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May 21, 2010 - RMHDC: Making homes and lives better for the homeless

What: Rocky Mountain HDC's 15th Anniversary Celebration

Where: The Cornerstone Residences at St. Francis Center

When: Friday, May 21, 2010

Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Host(s): Rocky Mountain HDC

EMCEE: Joyce Alms-Ransford

Executive Director: Joyce Alms-Ransford

President(s): David Nestor

Staff: Joyce Alms-Ransford, Yvonne Monson, Paul Reid, Mark Jellison, Brooke Jackson Chandler, Tawnya Bockman Russell, Justine Hernandez, Christa Wynne, Eric Duran, Fred Gonzalas, Yvette Jarvis, Ashley Gilbert, Oscar Agulair, Ursula Burns, Mary Sorrentino, Pedro Reyes, Nancy Wyllie, Tim Dodge, Steve Metzger, Christine Martinez, Fred Wollerman

Welcome: Joyce Alms-Ransford

Speaker: Rick Garcia, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Region VIII

Catering: Three Tomatoes

Of note: Dedication of the Cornerstone Residences’ Community Room in Memory of Jan McKee, Key Bank CDC

Sponsors: Key Bank

Quote of the evening: "This is an investment in human beings"

Attendance: 75

Event Coordinator: Brooke Jackson Chandler

Decor/Rental Company: Party Time

Board of Directors: David Nestor, Justin Lauber, Clark Smyth, Robinson Lapp, Christa Chamberlain, Yvette Craddock, Katie Crenshaw, William Eha, Margo Fresquez, Jeff Jones, Lynda Junker, Melissa A. Larsen, Anne Lovett, Christine Soto, Janine St. James

Blacktie Photos by: Steven Shoppman

 Rocky Mountain HDC's President David Nestor
Rocky Mountain HDC's President David Nestor

Just down the street from the Cornerstone Residences is a sign that most Denverites know very well.  It is the cross above the Denver Rescue Mission reading, "Jesus Saves." Here, in this building, homeless are given temporary shelter and food to try to help them through their hard times.  At the Cornerstone Residences at St. Francis Center, the Rocky Mountain HDC has approached homelessness in a different way.


Instead of trying to help the immediate situation of a person not having a home, the Cornerstone Residences are an attempt to address the root of the problem of chronic homelessness.  The Cornerstone residences give those in need a home that they can feel comfortable in and provide programs that focus on giving these unfortunate people new skills from parenting to job training, all while putting them in comfortable living quarters.

As Thomas Borges, one of the residents said, "Even the word homeless sucks.  Just imagine how impossible it is to turn your life around when you are standing in line for a meal on the street and sharing sleeping quarters with hundreds of other homeless people."  Thomas is right, the likelihood of success for someone like him was near impossible before he got his chance at the Cornerstone Residences.

Another resident spoke about her situation as a mother with four children who was homeless. Brenda Richards had nowhere to go, and a homeless shelter was only a temporary fix for her and her family.  She has been getting parenting lessons and help to make sure that her children are in school and being raised in a good environment.

David Nestor, Robb Lapp, and others were honored for their work with this project and their fight against homelessness.  After 15 years being in business, the Rocky Mountain HDC has proven its worth.  At this 15th anniversary celebration, the community room at the residences was dedicated to Jan McKee, one of the people who worked so hard to get this project off the ground.  She has passed away, but her memory and good works will live on helping thousands more in the years to come.  David Nestor spoke about the mission of the HDC saying, "This is an investment in human beings."  His heartfelt speech speaks true about something we often forget about, thank goodness for people like him, Jan McKee and all the people who are putting so much time and effort into fighting homelessness.



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