The first participants in Denver's new program to house the chronically homeless this week are moving into a newly opened Colorado Coalition for the Homeless apartment building.
The nonprofit group, which is one of the city's partners in the program, celebrated the opening of the Renaissance at North Colorado Station on Tuesday. It has 103 units near a new East Line commuter rail station for low-income families and people who were formerly homeless.
Most residents won't be part of the city's program, but the goal is for about 25 to be participants. A coalition spokeswoman said nine in that group could move in by the end of this week, and the coalition was working with the others.
Called a social impact bond or pay-for-success program, the city's initiative will be funded by $8.6 million provided over five years by lenders that include a bank as well as local and national philanthropic foundations.
The supportive housing program, which includes mental health and addiction services, will serve up to 250 of the city's most chronically homeless people. Lenders could profit if it succeeds in keeping participants in housing and out of jail, with savings tracked from various emergency services.
"There is nothing more rewarding than seeing one of our buildings occupied by people who have previously had nowhere to go,"said John Parvensky, the coalition's president, in a news release. "We know that by providing housing, healthcare, and supportive services we can provide real solutions for people experiencing homelessness in Colorado."
The coalition and the Mental Health Center of Denver have plans for other new projects breaking ground soon to house more of the city program's participants.
Mayor Michael Hancock and Gov. John Hickenlooper also attended Tuesday's grand opening event for the Renaissance property, at 3999 Colorado Blvd.
Jon Murray: 303-954-1405, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonMurray