For many years now, Dry Bones has been casting a vision around the needs of “Rehab, Housing, and Employment.” These have been three major missing opportunities in Denver for Dry Bones’ specific population of youth and young adults. Dry Bones desires to be a part of the solution by innovating new opportunities in these areas. Purple Door Coffee, our job training program, was born from this vision.
We have now spent the last few years strengthening partnerships with local housing providers and rehab specialists. (Read about Dry Bones’ intentionality in partnership over ownership here.)
Providence Network (PN) quickly shared in the vision of Dry Bones’ need for youth/young adult housing, and a beautiful new partnership began! (For more than 30 years, PN has been specializing in transformational housing in Denver.)
As Dry Bones and Providence Network continued to dream and plan and pray, we began actively looking for this “future home.” Thanks to a generous donation from the Silver Lining Foundation and many other donors, Providence Network was enabled to purchase an incredible property that has now become the home to fulfill this vision. PN completely renovated this beautiful home over the course of 18 months.
Letter from Derek Kuykendall, PN Executive Director (from Nov, 2015):
For 28 years Providence Network (PN) has been serving Denver’s homeless through transitional and affordable housing. Hundreds of individuals and families have overcome addictions, domestic violence and poverty while living in one of PN’s homes. We believe PN has a unique and successful model with staff living in community alongside residents. A true sense of family is created in PN homes where accountability, paired with grace, leads residents on a path toward self-sufficiency.
Based on our success and a desire to meet a growing need in our city, over the next two years Providence Network will be expanding and partnering with Dry Bones to include a home dedicated to homeless young adults, many of whom have failed or aged out of the state foster care system. Most of these kids started life with two strikes against them and have very few positives in their lives on which to anchor hope. They have a deep seeded need for family. On the streets they seek protection, comfort, and belonging from clusters of other “street kids.” Theirs is a culture of survival-at-any-cost. This very real need for family is why we believe Providence Network‘s approach of living in community together will have special impact. We want to change the trajectory of a young person’s life from hopelessness and destruction to a bright future with ongoing support.
Our vision is to create a beautiful, welcoming home for these young adults. A place that will be around for generations to come. A place they will always be welcomed to come back to for holidays. A place that will always feel like home. We believe we have found this home. It was built in 1893, is over 5,000 SQ FT and includes a separate carriage house. We believe with a little rehab and construction we can make this beautiful historic Denver house a warm home.
Who is this home for?
Young adults between the ages of 18 and 30. It’s been designed for friends of Dry Bones! As you know, our friends are often houseless, may be struggling with substance abuse, have mental and physical health issues, may be unemployed, and often are without supportive family.
How many people will live in the home?
10-14 program residents at a time plus additional 4 staff members living on site in the house.
What does the program look like?
The transitional housing program has been designed for this specific and unique population. The house provides structure, accountability, and promotes reaching individual and communal goals. Generally speaking, the program is based on Providence Network’s “live-in community” model. The staff live in the house (separate rooms) along with the residents. Everyone shares a kitchen, bathrooms, and common areas. Meals are shared together. The live-in staff act as mentors and care coordinators to residents and include guidance towards self-sufficiency using a goal plan. Residents have access to 1:1 and group counseling and support in house. Residents conquering addictions participate in recovery groups within the community as well as through outpatient rehabilitation programs. Residents follow an employment or education (or combination of both) plan that will fill at least 35 hours per week of “productive” time. Residents participate in daily/weekly chores around the house. They pay a small amount monthly as a “program fee” to cover a portion of the services they receive including housing rent, food, and all utilities. Residents participate in the program for up to 24 months. Success is achieved and measured in 30 day increments. Ultimately, longterm completion of the program (achieved self-sufficiency goals) will graduate residents into permanent affordable housing.
What happens when someone graduates the full program?
Providence Network provides two levels of housing. FirstStep (described above) and NextStep housing which is independent apartment living. A NextStep apartment is affordable (rents set at 35-40% AMI), is drug and alcohol free, and includes supportive services. PN currently owns and operates three apartment buildings in the Five Points neighborhood.
Who “owns” the house and program?
Providence Network owns the home, oversees staff, and manages the program – doing what they do best! Providence Network has assumed a huge amount of risk and responsibility in this partnership that has not been taken lightly by Dry Bones. We are so grateful for their leadership and adventuresome faith-filled spirit in partnering with Dry Bones. This pioneering and generous partnership is truly unique in the city. Dry Bones and Silver Lining Staff meet weekly to coordinate wrap-around care for all residents.
What role does Dry Bones play in this home? Where will the residents come from?
Dry Bones will supply residents for the home. DB staff and volunteers will carry the Dry Bones community and family directly into the home with supportive care, ongoing one-on-one pastoral support, and much more. We won’t simply be dropping them off at the front door. The home is intended to be a strong and life-long partnership in ministry between Providence Network and Dry Bones – with roles, expectations, services, and gifts shared and clearly defined. PN’s specialty is housing and rehabilitation. Dry Bones specialty is street-level, front-lines, longterm relationship and community building. Both organizations strongly share the value of lifelong family relationships, community, and spiritual impact.
When will the home be up and running?
The home officially received its first resident on Thursday, June 14, 2018! Full and part-time staff for the home are Tim and Denise Henderson, Mike Sandgren, and Maggie Cashman.
Can I drive by and see the house?
With residents living in the home, the address is now unpublished. If you would like to learn more about the house, please contact Matt.
What about zoning permits for a transition home?
In September of 2015, the city of Denver unanimously issued the proper permits for the property to operate as a small group home for transitioning residents.
Will this home increase the budgetary needs of Dry Bones?
As the home is owned by Providence Network, the Dry Bones budget is not increased in any major way at this point. Dry Bones has hired one additional staff member to help with the additional strain of time on our team. PN is courageously and faithfully taking on additional risk and budget increases.
longs NEEDS to see this project prosper! Our friends are depending on it. This home has been a life-changing blessing, excitement every day, and a challenging endeavor. The experience of changing our lives is never easy. Thanks for praying for the Silver Lining House and its residents!
Here are a few early pics of the unfinished home from 2014: