UCC-related Archway Housing and Services Inc. in Lakewood, Colo., is helping low-income families and veterans come home for the holidays. Its newest project, The Flats at Two Creeks, opens Dec. 16. One quarter of the 78 units are set aside for disabled, previously-homeless, low-income veterans, with the rest filled by low-income individuals and families.
With the opening of The Flats, “Archway will now have 642 apartments and townhomes” for low- and very low-income families and veterans, says Joyce Alms-Ransford, Archway CEO. Services also will expand in other ways, too, she adds. A new family care coordinator “will provide essential services like a food pantry every week, recreational and cultural activities, employment assistance, and help coordinating referral services.”
The care coordinator will work with the veterans in the building in an outreach capacity, Alms-Ransford says, although a case manager from the local Veterans Administration will have an office in the building.
The Flats at Two Creeks is the result of strong local partnerships. In addition to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ VA Eastern Colorado, the project also has the support of the Colorado Division of Housing, Jefferson Center for Mental Health in Wheat Ridge, Colo., HUD, and the Rocky Mountain Human Services in Denver, among others.
As with other Archway buildings, The Flats has been outfitted with solar panels, thanks to GRID Alternatives’ Women in Solar program. An all-female crew of volunteers installed the new panels, which will save about $2,000 a month in utilities.
“This cost savings is significant, especially as Archway pays all of the utilities to ensure that no one is out of power, and that the building isn’t compromised by areas that would freeze if the power was off,” Alms-Ransford says. “Grid Alternatives is a local nonprofit solar installer. This is the first time we have had a ‘Women’s Build’ event on our solar installations — which I personally was delighted to have.”
Key to the success of all of Archway’s low-income housing efforts is the additional support services provided to the residents, which include programs for latch-key children and youth.
“Our most important characteristic is our family services program, which works with residents in their journeys to greater self-sufficiency,” says Robinson Lapp, board president of Archway. “We even have a fleet of vans that take our kids on educational and recreational outings.”
Alms-Ransford agrees. “This is the 11th community that Archway has either built or purchased and rehabbed,” she adds. “Every building has those essential services for youth or adults, to help provide them with a better quality of life, and to ensure that the children are constructively occupied during the time their parents are away at work.”
Since its founding in 1995, CHHSM member Archway Housing & Services Inc. has remained steadfast to its commitment to provide service-enriched affordable housing for very low-to-moderate income families in the Metro Denver. Archway is an affiliate of the UCC’s regional Rocky Mountain Conference. Archway welcomes donations to help offset an annual services cost of more than $300,000.