Denver non-profit facing closure as rents rise

DENVER - The 30-room building at 3405 Downing St. has been a the perfect home for the last three years.

"This building was made for us," said Nancy Hortman, the co-founder of A Community Taking a Stand, a transitional housing program for homeless men - mostly veterans.

"We had a lot of success stories, a lot of success stories," Hortman added.

The location was a dream come true, which made it that much harder when Hortman had to tell the 41 men living here they had to leave by Friday.

"I was hoping and praying someone would buy the building for us," Hortman said.

This summer, Hortman learned the rent for her space would jump from $3,500 per month to more than $9,000 per month starting in September.

"I've poured my heart into this mission," Hortman said. "I feel like I've failed."

For Robert Redmond, Hortman and ACTS were supposed to be a saving grace.

"She's nothing short of an angel," said Redmond, one of the men living at ACTS.

Redmond says he needed about two months to collect enough rent to get back on his feet. He moved to ACTS four weeks ago. It wasn't enough time.

"It's heartbreaking to have so many bad things happen to me so fast," he said.

"The rents right now are affecting everybody in different ways," said Marty Zimmerman of ZIM Consulting, Inc., a non-profit consulting firm.

"It's based on the homeowner association or the neighborhood association wanting them to be there in additional to just, can they go and find a place," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman says he has not seen other non-profits closing as a result of high rent. Instead, he says, non-profits are looking for creative ways to decrease overhead as prices rise.

Back at ACTS, Hortman says she hasn't found another location. Her efforts to help the men find a new home are now on hold.

"We tried to hang on here as long as we could," she said.

To help, please visit the ACTS' website. Hortman can be reached at

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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