COLORADO SPRINGS — The historic Hunt Elementary School building in Colorado Springs has a new future that will continue helping children.
“Add 21 to 24 units of housing for homeless families in this building,” said Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, CEO, Andy Barton.
Catholic Charities of Central Colorado just bought the nearly 125 year old property.
It ended its run as a school in 2016.
It will be remodeled into apartments.
It is more than a basic place to sleep.
The plan is transitional housing for a part of homelessness often unrecognized.
“We do feel as providers in the community, that this is a real hidden issue,” said Barton, “And it's an issue that is getting worse, both anecdotally and from the counts that we see that we do officially.”
These “hidden” parents and kids do many typical things other families do in day to day life, but out of view they do not have a place to call home.
“Their kids will be going to school, or they'll be participating, they're working, but they are living in unstable situations. So living in cars and vans, they might get a night or two in a motel, and then a night or two in the shelter,” said Barton.
The planned Helen Hunt Family Campus will offer apartments for six to 18 months.
Families will pay rent based on a percentage of their income.
The campus also includes other family support services working to help families achieve stability.
”Provide the type of wraparound services that those families need so that at the end of their time here they're ready to go take on a lease in a in a permanent setting somewhere else within the community,” said Barton.
Securing the property was made possible because of close to $ 5-million dollars of fundraising.
Another $4 million needs to be raised to do the renovation.
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