Denver Catholic, Oct. 30, 2017 – Thanks to Catholic Charities’ newly opened Guadalupe Apartments, this winter will be the first in seven that Christopher Llamas won’t be homeless.
“January 1 would have been the first day of the eighth year,” the 26-year-old told the Denver Catholic. “I lived under bridges and anywhere else I could find cover.”
Now he has a fully furnished studio apartment and supportive services to address the issues that led to his homelessness, which he said was trouble keeping a job due to cognitive disabilities suffered from shaken baby syndrome.
“I’m so grateful,” Llamas said about his recently acquired home. “To be able to stay warm in winter is awesome. … It’s a chance to get adjusted to normal life.”
Llamas was among some 125 people including Guadalupe Apartment residents, affordable housing leaders, stakeholders and government officials attending the Oct. 27 grand opening of Weld County’s first large-scale permanent supportive housing complex.
Located at 1520 N. 11th Ave. in Greeley, Guadalupe Apartments aims to give low-income and homeless individuals and families a path to housing stability.
“This isn’t just an apartment building,” Justin Raddatz, executive director of Archdiocesan Housing Inc., an arm of Catholic Charities, told the Denver Catholic. “It’s a home with a coach.”
The $13.5 million Guadalupe Apartments consists of 47 studio, one- and two-bedroom furnished units that combine non-time-limited affordable housing assistance with onsite supportive services, including case management, mental health assessments, and employment resources.
Home with a coach: Catholic Archdiocese of Denver team helps remove barriers to skills, jobs, medical care
“The case managers purpose is to serve the residents and remove the barriers that are blocking them from achieving their goals—from needing medical referrals to learning Microsoft Word to get a job,” Raddatz said. “That’s what the Archdiocesan Housing team provides to all the residents free of charge.”