This month, my family celebrates one year of my mother-in-law living in our backyard. Don’t worry! Grandma isn’t sleeping in a tent nestled between the lawnmower and the swing set. This loving retired nurse is living her best life in the 600-square-foot addition off the back of our attached garage. She beams as she heads off to the Senior Center for her morning swim class, pops in on neighbors to offer nursing care, helps transport our teenage kids in between doing loads of laundry while we work, and tells everyone who will listen to her that she’s never been happier. She belongs here.
United Way of Larimer County strives to create this sense of belonging for everyone in our community. From beautiful partnerships unfolding at our Fort Collins Community Impact Center with new organizations moving into the building to helping quadruple Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center’s capacity to serve children ages 0-5 at the Loveland Youth Campus, and joining forces with every housing provider in Larimer County to ensure we have accessible, affordable, and diverse options of housing, this work says to our community: you belong here.
However, across Northern Colorado, people like my mother-in-law, other retirees, workers, and families cannot find a place to call home. For 65 years, United Way has provided funding and support for housing assistance programs through our commitment to financial stability. We are honored to work alongside housing providers, impacted residents, and business leaders on advancing necessary policy changes to address our housing crisis. We are OneVoice for Housing.
The solution is complex and starts with updating our land use codes to ensure we have enough inventory to meet the array of housing types needed for the inclusive, diverse and thriving community to which we aspire. From backyard granny flats to mixed-income developments to mobile homes and more, we are working towards a housing stock that says, “you belong here.”
For many year’s United Way’s tagline has been Give, Advocate, Volunteer. We invite you to embrace all three with us as we increase our impact across Larimer County! Visit www.uwaylc.org to get involved today!