When I moved to Denver four years ago I wanted to volunteer with an organization that truly made a difference in the lives of women and their children. I had worked with such an organization in my home town and saw, first hand, that providing support, direction, structure and a safe environment to motivated women gives them the strength to retake control of their lives. Warren Village provides all of these elements to residents begining with a clean, safe and modern apartment that is affordable. The apartment is more than a place to live - it offers the resident family an opportunity to be part of a community of support. Resident pre school children have the opportunity to enroll in the onsite 4 Star Qualistar rated Learning Center where they learn and are cared for by a highly trained staff of teachers and volunteers while their parent is working or going to school. Finally, residents work with a family advocate to develop a plan for their stay at Warren Village that includes working or going to school full time with a goal of becoming self sufficient and able to live on their own again. Two keys to Warren Village's success are selecting highly motivated people who are determined to be successful individuals and parents and providing the three elements of housing, child care and family services in a single site community. I have been a member of the Board of Trustees of Warren Village for over three years and continue to be amazed at the quality and dedication of the staff and and the remarakable success stories of the residents and their children. We know that the most important human services organizations are changing lives and saving lives and I believe that Warren Village is doing both - one family at a time.
I have been a board member and volunteer at Warren Village for the past 6 years. In that time I have found fellow board members, staff, and volunteers to be passionately committed to enabling the residents in the program to move towards self-sufficiency. This program provides a safe place to stay, the availability of childcare so parents can attend school or training, and "Family Services" that teach a vast variety of skills from balancing a checkbook to nutrition and parenting skills. In turn, residents must commit to developing and completing a plan that identifies how they will grow their skills to move from homelessness while volunteering in the community. The greatest impact to me is to hear from current residents and alumni talk about the growth in self confidence and personal and professional skills that they have made through their own hard work made possible by the staff, teachers and volunteers. The pride they and their children show touches my heart each time I hear them tell their story. That is why as I board member I relish the hours I spend working with my peers and staff leadership to keep Warren Village strong and our residents moving forward.
Ever since I moved to Denver back in the 70s Warren Village has been providing a safe harbor for single parent families. But it does so much more: it allows single moms or dads to pursue their college education while providing high (I mean really high!) quality day care for their children. In other words, it gives these families an opportunity to acheive when they otherwise have virtually nothing and no where to go. In addition to the day care, there are required life coaching classes for the single parent and his/her family. Warren Village has so many success stories. If you are out in the community, it is not difficult to meet women who seized this opportunity and succeeded at a time when everything was against them. These allums get teary eyed about their time at Warren Village and so do I. I do not know of another Denver charity that has served in this area for so long so successfully. They are more than five star.
The organization is more than 38 years old and has helped hundreds of single parent families move from public assistant and disfunctional or abusive circumstances to self-sufficiency. Warren Village has a top qualstar rated early childhood learning center which is comparable to any top learning center in the city. The program offers life skills classes, mentors, educational opportunities and a hand up instead of a hand out. I am very proud to have been involved with this excellent program for more than 13 years.
Warren Village believes all families should have access to affordable housing, safe and reliable child care, and the skills necessary to lead an independent life. Warren Village provides these services to economically disadvantaged single parent families with love and grace. I have received so much more from these families than I have ever given. The motivation, dedication and service from staff resonates through these families and encourages them to be all they can be. Warren Village makes me so proud!