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.
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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.