DENVER (CBS4)– There was a celebration on Tuesday afternoon for more affordable housing in Denver. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless hosted a grand opening for the Fusion Studios on Quebec Street.
“Anyone who has walked through the downtown Denver knows we have a growing crisis in terms of homelessness and encampments. Being able to provide almost instant housing for folks was really something we couldn’t pass up,” said John Parvensky, the President of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH).
Over the summer, Parvensky found out an old Quality Inn on North Quebec Street was up for sale. State, city and even private resources came together so CCH could purchase the property.
“To be able to create 139 units of housing in less than seven months is really spectacular,” Parvensky said.
Fusion Studios will house people who are struggling to find an affordable place to live. That includes some who are experiencing homelessness.
“Not only an affordable place to lay their head, but access to mental health and addiction counseling, employment services, and other health supports to be able to improve their lives,” Parvensky said.
Gov. Jared Polis was at the celebration.
“This is a fantastic project. An example of getting to a place quicker and at a lower cost by being creative. But we know there’s many more who need help. The cost of living continues to increase not just in the Denver metro area, but across Colorado and in many cases wages just haven’t kept up,” Polis said. “Investing in supporting housing interventions is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do. Reducing emergency spending, improving health outcomes, and helping make sure people can support themselves by having an incentive to work without having to spend every single penny on housing.
The new building has 139 units for individuals and couples to live in. Kitchenettes were added to the hotel rooms to make it more comfortable for long-term tenants. Laundry and a community food pantry have also been added.
“By providing housing we can reduce the avoidable costs of expensive health care through emergency rooms, through detox and other interventions. And we can help improve the health status of the individuals we serve, reducing the cost to the community,” Parvensky said.