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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.


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on June 24 that it is extending its federal eviction moratorium until July 31.

The extension further prevents the eviction of tenants who are unable to make rental payments. The Associated Press reported that the CDC will not extend the moratorium again after July 31. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey estimates that as of June 7, around 3.2 million people in the country said they faced eviction in the next two months.

In light of the eviction moratorium being extended, Colorado Housing Connects (1-844-926-6632) Manager Patrick Noonan offered tips for tenants who are currently behind on their rental payments.

Here are Noonan’s tips:

Contact Colorado Housing Connects

There are a number of things a tenant can do to catch up on rent and protect themselves against eviction. This information changes regularly so one of the best things you can do is speak to an eviction prevention expert at Colorado Housing Connects. You can submit an inquiry through our website or call 1-844-926-6632 for more information.

Apply for Rental Assistance

If you need help catching up on rent due to a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply for rental assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Denver residents can apply for the city’s Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program and email the application to BRITRUA@brothersredevelopment.org.

Pay as much as you can toward the rent

One requirement for renters seeking legal protections from eviction is to pay as much as they can toward the rent. Every little bit helps and can make it easier to catch up on the rent down the road.

Provide your landlord with a CDC eviction moratorium declaration form

If you had a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for some eviction protections under the CDC Eviction Moratorium. If you are eligible, you have to take action to protect yourself by providing your landlord with a copy of the declaration paperwork.

Proactively communicate with your landlord

Many landlords are willing to work with tenants who are behind on rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that you let your landlord know you are applying for rental assistance and doing everything that you can to pay the rent.

Seek other assistance to help you stay afloat

There is help available for food, medical needs, utility assistance, employment assistance, and more. Seeking help with life’s other needs can give you more breathing room when it comes to your budget. To learn what resources might help, contact Colorado Housing Connects to learn more.

 


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Around seven years ago, the Schierling family woke up to a shocking and horrifying situation when Elvira Schierling — the wife of Brothers Redevelopment founder Don Schierling — suddenly forgot how to walk.

“She had dementia. She literally woke up one morning and was doing this side shuffle,” said Sonja Schierling, Don and Elvira’s daughter. “I was like okay, what’s going on?”

The Schierling house is two stories tall, and Elvira wouldn’t have had a way to enter the home until the family purchased a wheelchair lift that her and Don used until their last days. When Don passed in February, the lift sat unused at the house. But just like the Schierling’s have done for decades, they thought of others in need and Brothers Redevelopment while the lift was unused.

The Schierling family donated the lift to Brothers Redevelopment’s Home Modification and Repair Program who will give the item to a client in need and install it for them at no charge. The program serves seniors across the Front Range by providing free, high quality home safety related repairs and mobility/accessibility modifications.

On June 15, employees from the program went to the Schierling house to pick up the lift that will be stored until it can be placed and installed.

“We are humbled and honored to have been approached by the Schierling family as the recipient of such a generous and impactful donation. This Vertical Platform Lift that allowed our late founder Don Schierling and his late wife to access their home with safety and independence will now go to another household in need,” said Home Modification and Repair Program Manager Jason McCullough.

“This will allow someone who is at this moment wrestling with limited or declining mobility the freedom of access to and from their home with ease and comfort. We will use this donation to further the mission of Brothers Redevelopment and continue the good work Don was so passionate about throughout his lifetime of service,” he added.

Earlier this year, the Schierling family also donated a vehicle that is being used by Brothers Redevelopment’s Paint-A-Thon Program — a longstanding free service that sees volunteers paint the outside of homes for senior and disabled homeowners.

“These donations would’ve made (Don) so happy and proud. This is what dad wanted — anything to help Brothers,” said Sonja.


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Life hasn’t necessarily been easy for 72-year-old Linda Marquez the past four years.

The Lakewood resident lost her son Marcus in 2017 after he passed away due to a long battle with a brain tumor — leaving behind his now three-year-old son Atticus. Atticus’s mother wanted him to stay with Marquez because of complicated issues, and when she was faced with the challenge to raise her grandson, Marquez stood up.

For the past four years, Marquez has raised Atticus alone and plans to continue doing so until she is no longer physically able to. She said he is a friendly, smart boy who recently finished his first year of preschool.

“My Atticus is my life saver, because if I didn’t have him, I would be alone. He keeps me moving,” said Marquez. “I decided when my son died, I wouldn’t let anybody take him away from me. I can’t do my yard work or paint my beautiful house now — but I can take care of him day by day.”

Thanks to Brothers Redevelopment’s Paint-A-Thon Program — a free service where volunteers paint the outside of homes for low-income and disabled seniors — Marquez doesn’t have to worry about painting her house anymore.

Paint-A-Thon volunteers from Pinkard Construction, a construction company based in Lakewood, were at Marquez’s house on June 11 to update it with a new paint job that she has long dreamed for.

“It looks beautiful,” said Marquez, who noted that she never liked the color of her house before until it was recently painted. “It looks lighter, cleaner, and I don’t have all those chips and spots anymore. I’m grateful because I don’t know how I would’ve ever done this.”

2021 marks the second year Pinkard Construction has volunteered for the Paint-A-Thon. Christine Fuentes, a Pinkard Construction employee who volunteered to paint Marquez’s house, said the company gives its employees three paid days to volunteer for different causes.

“What’s nice about working with Brothers is they make it easy for the company because they provide all the information, they communicate with you, they help you decide what project would be good for the number of volunteers you have, they provide the material — everything that needs to be done to do a project like this. It makes it easy for us to promote it to our employees and to get the job done,” said Fuentes. “It’s kind of a turn the key thing.


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Brothers Redevelopment’s Carlo Nicastro fell in love with the medical field when he was working as a paramedic for the Sierra Madre Fire Department in California from 2010 to 2015.

With dreams of being a doctor on his mind, Nicastro moved back to Mexico — the place where he was born — to go study medicine at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine. The school has an international program, and Nicastro said he had classmates from all over the world, including from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and other countries.

Nicastro’s plan was to finish school and return to the United States. But he met his wife and the two decided to stay in Mexico where he worked as an emergency room physician at a private hospital in Playa del Carmen — a costal resort town in Mexico.

While at the hospital, Nicastro practiced life saving skills on patients and worked as an assistant surgeon during a variety of procedures like C-sections, gastric surgeries, orthopedic surgeries and more.

“Everything about medicine just fascinates me. Obviously, I like to help people out,” said Nicastro. “But I’m an adrenaline junky. I work well under pressure so working in the ER was something that spoke to me.”

After having two children, Nicastro and his wife packed their bags and moved to California where they stayed at for eight years before settling down in Colorado Springs last December. In Colorado Springs, Castro traded in his surgical scrubs for a new career as a senior service navigator for Brothers Redevelopment’s Aging in Place Initiative — a free program that works to help seniors age comfortably by connecting them to resources and services like Medicaid, Social Security, food assistance, rental/mortgage assistance and more.

Nicastro said his time as a doctor has helped him transition into his new role, because his past career helped him be emphatic.

“A lot of people that reach out to Brothers and need our help are in desperate situations. Being able to listen to them and be emphatic is an advantage,” said Nicastro. “There are a lot of elderly people that have a lot of medical conditions. We can talk about what that looks like and what the options are as far as getting help.”

Outside of serving Colorado Springs seniors through the Aging in Place program, Nicastro and his wife operate a food truck in the city called “Dr. Taco.” They originally started Dr. Taco in Playa del Carmen in 2003 before bringing the food service to Colorado Springs.

Seniors interested in the Aging in Place program can access it by calling Brothers Redevelopment’s housing helpline — Colorado Housing Connects (1-844-926-6632).

“The most rewarding part of my job is getting that call back to thank us for our work and being able to solve some of these issues for these elderly people that don’t have anywhere else to look for help,” said Nicastro.

 

 


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Brothers Redevelopment’s helpline surpasses 100,000 calls

DENVER Brothers Redevelopment, Inc., a trusted nonprofit since 1971, has been bringing answers home to Coloradans with the Colorado Housing Connects helpline for five years. At mid-2019, we hit and surpassed the 100,000th call mark.

The Colorado Housing Connects free phone line, 1-844-926-6632, specializes in helping people navigate non-emergency housing services and resources. Our bilingual helpline provides information about a wide range of housing services and topics of interest to renters, landlords, first-time homebuyers, seniors, persons with disabilities and anyone with fair housing concerns.

Callers can receive help with all housing-related questions — from how to avoid foreclosure or eviction to the best ways to ensure that you get your security deposit back, improve credit scores, budget for home buying or handle disputes with landlords or tenants.

This one-of-a-kind housing helpline was first conceived in 2006 when the Colorado Division of Housing selected Brothers to manage The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline and its network of some 26 housing counseling agencies across the state. The successful effort drew national acclaim.

Recognizing the needs of callers for reliable information on all housing topics, Brothers expanded the service in 2014, creating the state’s unique housing resource now known as Colorado Housing Connects. This comprehensive housing helpline enables consumers to navigate with our experts through all housing concerns.

Today, the helpline receives some 2,300 calls a month and has experienced a 41 percent surge in just the past two years. 

“The response to Colorado Housing Connects reflects the need among residents across our state for reliable and immediate information that helps consumers makes informed decisions about their housing situation, whatever it may be,” said Jeff Martinez, Brothers Redevelopment president. “The resources we can offer in these situations, along with the housing trends we can track and identify that are occurring in neighborhoods, towns and cities, offer real value to public officials working to address pressing housing challenges.”

Brothers uses CHC data to inform sand shape the types of counseling, classes and resources we offer the public — ensuring that we are responsive to the housing needs of diverse Coloradans. 

It’s common for the housing navigators who sit in the Colorado Housing Connects call center to hear from residents in more than a third of the state’s 64 counties in any given month.  They’ve responded to inquiries from towns as disparate in geography and income as Aspen and Arriba.


“Our navigators are trained to look for resources across the state, whether you live in Denver metro, rural Colorado, or anywhere in between,” says CHC manager Patrick Noonan. “We are able to help each caller explore what options might be available to them. Whether it is a tenant-landlord issue, someone looking for affordable housing, a homeowner in distress, or any other number of housing issues, our helpline can point them in the right direction.”

Colorado Housing Connects is also the gateway to all of nonprofit Brothers’ successful housing programs, including Paint-A-Thon and Home Modification and Repair, which  promote and protect affordable and sustainable housing for Coloradans, and help senior and disabled families and homeowners age in place.

For more information about Brothers’ free services: www.brothersredevelopment.org.


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*The City of Denver selected nonprofit Brothers to redevelop the
vacant lot at 7900 E. Colfax Ave. as a 72-unit supportive housing community.

**The Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado will provide services to help residents thrive.

Thanks to everyone who attended the community celebration Thursday night, Aug. 15, at at 7900 E. Colfax, the site of Brothers’ proposed 72-unit supportive housing community. Turnout was terrific, and the atmosphere friendly and lively with local musicians playing and neighborhood eateries serving food. Our partners with the City of Denver and Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado worked with us at the event to describe and the explain the project’s features and goals.

The event was first time we had a chance to speak directly to many of our future neighbors and fellow business owners in the area, and it served as a great introduction to Brothers and our vision for the site.

We have identified neighbors and business owners along the corridor to serve on a steering committee for the project. We’re hoping to be responsive to any and all questions or concerns that the community might have about the project. We’ll also be meeting regularly with the East Colfax Neighborhood Association.

Thanks to La Nueva Escuela de Musica, Restaurante El Tamarindo, Tacos El Sobrino and Lucy’s Ethiopian Restaurant.


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Brothers Redevelopment celebrates milestone July 12 with HUD Secretary Ben Carson,
Gov. Jared Polis and Sen. Cory Gardner

AURORA, CO – Brothers Redevelopment, Inc., cut the ribbon July 12 on Paris Family Apartments, its newest affordable community, with help from HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Gov. Jared Polis, Sen. Cory Gardner and Aurora Mayor Bob LeGare.

Colorado Housing Finance Authority Executive Director Cris White also lent a hand at festivities marking a landmark achievement in housing lower-income families and providing them supportive services. Brothers president Jeff Martinez hosted the grand opening of the 39-unit Paris Family Apartments, which drew more than 100 guests, including enthusiastic Brothers’ Board of Directors and staff, for tours of the sleek modern building at 1702 Paris St.

The $13.5 million project is a model for strong local, state and federal partnership in providing affordable housing. Nonprofit housing agency Brothers developed Paris Family Apartments with the extensive creative and financial support of the City of Aurora. Paris is Brothers’ first affordable housing development in Aurora and its first funded with competitive Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC).

“Every dollar pays a dividend in the form of healthier and happier families who have a better shot at a better future,” Secretary Carson said.

Paris Family Apartments’ two- and three-bedroom units are available to families with children who have household income at or below 60 percent of Average Median Income (AMI), and many have incomes at 30 percent AMI or below. Supportive services will be offered to residents.

Gov. Polis said that the goal of his administration is to save families money, which means increasing the state’s investment in affordable housing.

Sen. Gardner said every “nook and cranny” of Colorado needs more affordable housing. “If we get housing right, we make so many other problems of people (are easier to solve),” Gardner said

Paris is made possible by federal funds from HUD that are administered by several local participating jurisdictions, including the City of Aurora, Arapahoe County and the Colorado Division of Housing. Federal funds were matched by both private and philanthropic grants that helped secure Low-Income Housing Tax Credit funds issued through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, provider of a permanent loan. Wells Fargo is the equity and construction lender.

“Every one of these partners is abundantly critical,” CHFA Director White said.

“This all had to start at the City Council level,” Mayor LeGare said. “Mayor Steve Hogan was very, very focused on the need for affordable housing. … And Brothers has been an amazing partner for this type of development. They take it from the ground up and they run with it.”

Established in 1971, Brothers Redevelopment is a nonprofit providing housing and many housing-related services to more than 5,000 low-income elderly, disabled and other households each year. Paris Family Apartments is Brothers’ 14th affordable community in the Denver Metro Area.


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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