‘Construction of $9.5 million Canon City complex for homeless underway’

Hey, how about some $300,000+ apartments for just 30 homeless people? Never mind that Tiny Homes can be built for as little as $5K, so that you could build over 1,800 of them to house 60 TIMES AS MANY HOMELESS PEOPLE!

Read the story from the Pueblo Chieftain here. Copied below in its entirety:

CANON CITY — Construction is underway for a $9.5 million housing complex designed to offer a safe and affordable home to Fremont County’s most vulnerable residents — the homeless.

Federal, state and local officials launched Journey Home, a three-story, 30-unit housing complex, during groundbreaking ceremonies last week. It will be the state’s second homeless housing complex built outside of the Denver area, the first being constructed in Grand Junction, said Mike Pacheco of the Colorado Housing Finance Authority, which is giving tax credits for the project.

The housing complex will be located at 250 Justice Center Road, across from the Loaves and Fishes Ministry of Fremont County where the need for more long-term housing became painfully apparent because the ministry runs a busy emergency homeless shelter.

The housing complex will help “those who find themselves trapped in the cycle of homelessness,” which puts a strain on the emergency shelter, the jail, churches and other programs, said DeeDee Clement, Loaves & Fishes director.

“Journey Home will help reduce those costs and these people will live with dignity and hope. I look forward to the day I can hand them a set of keys to their apartment,” Clement said with a huge smile.

Partners in the project include Cardinal Capital Management Inc., which helped bring nearly a dozen different organizations to the table to work with local officials to “see it through, not give up and get it done,” said Erich Schwenker, Cardinal president.

Mountain View Community Church and its pastor, Benny Soto, agreed to provide vacant property next door to the church for the apartment complex.

“The last time I was in this field, there was a camper here and tents over there and people were anxious for this project,” Pacheco said. “It takes tremendous community courage and sometimes some craziness to do a project like this.”

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs is another partner because “Our governor (John Hickenlooper) is doing as much as he can to eliminate homelessness,” said Irv Halter, executive director.

Equity Investor, the Richman Group, is a real estate development company helping with the project by using federal low income housing tax credits and US Bank is providing the funding.

“Some communities would not welcome a project like this,” Schwenker said.

The City of Canon City was the envy of others at the recent Colorado Municipal League gathering where Mayor Preston Troutman said he learned that other communities are talking about similar projects but added: “We are not talking about it here — we are going to do it.”

Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments will be in charge of issuing vouchers for the 22 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments. Autumn Dever of the council said residents will put 30 percent of their income toward rent and receive assistance with the remaining cost.

If all goes as planned, residents will be able to begin moving into the apartments in one year. The formerly homeless adults and families will also have access to case managers, mental health treatment and vocational training.

Occupancy of all 30 units will be restricted to households with annual incomes of less than 50 percent of area median income. However, the income of the typical resident will be below the poverty line.

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Sounds like the same sort of crooked deal put together by greedy investors with Attention Homes 1440 Pine project in downtown Boulder, CO — housing only 40 wayward young adults in a $12.5 million project. IT WILL NEVER REDUCE THE NUMBERS OF HOMELESS PEOPLE ON THE STREETS!

But, Tiny Homes can be built for as little as $5K and everyone who actually wants to be housed could have a place of their own . . . Yes, I’m dreaming. The sad reality is that homelessness is BIG BUSINESS and it’s therefore necessary to keep the numbers on the streets up to generate more profit-making opportunities.

Snidely Whiplash, homeless housing entrepreneur.

These boondoggles are such an inappropriate exercise in grandiose thinking that those who promote them should be committed for psychiatric evaluation.

— MRW 

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