Shelter for homeless seniors receives grant from bank

LONDON: A shelter for homeless seniors is now starting to attract financial support from major corporates.

Boulder Shelter for the Homeless has been awarded a grant of $50,000 from the Wells Fargo Foundation to provide access to safe housing in Boulder and Longmont.

The grant will be used to support the Zinnia Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) project, currently under construction in Longmont, with a target completion date in October. The 39,500-square-foot, four-story building will provide critical housing and supportive services to Longmont residents experiencing homelessness. All 55 one-bedroom units will be restricted at 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI) with the addition of state-funded Project-Based Vouchers.

According to Boulder Shelter, the grant will not go toward capital costs. However, it will fund the supportive services staff necessary to keep their clients housed.

“You can think of them as caseworkers, who organize services from other providers, like mental health, substance abuse, job training, and so on. Without them, these permanent housing projects for homeless adults would have a very low success rate (with them the success rate is well into the 90%+ range),” says Andy Schultheiss, chief development and communications officer at the Boulder Shelter.

In 2023, Element Properties, a Boulder-based full-service real estate development and investment company was awarded $4,125,000 ($75,000/unit) for the new construction of Zinnia. Element is facilitating a coalition of funding partners to help make Zinnia possible, including the City of Longmont, Boulder County, 9% federal low-income housing tax credits, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority private activity bonds, and Colorado Department of Housing. Element will manage the project’s construction and oversee ongoing operations to ensure Zinnia fulfills the goals of all stakeholders.

PSH projects like Zinnia have been shown to provide an effective, long-term housing solution for people who are chronically homeless – often with mental illness, addictions, and/or physical disabilities. Experience has also shown that PSH projects like Zinnia will cost the community much less than leaving people homeless.

Wells Fargo believes that a quality, affordable place to call home is something every Coloradoan should have. The foundation is working to increase access to housing for individuals historically shut out of the market across the state. Learn more about the Wells Fargo nationwide commitment to increasing access to affordable homes at https://welcome.wf.com/impact/housing/.

In 2006 the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, in collaboration with Boulder Housing Partners, launched the Boulder County Housing First Program, a new approach to addressing chronic homelessness in Boulder County. This program targets chronically homeless individuals who live on the streets and tend to have high incidences of mental illness, addictions, and/or physical disabilities.