Ithaka’s Future in Services for Colorado Springs Residents
Ithaka exists to house our city’s most vulnerable. We operate on the foundational principle that housing will never cure homelessness, but community will. Relationships are the key to our success at Ithaka.
Community partners have been involved in conversations around the future of Ithaka, including Greccio Housing, Catholic Charities, Family Promise, Homeward Pikes Peak, The Legacy Institute, and the City of Colorado Springs. All real estate transactions were done with trusted partners who are committed to supporting Ithaka's mission and give us the flexibility to accomplish that mission in a time of change.
Who We Serve:
Ithaka specializes in serving families who are unable to be served elsewhere; these families are larger (five to eleven people in size) and oftentimes have accessed public health systems unable to help them get ahead. Our programs provide homes for those who would otherwise be on the streets, including many single parents and couples with children, those with mental illness and chronic physical ailments, people with criminal histories unable to access services elsewhere, those with previous evictions and low credit scores, many families seeking to secure access to legal services, and others who have exhausted personal and community resources and for whom affordable housing exists behind barriers too high to overcome.
Ithaka currently holds 14 properties in its portfolio, most of which are single family homes, with some duplexes and a triplex. These properties are all turn-of-the-century and need significant interior and exterior upgrades (approx. $1M) to make them safe, healthy, and welcoming to our residents. In the 40 years that Ithaka has held its properties as assets, preventative maintenance has not been prioritized; as a result, the buildings are deteriorating, in fair to poor condition, bringing neither human dignity nor sustainability of services to our residents. Ithaka needs to maximize the value of its assets in order to continue serving the 80 individuals (15 families) in our Housing Program.
Ithaka will be better positioned for long term stability as an organization if we undertake a new development now, leveraging $3M in existing assets that our founders left as a legacy to the homeless population in our city. This new development will allow Ithaka to serve a community of 450 families over the next 60 years, sustaining these families well into their children’s future and breaking the cycle of poverty experienced by so many.
Key Points for Ithaka’s Current Residents:
· Ithaka will continue to serve these families in addition to individuals coming out of incarceration and off the streets. All of Ithaka’s families will continue to be served in their current locations as plans for the new development unfold; they will all be moved to a new location once the build is complete.
· All seniors currently participating in Ithaka's programs will continue to be supported through CM services as they work on goals related to mental and physical health, legal compliance and documentation, increasing income, and housing stability. No one will be case managed onto the streets. We are committed to working with all our program participants as we transition them into more permanent housing beyond Ithaka.
· One centralized location for all families creates shared community space and expands opportunity for relationship-building and support systems for our residents.
· One centralized location for all families will greatly reduce Ithaka’s expenses and allow us to direct resources in service to our residents of Colorado Springs for the next 50-60 years.
· The property is located in the middle of the demographic we serve, placing us closer to our potential residents and embedded in the community that experiences higher barriers and needs. In addition, our residents will have access to beautiful green space, health care needs, and we are working on plans for food access in the area.