Homeless job program on Colfax to offer housing

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In a new partnership with Ready to Work, the Colfax Works program will expand into offering transitional housing and case management support for working crews, according to a news release from the Colfax Ave Business Improvement District (BID).

The BID launched the Colfax Works program as a three-month pilot last summer. The program offers maintenance jobs for homeless individuals. The crews are responsible for graffiti removal, trash cleanup, litter and sticker removal within the BID boundaries, the release said. The Colfax Ave BID is located from Grant to Josephine streets and between 14th and 16th avenues.

Colfax Works continued into 2019 with funding from Denver Human Services. Ready to Work is a program run by Bridge House, a Boulder-based nonprofit that creates programs and services for the homeless. Participants in Colfax Works will receive case management from Ready to Work and will be able to live in dormitory housing. After one year in the program, they can graduate into mainstream jobs and permanent housing.

“Our mission is to transform lives of people experiencing homelessness through the power of work while improving the community,” said Isabel McDevitt, CEO of Ready to Work and its parent organization, Bridge House, in the release. “This partnership to help keep Colfax clean and thriving while creating jobs for our Ready to Work trainees is a true win/win for our organization.”

Colfax BID staff are hoping that permanent job opportunities will come from the businesses within the area.

“We saw fantastic support from the business community during the pilot project,” said Michelle Valeri, communications and programs director for the Colfax Ave BID in the release. “We’re working to help build those relationships so when businesses in the district are hiring, our crew members are the first people they contact.”

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