Denver, CO– Business and community leaders, volunteers, and donors joined forces yesterday morning to support Mercy Housing Colorado, a national non-profit based in Denver that builds and manages affordable housing in Colorado and nationwide.
CohnReznick LLP, one of the nation’s leading accounting, tax, and advisory firms, was the event’s “Bridging the Gap” Sponsor for Mercy Housing’s annual “Live In Hope” breakfast at the Denver Four Seasons. The annual fundraiser is the year’s most important charitable event for the organization’s Colorado operations. Guests learned about Mercy Housing Colorado and its role in the community as Denver’s affordable housing crisis continues.
“For every 100 extremely low income renters, only 28 can find affordable housing today,” Jane Graf, CEO and President of Mercy Housing, told guests. “In fact, right here in Denver, we are experiencing an unprecedented affordability crisis in the rental market…For low wage working families in our community, this is a crisis that impacts health, education, and the well-being of the children living in our community.
“The most important thing I have to do today is thank that team and everyone who supports Mercy Housing to do this important work,” she concluded.
Following Jane Graf’s speech, Carol Breslau, Mercy Housing’s Chief Philanthropy Officer, presented the Live In Hope award to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), honoring their efforts to increase affordable housing and build strong communities in Colorado.
“It always feels good to receive recognition, but it means even more when the recognition comes from a partner that you respect greatly and whose mission is aligned with your own,” said CHFA’s Chief Operating Officer, Jaime Gomez. “The issue of affordable housing is now front and center in this community and throughout Colorado…those that are most in need continue to struggle to achieve housing stability and economic prosperity.”
Guests also heard from Denae, a single mother and Mercy Housing resident, who shared her story.
After receiving a concussion while enjoying his hobby, boxing, Denae’s father lost his job. He was in and out of jail and struggled with alcoholism. Denae, once a good student, spent much of her time taking care of her younger sister. At the age of 17, she became pregnant, and did not graduate high school. Struggling to juggle the many responsibilities of being a full-time student, worker, and parent, Denae turned to alcohol in order to cope, eventually receiving a DUI. Today, she and her daughter have been living in a Mercy Housing community for 8 months. She is currently working, and wants to complete her GED and finish her associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. “I would like to use my degree to be a youth advocate,” she said. “I believe these sorts of problems start at a young age, and I want to help children avoid what my family went through when my dad was in court.
“Not everyone has the luxury of a safety net in their lives,” she concluded. “I am so fortunate to have found Mercy Housing as a foundation for me to build a better life and achieve my dreams despite the many challenges I’ve faced
The Live in Hope event raised more than $64,000 from sponsors and attendees.
To support Mercy Housing’s mission of providing safe, stable and affordable housing in Colorado for people with low-incomes, donate online at www.mercyhousing.org/co-donate.
About CohnReznick LLP
CohnReznick LLP is one of the top accounting, tax, and advisory firms in the United States, combining the resources and technical expertise of a national firm with the hands-on, entrepreneurial approach that today’s dynamic business environment demands. Headquartered in New York, NY, and with offices nationwide, CohnReznick serves a large number of diverse industries and offers specialized services for middle market and Fortune 1000 companies, private equity and financial service firms, government contractors, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations. The Firm, with origins dating back to 1919, has more than 2,7000 employees including nearly 300 partners and is a member of Nexia International, a global network of independent accountancy, tax, and business advisors. For more information, visit www.cohnreznick.com.
About Colorado Housing and Finance Authority
CHFA’s mission is to strengthen affordable housing and economic development across the state. We offer many financial resources to strengthen homeownership, affordable rental housing, and businesses. We also offer education classes and technical assistance to help our customers and partners succeed.
Our participating lenders and community partners help deploy resources statewide. Together with our partners, CHFA has invested more than $10 billion in Colorado’s economy.
About Mercy Housing Colorado
More than 2,000 low-income families with children, seniors and people with special needs live at Mercy Housing’s affordable rental homes in Denver, Durango, Fraser, and Fort Collins. In addition to homes that they can afford, residents can take advantage of on-site supportive services to build stable lives. Services include education in financial literacy and healthcare navigation, as well as after school programs to help children, health and wellness classes, and much more.