Corinne Sanchez has faced challenges in maintaining her cherished Denver home ever since her husband’s passing in 1994.
The 92-year-old holds deep sentimental value for the house, as it was where she lovingly raised her four children. Despite her son’s ongoing support in ensuring her independence, she requires further aid in preserving the home’s exterior. That’s where volunteers from the City of Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) came in.
On a cloudy day in May, a group of enthusiastic HOST volunteers arrived armed with paintbrushes and ladders, ready to make a meaningful impact at Sanchez’s house. And because of HOST and Brothers Redevelopment’s shared dedication in preventing displacement, the volunteer match proved to be a perfect fit.
“I think the service goes a long way. Across the community there are limited resources to help people age in place,” said HOST Program Officer and Paint-A-Thon Volunteer Ian Cohn. “It’s a growing need with the boomer generation continuing to age and outpacing the number of services. The Paint-A-Thon has a huge impact on someone’s ability to receive maintenance on their home that they otherwise maybe couldn’t afford. And it revitalizes certain neighborhoods that are vulnerable to displacement — which is a commitment of ours.”
The paint job was unfortunately postponed halfway through HOST’s volunteer day because of weather — but the group didn’t let that stop them from still making a positive impact. As rain began to pour, HOST volunteers made their way to Brothers’ warehouse to help organize our garage, clean worksite trucks, organize paint inventory, and to clean our space to help support future projects.
“(The Paint-A-Thon) really served to reinforce what I personally view as the importance of volunteering and the importance of our department and our employees going out into the community. We contract so much of our direct services, so we don’t often get to be out in the community and be a part of tangible services,” said Cohn. “I think for a lot of us, it reinforces the opportunities to engage with each other and make a positive impact on the community.”
HOST invests resources, creates policies, and partners with organizations to keep people in the homes they already live in, to quickly resolve an experience of homelessness, and to connect people to affordable housing opportunities. The department accomplishes those feats by stabilizing people at risk of involuntary displacement and connecting them to housing resources; supporting people experiencing a crisis and connecting them to shelter services and short-term and permanent housing; creating and preserving affordable housing; and by connecting residents at any income level to new housing opportunities.
Brothers administers various housing assistance programs for the City and County of Denver, including the City’s Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program, and the Denver Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
For more information about HOST, visit https://denvergov.org/Government/Agencies-Departments-Offices/Agencies-Departments-Offices-Directory/Department-of-Housing-Stability.