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Housing community planned for homeless young adults in west Colorado Springs

Posted at 6:42 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 20:59:04-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Hundreds of young adults experiencing homelessness will soon have a new place to live.

The Place and Cohen-Esrey Development Group are partnering to build a 50-unit apartment community called "The Launchpad." The new complex will be located on the west side of Colorado Springs, near 19th and Uintah street. It is the first supportive housing in the region designed for young people to exit homelessness.

The project was awarded $1.2 million of federal 9% low-income housing tax credits from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

“This housing is a real health intervention that creates healing and hope for young people,” said Shawna Kemppainen, Executive Director for The PLACE. "The Launchpad literally changes the trajectory of young lives through healing, connection and empowerment.”

According to the latest numbers from March, 350 youth were experiencing homelessness in El Paso County, and 150 of them are living on the streets.

"Those youth living outside have complex histories of trauma and health issues. Complex issues that are going to take more than one or two years of transitional housing in order to overcome homelessness and move forward in their life," said Kemppainen.

The Place will provide supportive services for youth that include assistance with education and employment, mental health treatment, and activities such as mindfulness and yoga classes. Developers plan to build a complex specifically for at risk young adults.

"Some have experienced significant trauma so we're making the design, especially tailored, it is called Trauma Design, for these youth," said Lisa Sorensen, Development Director for Cohen-Esrey Development Group

That means good sized apartments, plenty of natural sunlight, and large community spaces.

"These projects are so amazing. They really combine the housing, security along with services to help youth," said Sorensen.

Construction on Launchpad Apartments will begin later this year and is expected be completed in the first half of 2024.