Senior Housing Options is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing caring, supportive services and quality affordable housing for older adults in Colorado. Whether you are looking to find a home in a historic western hotel residence in the heart of a downtown Denver neighborhood or in a mountain community nestled in the Rockies, we have a place that will fit your needs.
Oil was starting to be the big industry for Colorado and companies moving to Denver to do business were in need of spectacular office buildings along 17th Street. In the process, they were purchasing and razing small to midsized hotels along the street.
Many low-income elderly people made their homes in these hotels. People concerned about the numbers of these people who were being displaced from these formed a task force to study the problem and find some solution to their plight. The task force was made up of personnel from local businesses, the City & County Planning Division, clergy, church members and private citizens. Their findings showed that 2400 low income elderly and others had been affected.
In April, 1979, the group founded the Colorado nonprofit corporation of Ecumenical Housing, Inc.(ECH), and obtained 501 (c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service as a Charitable Organization. One of the founders of Ecumenical Housing (ECH) was Stephen D. Gordon from the City & County of Denver Planning Office. Steve has continued to serve on the board of directors for the 20 + years of its existence.
First purchase: The Olin Hotel Apartments; 106 apartment units at 1420 Logan. After walking the streets for several months in search of funds, Steve Gordon was able to put together some very creative financing including federal dollars. The Olin was established as a HUD project to provide rent subsidies to those who qualified as low-income residents.
ECH purchased The Barth Hotel at 17th & Blake Streets, considered rentable for Single Room Occupancy (SRO), run similarly to a hotel serving low-income elderly and other low-income people with disabilities. Five of the first residents to move into The Barth came on the same day the Colorado School for The Blind closed its doors, and continue to live there to this day.
Residents of the two rent-subsidized properties were beginning to show signs of aging in place and the need for some assistance in their activities of daily living including regular meals and possible medication monitoring. Some of these people were in need of a more service oriented place to live. The organization purchased a remodeled a duplex in north Denver to accommodate eight frail elderly in need of assistance with their activities of daily living under the name Shoshone Residence. It was designated to become an Alternative Care Facility, as a part of the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for the Elderly, Blind, and Disabled under a Medicaid reimbursement waiver program – as an alternative to nursing home placement – and thereby qualified to receive Medicaid reimbursement for the low income residents who qualify.
Miller House, 1920 E 13th Avenue, sits on the northeast corner of Cheesman Park in Denver. Denver City Council mandated that a developer of the adjacent property donate the house and grounds to a nonprofit entity in the city whose mission is to care for those in the community. ECH was chosen to receive the property. With more major funds raised, Miller House was remodeled from a single family small mansion into an assisted living residence with 8 private bedrooms and two communal bathrooms, handicap access to an adjoining deck and the installation of an elevator. It, too, was determined to be an Alternative Care Facility to receive Medicaid reimbursement for low- income qualifying residents. It is now leased to the Mental Health Corporation as a residential home for elderly persons in their care.
Name change. With the idea in mind that the organization’s main intent was to provide an option to nursing home placement for those in need, and to eliminate the inference of a religious organization, the name was changed to Senior Housing Options, Inc. (SHO). Lenders who were seeing properties in outlying areas unable to satisfy their loans, began interviewing Senior Housing Options’ board about their acquiring these properties for ownership and/or management.
SHO negotiated with Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) to take ownership of Cinnamon Park in Longmont which consisted of two houses with a total of 24 private rooms with private baths. In addition, SHO took ownership of Madison House, a similar property in Cortez, Colorado with 36 units, both Cinnamon Park and Madison House operate as Alternative Care Facilities under the Medicaid waiver program along with private pay residents. SHO consulted in the development and construction of Emerson Gardens, a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) property owned by Our Savior’s Lutheran Housing Corporation. SHO oversaw the development and construction of two Silvercrest HUD properties for The Salvation Army in Denver and Colorado Springs, and Castle Creek Terrace Assisted Living Center in Aspen. These experiences resulted in SHO gaining management contracts with properties throughout Colorado.
Senior Housing Options entered into a management contract with Seniors In Community Living to manage three facilities for chronically mentally ill residents. Two of these facilities, September House and The Decatur are subsidized apartments. On site management serves one main meal a day to all these residents. The third of these facilities is Princeton House, located on the grounds of Fort Logan Mental Health, owned and operated by the State of Colorado. Princeton House, a Personal Care Boarding Home, is designated as an Alternative Care Facility (ACF), thus allowing Medicaid reimbursement for its residents. Another SHO managed property, Servicios Housing, is a 20 unit apartment complex owned by Servicios de la Raza Mental Health Clinic.
SHO has finalized the development of Cliffview Assisted Living Center in Kremmling for the Grand County Housing Authority, Broomfield Silvercrest with 85 HUD subsidized apartments for The Salvation Army, purchased and renovated Park Hill Residence as an Alternative Care Facility (ACF), consulted on the development and construction of Skyview Village 68 unit assisted living facility with 22 closed units for those with severe dementia, and developed and owns Mesa Vista Assisted Living Center in Battlement Mesa, CO. In 1997, SHO’s board of directors voted to forego consulting on any properties that would not result in a management contract.
Activities have become a major factor in all facilities, requiring that each assisted living facility have a full time activity director. A major purchase for activities is the 22 passenger wheelchair accessible bus that is shared by the metro-Denver properties, and sometimes goes out of town to other facilities according to special needs. This purchase was made possible by grants from private foundations. One of the most pressing needs is to address the Medicaid reimbursement rate for Alternative Care Facility residents which at this time is far below – $200 to $400 less than needed to cover the cost of providing adequate and required services to those who qualify. During the last five years, SHO has been working with the legislature and the Department of Health Care Policy and Finance for an increase in the ACF reimbursement rate so it covers the actual cost of this care.