This past Wednesday, we held the groundbreaking ceremony for the Attention Homes Apartments. With over 75 supporters in attendance, we officially broke ground on the site at 1440 Pine Street and paid tribute to all who helped to make this day a reality. Following is an excerpt from remarks made by Claire Clurman, our Executive Director.

It’s hard to believe that this odyssey began back in 2014. Our runaway and homeless youth program was five years old and we struggled with clients safely exiting our shelter. A 21-60 day stay was not enough time for a vulnerable young person to stabilize and live independently; and for those 21-24 years of age, their situation was dire. We had to do better.

With the help of the Governor’s office, the CO Department of Local Affairs and Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, we participated in a toolkit that inspired us to seek out partners who together could leverage their individual strengths as developers, property managers and service providers to build supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness. It was there that we met Shannon Cox Baker, Ryan Hibbard Jones and Gardner Capital and never looked back.

Together with our Board of Directors, staff and clients, we began to envision a community where young people who had no home or sense of belonging could live, heal, thrive and transform their lives. Whether its 12 months or 3 years, 40 young people ages 18-24 will soon have a roof over their head and the support they need.

Deep gratitude goes to many at Gardner Capital, Capital One, National Equity Fund, Studio Architecture, Deneuve Construction, JB Fieldworks and hundreds of supporters who embraced this project and endured hours of community meetings, planning board and council hearings, and wrote letters on our behalf.

To the First United Methodist Church of Boulder, our founders and partners for 52 years, this congregation has stood by our side with a strong belief in our work, the potential of our youth and this unique project. Their gift of land and the largest historic landmarking in the city is truly extraordinary.

Thank you to our funders and partners: Boulder County, the City of Boulder, Boulder Housing Partners, CDOH, CHFA, BCHHS, and Mental Health Partners; along with BCAP, and OutBoulder and FUMC congregants who are graciously putting up with our construction zone for the next 17 months. To the Planning and Landmarks Boards, City Council members and Commissioners…we appreciate the hours you spent with us as well as opposing community members, challenging us to make this the best project that it could be for Boulder.

As we look to the future with hope and excitement, know that we’ll remain true to our values and steadfast to the mission of providing life-changing resources to youth in crisis because we truly envision a world in which young person has a safe place to live and the attention they need.