St. Valentine’s Apartments, the latest housing project from Catholic Charities Housing, is providing a light at the end of the tunnel for individuals struggling with homelessness in Loveland, Colorado. The project, which began five years ago in partnership with the City of Loveland, began accepting residents in late December 2023, with full occupancy expected in mid-March.
The new and innovative supportive housing complex in the Sweetheart City, located at 915 E. 10th Street, provides housing for people who are exiting homelessness. The building has 48 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom units with a total 54 units. Importantly, St. Valentine is not just a housing complex; it’s a comprehensive solution to address the challenging issues faced by the homeless population.
St. Valentine isn’t just an affordable housing project. It’s a supportive housing project, with the goal not to simply house residents, but to help lift them to their next chapter. The Catholic Charities Housing team has diligently worked to ensure that the project is heavily staffed, with five dedicated full-time service providers, including navigation managers, two case managers and a clinician who offers triage services for acute issues. In addition, the project is providing long-term support without imposing time limits on its residents.
“There is significant need for affordable housing of all kinds across Colorado,” said Justin Raddatz, Executive Director, Catholic Charities Housing. “But supportive housing – which provides the resident with stable long-term housing and supportive services in the same place – is one of the most intense, challenging projects to develop and operate and serves the most vulnerable homeless residents in the community – exactly the type of mission we at Catholic Charities sign up for.”
For many years, Loveland was considered a “bedroom community,” with many residents traveling to Fort Collins, Greeley and even Denver for work. But with the explosion of development and an emphasis on growth in recent decades, Loveland’s population has doubled over the past 30 years, bringing with it complex challenges and problems that used to be faced only by larger cities. Thankfully, Loveland’s leadership recognized the challenges and proactively moved forward to address the issues of homelessness.
“I am profoundly grateful to Catholic Charities for stepping in and building the Saint Valentine Apartments,” said Loveland Mayor Jacki Marsh. “Housing and caring for those who have been chronically unhoused is a monumental endeavor. We human beings will see an animal, such as a dog or a cat, alone, abandoned, shivering in the cold and we will stop what we are doing and we will attempt to help the animal. Yet, we ignore, fear or even hate the human animal that is unhoused. Unlike the cat or the dog, we assign blame to the unhoused human. I suppose those thoughts and beliefs justify our looking the other way.”
The Mayor continues, “Or perhaps it’s merely a lack of knowing what to do? Or perhaps it’s knowing that taking in the unhoused, the suffering human being, will require more than we are willing to take on? At the end of the day, healing the human being, may be possible, if we work together. If we step out of our comfort zone, reach across the divide that separates the house and the unhoused and if we extend a welcoming hand and say ‘I see you, you matter, come inside, rest, heal, let’s find a path, together.’ Thank you, Catholic Charities, for being the hand that extends the welcome, for providing the home, the safe haven for those who have lost their way. Thank you for restoring hope.”
Something for Everyone
The meticulous planning and execution of this housing project reflect the dedication of the team involved in bringing this vision to life. In addition, security is a top priority at St. Valentine’s Apartments, with staff ensuring 24/7 coverage to create a safe and secure living environment for all residents.
One distinctive feature of the complex is its center courtyard, where residents can soak up the sunshine, find comfort in shade and engage in community activities. Building on that sense of community and providing a place to build camaraderie, the courtyard hosts an outdoor concrete ping pong table and plenty of tables, chairs and benches.
The success of St. Valentine’s Apartments is attributed not only to the dedication of Catholic Charities Housing with the collaborative efforts from the City of Loveland, ShopWorks Architecture and KCI. Homeward Alliance and SummitStone Behavioral Health are our primary service partners. Working closely with local authorities, the project has seamlessly integrated into the community, becoming a testament to what can be achieved when public and private entities join forces to address critical social issues.
As St. Valentine’s Apartments continues to welcome residents and provide a supportive haven, it stands as a shining example of how compassion, collaboration and community engagement can transform lives and create lasting positive change.