Written by Doug Yeiser--CEO of FoothillsUnited Way
Stable housing is a pretty basic need. Without it, folks experience stress, face uncertainty, and kids try to adjust to multiple schools in a single year as rising rents push a family from one apartment to the next.
Community is important! With stable housing, kids have confidence they “belong” somewhere, they have a sense of security and a platform for success. Stable housing allows kids and families to develop strong and supportive relationships with friends and neighbors, which contributes to resilience. Programs like Dream Big, a Foothills United Way “LIVE UNITED Collaborative”, combine the need for stable housing with resources to influence early childhood success, and help to build a community that literally surrounds families right where they live, with enrichment, mentoring and activities that lead to success.
Experts agree there is no single solution that leads to housing attainability. The complexity of the problem requires regional cooperation. That cooperation must address the Supply and the Demand sides of the equation. We have to make sure housing stock exists (preserving, renovating, building), and that people have the financial ability to obtain a place to call home (financial stability, asset-building).
Foothills United Way is active in both sides (supply and demand) of the equation. We encourage the meaningful goal-setting that will come from the recent county-wide Housing Summit that engaged elected officials from all municipal jurisdictions across Boulder County. We are a partner and promoter of Broomfield Housing Opportunities Coalition, which is making great strides in advancing awareness of the need for attainable housing and impacting policy and specific initiatives on the ground. United Way is also supporting the momentum of 4 efforts across our two counties, in which faith organizations are dedicating real estate to attainable housing. Our Personal Investment Enterprise, a long-proven, successful matched savings program with built-in financial literacy education, has helped 114 households gain the means to move into stable housing in Boulder and Broomfield counties!
Attainable housing for our communities is a long road and needs to be supported by all of us, if we are to live and work in a community that includes and welcomes a variety of neighbors. Seniors, young families, first responders, teachers, nurses, and many more – all add value and give our community a breadth and depth of energy and experience we would not have otherwise.
We invite you to join us in our quest to LIVE UNITED!