Before the Medeiros and Correa families learned that they’d been chosen to move into the duplex, they were both living at the Jeffco Action Center, a homeless shelter in the Denver area. Now the three-bedroom unit of the new duplex will be home to the Medeiros family, while the Correa family will live in the adjacent two-bedroom unit. They will pay about 30 percent of their income in rent. Two years from now other families will move into the duplex, and this process will continue for years to come, so that this EM:HE project will ultimately touch many homeless families.
HomeAid America, a non-profit organization that builds shelters, Colorado Homeless Families, a non-profit that provides transitional housing and services for homeless families, and Builder Captain Standard Pacific Homes came together to help these two families with transitional housing until they can become financially self-sufficient. Both families are extremely grateful for the opportunity to have a home and for the restored determination that they can once again work at making their goals and dreams come true.
Frankie and Noreen Correa and their four children—Alex, 14, Andrew, 11, Adam, nine, and four-year-old Destiny – had been living in the homeless shelter for almost nine weeks. Frankie used to have a well-paying job working at a box and packaging company. His salary had been enough to support his family. But he was one of 30 people his company laid off after the September 11 terrorist attacks. A three-year slide of other company downsizes, job shortages and part-time work eventually left him without enough money to pay the rent. On cold days, Noreen and little Destiny would ride a bus for hours to keep warm until the shelter opened at 5:00 p.m.
Dusty Medeiros, the mother of two boys—DaShawn, eight, and Ivan, four—had been working at a computer store for eight years. But her life began to unravel when she and her boyfriend broke up, and the financial challenge of raising two children on a single income was overwhelming. Without a second income, she could no longer afford her apartment, and she bounced from friend to friend with no permanent place for her or her two young children.
While the contractors, designers and more than 600 crew members and volunteers from local service providers joined forces with the EM:HE design team to build the duplex from the ground up in just seven days, the Correa and Medeiros families enjoyed a vacation at Disney World.