Some 27 years ago, a collective of community agencies saw the need for affordable housing, as well as related supportive services. Since then, The Inn Between of Longmont, Inc. has been serving diverse people facing homelessness in the St. Vrain Valley.
“Over time, our community’s need for affordable housing for very low-income families and support for people facing homelessness has only grown,” says Executive Director Tim Rakow. “In response, we currently operate six buildings – comprising 88 units, from single rooms to three-bedrooms – and serve more than 200 people every year.”
Specifically, in collaboration with a network of referring partner agencies, The Inn Between not only provides housing stability, but also helps its clients build the skills they need to establish overall stability, long-term.
“All our residents receive personalized support and resources to help break the cycle of homelessness,” explains Tim. “They may have a long history of homelessness, or one or more episodic experiences with homelessness due to job loss, health issues or whatnot.
“We believe supportive services are what anchor people. Supportive services offer a pathway for people to grow and create a success plan – not our goals for them, but their own plan for the life trajectory they envision for themselves.”
Continues Tim, “Our case managers and advocates facilitate in-house and external life skills trainings – as well as educational, scholarship, and tutoring opportunities – identified by the people we serve. We aim to be in alignment with where they’re at.”
This approach – prompting clients to identify their personal goals and set a plan to meet them – yields overwhelmingly positive results. According to Tim, nine out of 10 “graduates” of safe, time-limited, low-cost supportive housing get into stable housing after leaving The Inn.
The nonprofit also provides no-cost housing for teens who are facing homelessness, and permanent affordable housing for the elderly or people with disabilities. These residents pay roughly 30% of adjusted monthly gross income for rent.
“We like to complement where the gaps are,” concludes Tim, who’s currently enjoying his participation in SVP’s leadership training for nonprofit executives. “And we do that by collaborating throughout our community. We’re more successfully with others, than if we work alone.”