q Supportive housing for single-parent families: Warren Village - Denver Foundation

Supportive housing for single-parent families: Warren Village

May 6, 2024

When Annette Alexander became a single parent, she remembered a program with supportive housing her cousin told her about, Warren Village.  

Warren Village is a nationally recognized leader in moving people from poverty toward self-sufficiency. Warren Village exists so low-income, single-parent families can achieve sustainable personal and economic self-sufficiency. That’s exactly what Alexander was looking for.  

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Annette Alexander

While at Warren Village, Alexander took advantage of the evening life-skill classes on things like finances. She was able to pay off her credit card debt, and graduate college.

“I achieved all of that in addition to being a single parent and developing the type of mother I wanted to be,” said Alexander proudly. 

Alexander graduated with a degree in communications from the University of Colorado at Denver. “I took the scenic route toward my degree, but my daughter was able to attend my graduation ceremony which was very special,” said Alexander. Shortly after graduating, Alexander was able to find a job.  

She is now the alumni navigator at Warren Village. “I was able to do a lot of things here in the program, be successful, and then I returned to Warren Village to give back to the community and be an inspiration to other single-parent families,” she said.  

Alexander provides two years of direct supportive services to residents, post-move-out. Anything from food bank information to helping folks enroll in Medicaid. “It really depends on the family’s household composition and their unique circumstances,” explained Alexander.  

“Without the support of Warren Village, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”  

With safe, consistent, and affordable housing, Warren Village believes families can achieve economic mobility and navigate and disrupt the systems of poverty. The shelter offers two- to three-year transitional housing in 92 apartments for single-parent families at their campus.  

All of the single parents who live in Warren Village were previously unhoused or experiencing housing instability which is why it is so important for the organization to offer wrap-around services to ensure these families no longer experience housing instability. Rent is based on their income, and it can range from $25 a month to 30% of their total income.  

Each resident is supported to work toward personal goals such as physical and mental health, financial management, education, and housing stability.

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Ethan Hemming, CEO of Warren Village

Warren Village offers child care on the same campus, making it easy for parents to access this service so they can take these educational courses.  

“Annette personifies our program perfectly,” said Ethan Hemming, CEO of Warren Village. 

The program is broken down into several sections, adult supportive services and early learning on the same campus. “That’s what makes us a two-generation model,” said Hemming.

Warren Village provides the support, the parent does the work. The campus has a food bank and staff never think twice about bringing in outside partners like mental health counseling to meet the needs of their residents.  

Families need to be referred to Warren Village by one of their partners including the Colorado Department of Human Services. “Once you move in, that’s your foundation,” explained Hemming. “People have time to decide if they want to keep working, find a job, quit their current job and focus on their education, or any other goals.” 

Hemming is grateful for funding from The Denver Foundation’s Community Grants Program and for the additional support from the foundation’s fundholders.   

“The networking, relationships, and knowledge that the staff at The Denver Foundation provides is unmatched,” he said. “I can call them informally with questions about endowments, for example, and they’ll provide guidance. Or if I need connections to other nonprofits, they help with that, too.” 

“We believe that’s the best chance to help people. If we can provide holistic support for the parent and the child in one place, at one time.” - Ethan Hemming, CEO of Warren Village.

Warren Village also offers additional safe and affordable housing at another location for young mothers without their high school diploma or GED, in partnership with Florence Crittenton Services, another grantee of The Denver Foundation, and our donors.  

Since 2022, this partnership has leveraged the power of Warren Village’s two-generation approach and the specialized youth education and early care expertise that Florence Crittenton has provided to teen families for generations. 

Hemming is grateful for the support of The Denver Foundation and its donors because it allows their work to make a difference in the lives of single-parent families.  

The Denver Foundation believes adequate, accessible housing is essential for a community to function. Affordable housing is a value we are proud to invest in. The Denver Foundation and its donors have been funding Warren Village for decades. 

Photo courtesy: Armando Geneyro