When we drive around urban areas, it’s not unusual to see homeless individuals. Sometimes I see them so often, it becomes second nature to tune them out. Today I’m not going to do that. Instead, I wanted to spend a few minutes reflecting on a specific homeless demographic that may surprise you, and offer just a little bit of good news about homelessness in our area.
Statistics tell us that the majority of today’s homeless individuals are people in family groups with young children. Affected by the serious economic downturn, they are people who have lost the ability to pay rent regularly and must often live in their vehicles or on the streets. Some sources estimate that more than 1.5 million children will experience homelessness in any given year in the United States.
America’s Road Home (ARH) is a Denver-based nonprofit organization that works to end homelessness among our nation’s families, striving to fund programs connecting homeless families with the resources they need to become self-sufficient.
America’s Road Home works with government and nonprofit agencies to call attention to successful programs striving to end homelessness or alleviate its effects. Through a model of “causal capitalism,” ARH assists in fostering connections between donor funds and hundreds of organizations around the country that deliver direct services to families.
ARH has lent its support to groups like Urban Peak, which focuses on offering vital services to homeless and at-risk youth in Denver, as well as Nexus C.A.R.E.S. in Dallas, which serves young women and girls trying to break habits of substance abuse.
America’s Road Home supports a number of projects in our own communities, including the Aromor Apartments in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Officially opened in May 2009, Aromor Apartments provides supportive housing for adults and families experiencing homelessness. The development began with a donation of $1.5 million from America’s Road Home.
Encompassing 66 housing units, Aromor Apartments is designed to support recently homeless individuals and address the special needs of its residents. Residents have a minimum monthly rent of $25, and they spend no more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent. Aromor Apartments also offers residents a broad range of services and amenities, from community rooms to a lending library and computer lab. Residents can also benefit from case management services, as well as counseling for mental health and substance abuse issues.
I’m grateful for the many positive things in my life and, too, I’m grateful for the opportunity to support organizations that help those who need more positive things in their lives.