Solutions to Homelessness
COLORADO LT. GOV. DONNA LYNNE and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock were among community leaders celebrating the opening of Sanderson Apartments, the Mental Health Center of Denver’s newest permanent supportive housing building.
People who experience homelessness often cycle in and out of jail. This affects their well-being and comes at a cost to taxpayers. As part of Denver’s social impact bond, Sanderson Apartments provides housing and supportive services to help stabilize people caught in the homelessness-jail cycle.
Sanderson Apartments is one of the first buildings in the nation built using trauma-informed care principles. The building provides a safe, open and inviting environment that minimizes the effects of trauma. There are as few walls as possible and clear sight lines throughout. It avoids any sense of confinement, and ensures that residents feel safe. The open and airy space has abundant natural light to create a connection with the outdoors.
“The people living in Sanderson Apartments have experienced traumatic events in their life. These events have shaped the way they react to certain situations,” said JoAnn Toney, director of residential services for the Mental Health Center of Denver. “We wanted to provide a safe, trusting and healing environment for residents to socialize and create a sense of community.”
Sanderson Apartments is the largest housing project the Mental Health Center of Denver has built to date. The three-story building includes 60 one-bedroom, furnished apartments with on-site staff. Amenities include a wellness center, library, art room and safe courtyard.
A Solution to End Homelessness
Permanent supportive housing is nationally recognized as a proven solution to end homelessness. Using a housing first model, a person is connected to housing with the option to access services to meet their individual needs. A case manager is assigned to each Sanderson Apartments resident to support independent living skills and connect them to resources and services.
“Sanderson Apartments is a testament to our mission to improve lives. When people have a safe place to live and access to supportive services, they can work toward overall well-being,” said Carl Clark, MD, president and CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver. “We continue to look for solutions to homelessness through partnerships and innovative funding options.”
We are partnering with St. Andrews Episcopal Church to build our next permanent supportive apartment homes. Larger apartments will be available to allow families to remain together. Ground breaking is expected in spring 2019.