In the Spotlight
Greccio Housing is proud to be a resource for our low-income neighbors in need. Since 1990, Greccio has striven to be the leader in providing affordable housing opportunities and services for Colorado Springs.
2017 Eagle Award
Housing Colorado presented Greccio Housing with the prestigious Eagle Award at their annual Housing Colorado Now conference hosted in Vail, Colorado. Housing Colorado is a statewide, multi-sector membership association for affordable housing professionals. They are recognized throughout Colorado as a valuable resource, providing important information, education, advocacy, and networking services. Eagle Awards are given honoring key affordable housing leaders, programs and affordable housing projects throughout Colorado.
Residents living paycheck to paycheck often struggle to maintain secure housing and utilities while trying to cover the cost of food, clothing and medical care. When an unforeseen life crisis interrupts a family’s ability to meet basic financial obligations, everyday necessities are endangered and nonpayment of rent brings the risk of eviction. Eviction can have multiple negative consequences for families, including depression, a negative rental history, loss of social supports, poorer health, and high levels of stress. Greccio’s Eviction Prevention program can avert evictions due to the loss of income after life changing medical emergencies, death of a family member, divorce or separation. The Eviction Prevention program provides up to three months’ of financial support and intensive case management to keep families stably housed. While financial support is critical for immediate expenses, the personal support of the Case Manager is critical as the resident navigates emotional challenges, preparation for return to work, budgeting, and other stability-focused life skills.
According to the 2010 Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, “It isn’t enough to move people out of homelessness; we must keep people from falling into homelessness. The threat of homelessness most often occurs when a household has insufficient resources to cover housing costs. Unemployment, a health crisis, or the breakup of a family are the most common causes. The households most vulnerable to homelessness are those with no income or those earning significantly less than the federal poverty level.” The Colorado Springs Initiative to End Homelessness found that every chronically homeless individual costs taxpayers $57,760 each year. Greccio’s Eviction Prevention program provides our residents help through a one-time life crisis event, keeping them in affordable housing and stably housed, saving our community hundreds of thousands each year.
Since the program’s launch in October 2014, 27 families and 14 individuals were enrolled in the program. Of those 41 households, 35 successfully completed the program, 3 are currently enrolled, and only 5 were unsuccessful. 87.5% maintained their housing stability and were able to resume full control of their financial situations.
Greccio’s Resident Resource Center focuses on financial stability, life skills and literacy, health and wellness, nutrition and community gardens, along with community collaboration. These programming efforts, linked with affordable rent, help residents overcome the challenges of living on limited or lower incomes.
Lee Patke, Greccio Housing’s Executive Director, noted that “It’s an honor to be recognized for the work done in the lives of our residents and our community. When the paycheck of an already low-income family is lost due to an unexpected crisis, the threat of homelessness is real. Greccio exists to provide stable, safe, and supportive homes for the residents we serve, and we greatly appreciate SC Ministry Foundation for funding the Eviction Prevention pilot program. Our combined efforts have saved real people from eviction, and prevented the threat of homelessness for over 30 families, individuals, and children. From here, we hope to expand this worthwhile program.”