The nonprofit that runs the tiny-home village in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood is trying a novel approach to its latest fundraising campaign.
The group has appealed to the major donors who contributed funds to Together Denver, the campaign that soundly defeated Initiative 300 – the so-called “Right to Survive” referendum.
The initiative – which sought to overturn Denver’s urban camping ban and assert the right of the homeless to live on the streets – lost in a landslide with 82% of voters rejecting the measure on the city's May 7 ballot.
Together Denver raised more than $2.4 million for the campaign, outspending the Right to Survive supporters by a ratio of more than 23-1.
Some advocates and providers for homeless people – who did not endorse Initiative 300 – questioned if some of that money could have been better spent on homelessness services.
The Colorado Village Collaborative – which oversees the tiny-home village – sent a letter to 89 donors who contributed $500 or more to the Together Denver fund, said Cole Chandler, an organizer with the collaborative.
So far, they have received a check for $1,000 from one of those donors, who wished to remain anonymous, Chandler said.
“There could still be others, so we’re grateful,” he said.
A May 23 solicitation letter from Rev. Amanda Henderson, chair of the Colorado Village Collaborative board, stated: “The energy and interest generated by Initiative 300 has sparked a new engagement for us all to explore how 'we can do better' together.”
Henderson noted that the first tiny-home village has provided alternative housing to formerly homeless people for almost two years, starting in the River North neighborhood. The 11 small homes and 12 people who live in them relocated to city owned property in Globeville about one month ago.
“Tiny Home Villages are not THE solution,” Henderson wrote.
“As the Together Denver Team put it: ‘homelessness and housing are complex issues that demand thoughtful solutions. We need both short-term and long-term commitment,’’ she wrote. “Tiny Home Villages are one piece of a much larger puzzle—but they are a proven piece and worthy of expansion.”
The funds sought from Together Denver contributors are part of a larger fund-raising effort aimed at adding eight additional homes and a new community center to the tiny home village in Globeville, Chandler said.
The overall goal is to raise $160,000 by July 31. Henderson noted that would be about 5% of what the two sides raised during the Initiative 300 campaign.
The collaborative has a commitment of $80,000 in matching funds for that drive, Chandler said. So far, it has raised $27,000.
He said anyone interested in contributing to the fund can send checks to the Colorado Village Collaborative at 1373 Grant Street, Denver, CO 80203.