ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4)– A new 15,000 sq. ft. facility will provide teen mothers and their kids a safe place to call home. Hope House Colorado celebrated the grand opening of its new resource center on Thursday.
Hope House Colorado will serve 450 Colorado teen moms and 675 children each year.
Hope House Colorado founder and executive director Lisa Stevens said she couldn’t be more thrilled to see the idea come to fruition after six years of planning. Her desire to come alongside teen moms and help them came naturally.
“My husband and I were teenage parents and we have a heart for teenage moms,” Stevens told CBS4’s Mekialaya White.
That is why she’s been passionate about finalizing the new space and upgrade: she’s been there.
“Most of the moms we work with at Hope House are trying to break the cycle of generational poverty for themselves and their little ones. So, often they come from homes where they’ve experienced abuse or there’s domestic violence. Many have experienced homelessness,” Stevens explained.
The new space will provide educational programs, including GED, high school, and college prep courses. In addition, the young women can learn practical, real-life skills with relationship classes. And while they do it, Stevens hopes that sense of togetherness grows all the more.
“And one of my things I’m excited to see is our teens eating together in our dining room. We had a mama once say, ‘Can we have a little more for lunch? It’s the only meal my son and I are eating every day,’” said Stevens.
Alondra Picazo knows the journey to self-sufficiency first-hand. She was only 17 when she became pregnant with her son Aiden, who is now 7 years old. She quickly fell into homelessness.
“Right before I graduated high school, my dad ended up going to jail and my mom was in Texas. So, I ended up moving in with youth pastors, but temporarily. I didn’t have a place to live,” Picazo said.
But, her resiliency propelled her; she found Hope House a short time after that. She says it has been a lifesaver for her and her little guy.
“It’s just – I don’t think there’s words to describe it to describe how proud of myself and how thankful I am for Hope House. People always ask me, ‘How have you done it? You have a kid and you work!’ And Hope House has been my community,” Picazo said.
That sense of community is something that has even helped grow some of her strongest supporters.
“Having someone else to lean on and say, ‘Yeah, I’m going through that, too.’ Or ‘I get those stares at the grocery store, too.’ It’s empowering, even my best friend, I met her here. She has her own business now. That to me is motivation. I’m going to get my degree and we’re going to show people we can do it,” said Picazo with a smile.
The grand opening for the Hope House center is Thursday afternoon at 6475 Benton Street.
LINK: Hope House Colorado