Connecting 2 Colorado: Family Homestead helps families when they need it most

DENVER -- For too many Denver families, the experience of homelessness is a reality.

“They are in circumstances that most of us cannot imagine,” explained Shalene Onyango with Family Homestead. Since 1978 the non-profit has offered homes and hope to families when they need it most.

“Helping parents so that they don’t have to make the hard choice about which parent goes to which shelter with which kids. That we are able to keep that family unit together,” added Onyango.

The non-profit was started 40 years ago to help moms and dads who were struggling to make ends meet and up against the rising rent rates in Denver. Onyango says the need for their kind go organization is greater than ever before. The 86 homes they have are almost always full.

“This is as hard as it has ever been to be a poor and homeless family in Denver. Our phones ring off the hook of people asking for help. When our families are looking at making $700-$900 after taxes a month, it’s just absolutely impossible ,” added Onyango.

The group offers emergency and transition homes where families can stay for months at a time. Case managers help families come up with a plan and give them the tools they need to reach the long-term goal of finding a permanent home.

“We address the issues that cause their homelessness,” explained Onyango.

Family Homestead does not take state and federal funding for program operations. For four decades they have relied on the community for funding and support. Onyango also says their volunteers are the starts of their organization. They are vital to Family Homestead’s mission.

For more information on Family Homestead, how to donate, or volunteer, visit the organization's website.