like to leave camping in the woods for a tiny house with running water and power.
Community Compassion Outreach, Inc., believes it has found a shelter for the homeless in our community. We are challenged by doubting Thomases and an uninformed public who have negative views toward people living unhoused. CCO is creating educational materials to address myths and to replace those myths with FAQx.
Durango is now home to many individuals and families who have left the big cities for rural, small-town living. We believe we should care for people who have made wrong choices. We believe that every human being is deserving of a safe, lockable, warm and dignified shelter—regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, criminal past, mental or physical disabilities, or ideology.
Call for volunteers!
We have day work projects and other community services to assist individuals and families to survive and exit homelessness.
Contact Mrs. “Donna Mae” Baukat for further information.
We welcome your generous Gift!
Durango Christian Church is a 501(c)(3) Religious Organization. At this time, we are accepting donations made payable to DCC/CCO at this online link HERE.
Ph | Voicemail
We are located at 255 E. 11th St., Durango, CO 81301. At this time, our office hours are limited due to short staffing and the COVID pandemic. Volunteer professionals are available by appointment only.