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Elizabeth Reed’s life has been complicated due to her battle with multiple sclerosis — a disease that causes symptoms like vision loss, pain, fatigue and impaired coordination.

The 65-year-old Aurora resident works hard to maintain her home, but the physical demands are often too much for her. Her house’s exterior paint was chipping and peeling off. And she also needed assistance with cleaning her home but couldn’t afford a housekeeper.

But through word of mouth, Reed learned of Brothers Redevelopment’s Paint-A-Thon Program — a service that utilizes volunteers to paint the exterior of homes for low-income and disabled homeowners. Through the program, Reed not only got her house and deck updated with fresh paint — she was also connected to the nonprofit’s senior services Aging in Place Program. Through Aging in Place, Reed was able to acquire assistance with cleaning her house, thanks to Brothers staff.

“I couldn’t afford to get my house painted, and I don’t know who else would’ve been able to do it. The paint alone made me feel better about pulling up into the driveway and seeing my house,” said Reed. “It looks so much better. It’s also been nice being able to get help accessing the resources I need.”

Since May, Brothers Senior Services Coordinator Rene Quihuiz has been assisting Reed by helping her secure long-term Medicaid and homecare. Reed said that before she accessed the Aging in Place Program, she was ready to give up on her quest to receive home cleaning services.

“I was frustrated because it was a long process of going back and forth with (other agencies). (Quihuiz) encouraged me to keep going at it and that he was going to do his part to see if he can get the ball rolling,” said Reed. “If it wasn’t for him, I probably would’ve given up.”

This year, the Paint-A-Thon served 151 people and completed 95 projects across the metro area and in Colorado Springs. The Aging in Place Program has served more than 2,000 Coloradans this year.

You can help Brothers continue to support residents like Reed by donating to us on Colorado Gives Day (Dec. 7). You can schedule a donation here.

 


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Prior to moving to Colorado from California, Josephine was asked to be a foster parent to a pair of sisters before she took legal guardianship over them as a single parent.

The sisters currently live with Josephine along with her granddaughter at her Thornton home. She says her resources are very limited and because of that, repairing her home’s damaged roof was financially impossible.

“I bought the house as is, and it was cheaper to buy than rent. So, I kind of got stuck with a house that needs a lot of work that wasn’t disclosed on the sale,” said Josephine. “I am now in a bind for repairs.”

Fortunately for Josephine, she learned of the Thornton Help for Homes Program — a longstanding service that allows Brothers Redevelopment’s Home Modification and Repair Program, in partnership with the City of Thornton, to provide home safety, deferred maintenance and accessibility for residents in need. And through the program, Josephine’s damaged roof received much needed, free repairs toward the end of October.

The previous roof had been altered during a past remodel or attempted remodel and was not code compliant in structural integrity. It was starting to cave in from inside and was damaged on the exterior from age and weather. The roof was also missing many tiles and the gutters were detached or missing.

Josephine said her roof repairs made a huge difference — and without Brothers and the City of Thornton, she wouldn’t have had any other way of making the repairs.

“My stress was literally through the roof. My health was declining, I was losing my hair, and it was worrisome with the fires that were happening and the Fourth of July,” said Josephine. “Since it’s been repaired, it’s taken a huge amount of stress off my shoulders.”

Outside of the roof repair, Brothers staff installed adhesive weather stripping on all exterior door surrounds and caulked all window surrounds to improve the overall heat seal for the home.

Eligible Thornton residents interested in the program can apply for it here. To contact the Home Modification and Repair Program, dial 303-685-4225 or email HMR@brothersredevelopment.org.

“I can’t explain how easy this process was and how grateful I am on behalf of my children and myself. It’s a God send,” said Josephine. “(Brothers) found resources and got this approved. I’m eternally grateful.”

 


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In the early 1970’s, housing challenges around the Denver metro area were similar to housing challenges seen in communities today — according to Brothers Redevelopment Founder Richard Magnus.

People needed help finding and keeping their housing — particularly along the westside of Denver where Brothers started its work. And some couldn’t afford to update their houses with new paint to upgrade the aesthetics of their home. But Magnus and other founders of Brothers like Don Schierling, Joe Giron and Manny Martinez felt like they could make a difference on the community — especially on seniors and families living in poverty.

“Our goal was to put together people that would help (people with housing) and to find money that would get us going and to find partners. Initially we received church grants and individual donors,” said Magnus. “We started very small, we started very humbly, and we started with these four guys that were an unlikely foursome. We had big dreams. They were nowhere near the size of what Brothers does now — but we had big dreams.”

Magnus flew out to Colorado from Minnesota in September to celebrate Brothers’ 50th anniversary at the nonprofit’s Local Social fundraising event.

He discussed his time in Denver, his involvement with Brothers, reflected on the organization’s growth, and more. Here is what he had to say.

Tell us about your recent trip out to Denver.

It was wonderful. I had a chance to see some of the old westside and projects that continue with La Alma Family. It’s impressive to know work still goes on right there where things got started.

We drove by the Paris Family Apartments which impressed me. I would not have dreamt Brothers would be able to put up a development with that many units for families. To see the manager and young kids that were enjoying the facility was wonderful.

We drove by the Globeville action with the units that are being done with tremendous partnership with others. We also drove by Valor on the Fax which we’re working on with the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado. What I learned is that’s the first of its kind in the nation. To think the Brothers I knew way back when could be leading the way in reaching out to a group that has not been helped with housing was exciting and encouraging.

One of the things about Brothers is there are so many projects that are up and going strong. It was just very impressive on the tour.

How long did you stay active with Brothers and in what ways?

I was the secretary of the board for several years. I would want to say as we got started in 71, I was in the organization actively for five, six, maybe seven years. And then I continued to be active as I changed employment and was working in different situations and still trying to push people toward Brothers and helping them to become involved — even if I was from a bit of a distance.

What comes to your mind when you see how Brothers has grown over the past 50 years? 

Great joy, a little bit of unbelief and satisfaction that an idea that started small could become so big and so impressive. To see what I saw when Brothers brought me out and took me on the tour and meeting the people at the fundraiser was just tremendously impressive. It warmed my heart significantly to hear from staff and board members that they shared the vision, and they share the values. They have a heart for the work that is needed to help people with being housed, and they have a deep commitment to be about that work.

What do you hope to see from Brothers going forward?

I want to see more of the same. What felt good to me is it hasn’t taken a great different direction. It has just added on more and more programs that meet community needs. I was impressed to hear about rental/mortgage assistance and (Colorado Housing Connects) and the partnerships that are allowing Brothers to do phenomenal work these past few years.

Brothers has been able to respond to the needs of the time and to do so in a way that attracts partners and that now gets significant government funding to really help do the big things that Brothers is about.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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There’s something special about volunteering for a cause in your own neighborhood that’s larger than yourself.

It gives you a sense of accomplishment, joy, and pride in that you’re working to make your community a better place. That’s how Commerce City employees felt when they volunteered for Brothers Redevelopment’s Paint-A-Thon Program — a service that utilizes volunteers to paint home exteriors for low-income and disabled senior homeowners.

“I think that we specifically feel proud, especially since we’re serving our community members and we’re helping out our neighbors,” said Commerce City Community Relations Liaison Daniela Villarreal, who volunteered for a Paint-A-Thon project in Commerce City this past weekend.

“But then also, I just think it’s awesome. I heard several volunteers reflecting toward the end of the event and seeing all the hard work we did and just how amazing the house looked,” she added. “I think it’s a huge accomplishment for myself and everybody there just to see everything at the end that we were able to do together.”

Commerce City employees, board, commission, and City Council members teamed up on Aug. 28 to paint the exterior of Lettie Miller’s Commerce City house. The city’s Quality Community Foundation — which provides grants to fund nonprofits that benefit Commerce City residents — sponsors the Paint-A-Thon.

So far this year, Brothers has completed more than 75 Paint-A-Thon projects throughout the metro area and in Colorado Springs.

“I thank God every day that there are people like this who can help people like me who can’t do the job anymore. It wouldn’t get painted otherwise, I couldn’t do it,” said Miller. “The program they have is just amazing, absolutely amazing. It is a God send.”


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Arthur Saiz’s decorated career in the United States Army included time providing communications support and training during the Korean War, Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm until he retired in 1993 after 36 years of service.

Saiz was stationed at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City, Utah and at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in his hometown of Commerce City where he trained around 2,000 soldiers on infantry equipment and communications. Today, the award-winning Veteran enjoys paying homage to his Native American roots by creating and selling jewelry and art. But even though the 83-year-old lives independently, he admits he needs help.

“When I was young, I never depended on anybody. I did plumbing, electrical work, built my shed,” said Saiz. “I like to do a lot of stuff, but I get tired — even when I clean and do work around the house.”

Saiz survives off his military pension and has wanted to expand and update his bathroom for years but couldn’t afford to do so until he learned of Brothers Redevelopment and its Home Modification and Repair Program (HMR).

This past summer, Brothers saved Saiz nearly $8,000 by performing bathroom modifications in his house that will help him continue to live independently and stay in his home. Saiz received plumbing services, grab bars in his shower, an entire new bathroom floor, new wall tile, an ADA toilet, a new vanity countertop and sink combo and much more through HMR. Brothers’ Paint-A-Thon Program also painted Saiz’s house and provided yard work services through volunteers from ANB Bank.

The HMR Program has operated in Commerce City since 2019 and has provided 71 households with home modifications and repairs that are aimed at keeping people in their homes. Commerce City’s Quality Community Foundation, which provides grants to fund various nonprofits that benefit Commerce City residents, is also a sponsor for the 2021 Paint-A-Thon season.

“I’ve lived in this home for 24 years, and I didn’t want to leave and deal with a landlord,” said Saiz. “I felt real happy when Brothers did all this work for me.”

 

 

 


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Throughout his life, Brothers Redevelopment Founder Don Schierling spent many summers driving around the metro area ensuring that Paint-A-Thon projects were going smoothly.

So, it was only right that a day ahead of his memorial service — an event that was delayed five months after his death because of the pandemic — that his family and friends volunteered for their own Paint-A-Thon project.

Dressed in purple Paint-A-Thon shirts to honor Alzheimer’s victims like Schierling and his wife Elvira, Schierling’s loved ones gathered for a day of service to paint the exterior of Dorothy Jokumnsen’s Westminster home and to do yard work in July. The project was one of 84 houses the Paint-A-Thon Program has painted as of Sept. 16.

“Don and Elvira’s legacy of service was alive and well during our Paint-A-Thon project. You could feel them smiling from above as we worked together painting and sprucing up the yard,” said Evon Holiday, a family friend of the Schierling’s. “It was such a fitting way to celebrate their lives and Don’s dedication to Brothers Redevelopment.”

Schierling passed away in February at the age of 86, 50 years after him, Richard Magnus, Joe Giron and Manny Martinez established Brothers Redevelopment. He spent more than 40 years serving as a board member for the organization and was recognized for model Christian stewardship through the 2020 National Journey Award presented by faith based financial services organization Everence.

Outside of his work serving the region’s low-income residents and seniors through Brothers, Schierling taught at Regis University Business School, built houses in areas of Germany that were impacted by World War II and held a role with International Development Enterprises — a nonprofit that encourages self-sufficiency in Africa, Asia and Central America.

The Schierling family also donated a wheelchair lift to Brothers earlier this summer that was used by Schierling and Elvira. The item will be donated to a client in need and installed for them at no charge by Brothers’ Home Modification and Repair Program.

“It felt good, and it felt right to do the Paint-A-Thon in memory of mom and dad,” said Sonja Schierling, the daughter of Schierling and Elvira. “Giving back to others is who they were and what they taught all of those who knew them. It was a perfect way to honor them, especially the weekend of their celebration of life.”


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The phonelines are ringing at Colorado Housing Connects (1-844-926-6632) in light of the end of the federal eviction moratorium.

Since the Supreme Court rejected the Biden administration’s moratorium on evictions last Thursday, Colorado Housing Connects has seen a 55% increase in inquiries. On Monday, the housing helpline received 241 inquiries alone.

That number marks the most inquiries Colorado Housing Connects has seen since March 17, 2020 — a day after Gov. Jared Polis ordered Colorado bars and restaurants to close. That day, 229 inquiries were submitted to the housing helpline.

“So much has changed since March 2020, but the severity of the need hasn’t receded. The demand for housing answers is as urgent today as it has been since COVID-19 first hit,” said Colorado Housing Connects Manager Patrick Noonan.

Colorado Housing Connects has been an important asset for Coloradans throughout the pandemic as more than 59,452 inquiries for housing help have been submitted to the housing helpline. It assists landlords, renters and homeowners by connecting residents to local resources like rental/mortgage assistance, legal assistance, HUD-approved housing counselors and more.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Brothers Redevelopment has also been working tirelessly to administer funds for multiple rental assistance programs.

At an Aug. 30 Denver City Council meeting, Council elected to award Brothers an additional $3 million to distribute through the city’s Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program — a financial resource available to Denverites. Brothers also administers funds for the statewide Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Tenants who are behind on rent are encouraged to contact Colorado Housing Connects, apply for rental assistance, pay as much as they can toward their rent and to proactively communicate with their landlord.


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Life quickly changed for Parker resident Jessica Hopf in fall of 2020 when her 21-year-old son died unexpectedly.

While she was mourning the loss of her only child, tragedy struck Hopf again when she lost her job in the middle of an economic crisis that the coronavirus pandemic caused. Facing eviction, Hopf researched resources that could keep her in her home when she stumbled across Brothers Redevelopment’s housing helpline, Colorado Housing Connects (1-844-926-6632).

After calling Colorado Housing Connects, helpline navigators connected Hopf to legal services that kept her in her home until she was able to obtain rental assistance through Douglas County and Colorado’s Emergency Housing Assistance Program — a financial resource that Brothers Redevelopment administered funds for.

“It kept me from being in the street. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I lost my housing,” said Hopf. “I was literally drowning in bills and facing homelessness. It saved my life.”

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of Coloradans in crisis like Hopf have called Colorado Housing Connects to access crucial resources like financial assistance for rent and mortgages, legal assistance, government certified housing counselors and more.

Colorado Housing Connects is operated in partnership with the state and offers counseling services for renters looking to become homeowners, tenant and landlord laws and rights, eviction advice, mortgage payment issues and more. Residents can also call the helpline to learn about programs offered by Brothers Redevelopment like its affordable communities, Home Modification and Repair Program, which repairs and rehabilitates homes for disabled and elderly homeowners, Landlords Opening Doors Program, a program that helps residents in transition recovering from health issues and leaving rehabilitation to find housing, and other Brothers Redevelopment services.

“(Colorado Housing Connects) is really on top of things, and they can get you the resources you need. I hope this gets out to somebody who needs help,” said Hopf. “There are so many people that are really suffering right now, and if they use Colorado Housing Connects — their staff is just so caring and giving.”


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Barbara Rodriguez knew she couldn’t afford to pay for her Denver house to be updated with a new paint job.

The 93-year-old’s income comes from Social Security. She also suffers from severe osteoporosis — a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle — and has spinal problems that makes it difficult for her to stand straight.

Rodriguez has struggled to maintain her home since her husband passed away, she said. Her house hadn’t been painted in 10 years, and the paint was discolored and chipping.

But after getting in touch with Brothers Redevelopment’s Paint-A-Thon Program, Rodriguez finally received the home improvements she had long dreamed for. In June, volunteers transformed her home by spending hot summer days painting and updating the house with fresh blue paint.

“I walked out, looked back and just wept because it was so beautiful,” Rodriguez said about the first time she saw her newly painted house. “I had no idea it would be so beautiful. It’s quite a difference. I just loved it.”

The Paint-A-Thon Program has assisted thousands of clients like Rodriguez over its 43-year history. The program operates throughout the metro area/Colorado Springs and involves volunteers painting the exterior of low-income or disabled seniors’ homes for free.

Rodriguez said the volunteers who painted her house were enthusiastic and cheerful. And because of those reasons, it made her Paint-A-Thon experience that much more meaningful to her.

“You can’t say enough about how grateful I am and how blessed I felt. There aren’t enough words,” Rodriguez said. “These (volunteers) just kept right at it and worked tirelessly.”

Qualifying residents can apply for the program by calling 720-339-5864 or by emailing chad@brothersredevelopment.org. Paint-A-Thon clients must be 60 years or older and/or have a disability, must own and reside in the Denver metro area and plan to live in their home for at least 12 months.

 


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Westminster City Council has approved a 2021 annual action plan for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds that will support Brothers Redevelopment’s Home Modification and Repair Program (HMR) in the city.

The plan — which will provide the city’s Emergency and Essential Home Repair Program with an additional $40,000 in funds — was approved at a July 26 Westminster City Council meeting. HMR administers funds on behalf of Westminster’s Emergency and Essential Home Repair Program. The funding will allow Brothers Redevelopment to continue to provide low-income senior homeowners with free crucial home repairs and modifications.

HMR Manager Jason McCullough addressed Westminster City Council during a public comment period ahead of the plan’s approval.

“We have a saying with Brothers Redevelopment. ‘We help those that no one else can help.’ With these funds, with the city, you are allowing us to do this work and continue to help people age in place in Westminster,” McCullough said to Westminster City Council.

The HMR Program has operated in Westminster since February 2020. Last year, the program provided nine Westminster residents with home repairs and modifications like wheelchair ramps, bathroom expansions, grab bars and more.

Brothers Redevelopment owns an affordable community in Westminster and has painted the exterior of two homes in the city for low-income and disabled residents this year through its Paint-A-Thon Program.

Qualifying Westminster residents can apply for the HMR Program by dialing 303-202-6340 or 1-844-926-6632.


2250 Eaton St., Suite B,
Denver, CO 80214

Main Phone Number: 303-202-6340
CHC Phone Number: 844-926-6632
Brothers Property Management:
877-751-9990
TTY 711
info@brothersredevelopment.org

Copyright Brothers Redevelopment Inc. 2013-2022. All rights reserved.

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