(COLORADO SPRINGS) — A supportive apartment community welcomes Colorado Springs community members into their home sweet home. The Commons provides a roof over the heads of people experiencing unstable housing and is a first for Southern Colorado.
The new community is located at 3745 Marion Drive near the Citadel Mall, just one block from public transportation. The Commons helps individuals, families, and veterans develop long-term self-sufficiency.
“I actually couldn’t believe I got the phone call, I started crying,” said Angela Lurry, who lives at The Commons.
The Commons is the first permanent supportive housing community in Southern Colorado that also provides counseling services.
“The approach that we’re using is called housing first,” Beth Hall Roalstad, CEO of Homeward Pikes Peak explained. “Which means we try to minimize as many barriers and access to housing as possible.”
The Commons focuses on providing housing for the very low-income and those with high medical needs. The building was designed with little touches that cater to the care of overcoming trauma.
“It’s just taken all of us working together to make this dream a reality,” Roalstad said. “Meeting the residents who feel safe and welcome and already feeling the health benefits from having stable housing, it makes me cry some days.”
Homeward Pikes Peak has developed The Commons over five years. During that time the need for affordable housing only increased.
“There is a lot of need in this community. I think at any day we have over 800 households that need a housing solution,” Roalstad said.
The four-story building includes an elevator, a large multi-person room, an area for health fitness, a library, and a computer lab. Apartments include a mix of one, two, and three-bedroom units.
The development team for The Commons includes partners Homeward Pikes Peak and Rocky Mountain Communities, and development consultant Dominium, a national for-profit developer of affordable housing, who provided pro bono development services to the project.
The building was designed with lessons learned from trauma-enforced care that will help support safety needs, while improving lines of sight for staff to ensure the security and safety of those living at The Commons, along with staff and visitors.
Homeward Pikes Peak accepts those with no income or insurance, with criminal histories, evictions, and with domestic violence issues.
The Commons is a two-phase project with up to 120 units. As more people move in, those already settling in have one message for anyone experiencing homelessness in Southern Colorado: “Don’t give up, keep praying,” Lurry explained. “It may take a while though, Please just don’t give up.”