Solving the Homeless and Housing Crises: WellPower Breaks Ground on New Project in Denver

Current narratives suggest that homelessness and housing crises are unsolvable problems. WellPower disagrees.

Recently breaking ground, WellPower’s Sheridan on 10th is slated to be a three-story, permanent supportive housing apartment building in Denver’s Villa Park Neighborhood, a half-mile south of the Sheridan Light Rail Station. The building will consist of 60 one-bedroom and one-bath units for chronically unhoused individuals. 

Permanent Supportive Housing is nationally recognized as a proven solution to end homelessness, allowing residents to live independently, while getting the treatment they need to get better and transform their lives. The development will utilize trauma-informed design and a Housing First model that prioritizes housing stability so that the individual can get the most out of treatment and other supportive services from WellPower staff.

Permanent Supportive Housing – A Proven Success

Sheridan on 10th is guided by WellPower’s success with Sanderson Apartments, built in 2017 as part of Denver’s Social Impact Bond (SIB) initiative. The SIB demonstrated that private and public investment in permanent supportive housing could stabilize 60 of Denver’s hardest-to-serve unhoused residents who had been identified by a high incidence of costly jail time and ER visits. Sanderson was among the first in the nation built with trauma-informed design. Instead of a typical market-rate apartment, Davis Partnership Architects worked with WellPower clinicians to develop features that assumed most residents had experienced significant trauma living on the streets.

An independent evaluation of the SIB program from Urban Institute found that of the participants housed through the program, 86% remained in stable housing at one year. At two years, 81% remained in stable housing, and at three years, 77% remained. Additionally, participants had fewer interactions with police and spent less time in jail and in detox, ultimately saving the city and taxpayers money.

“It’s hard to engage in behavioral health treatment when you don’t have a place to live,” said Carl Clark, MD, president and CEO of WellPower. “When people are in their own homes, they’re better able to access services that improve their well-being. Our permanent supportive housing facilities are designed to provide a safe and inviting environment – open and airy with as few walls as possible and clear sight lines throughout, helping people accustomed to being in survival mode adjust.”

Housing For All Benefits Everyone

The Sheridan on 10th partnership has made this project truly remarkable, from state and local government, for-profit and non-profit developers, financial entities and advisors, design and contracting teams. WellPower would like to extend its appreciation to: Colorado Housing and Finance Authority; Legacy Bank; The Richman Group; S.B. Clark & Companies; Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA); Denver Housing and Stability; Alliance Construction; Davis Partnership Architects; Denver City Council President Jamie Torres; Morrison Group; Yates Investment Partners and Urban Land Conservancy for their willingness to come together for the common good and make the vision of this project a reality.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking,” remarked Denver City Council President Jamie Torres. “This initiative marks a significant step towards addressing homelessness and fostering stability within our district. This permanent supportive housing is not just about providing shelter; it’s about offering hope, dignity and opportunity to our community members in need. By investing in long-term solutions, we are not only providing shelter but also laying the foundation for a stronger, more resilient community. I am immensely proud of the collaborative effort that has made this project possible, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on countless lives for generations to come.”

“Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) is proud to support the Sheridan on 10th development,” said Cris White, executive director and CEO of CHFA. CHFA’s vision is that everyone in Colorado will have the opportunity for housing stability and economic prosperity, and we are pleased to invest in this development, the housing and onsite services it will provide for individuals who are exiting homelessness.”

“Davis Partnership Architects is proud to partner with WellPower, supporting their work providing treatment, prevention, outreach and crisis services to children, families and adults in our community,” noted Joe Lear, principal, Davis Partnership Architects. “As homelessness continues to be a significant issue in Denver, it feels particularly good to be completing our second successful permanent supportive housing project with them. Time and again, we’ve seen the positive effect when people are in their own homes, safe. It’s an honor to be a part of this important work with WellPower.”

WellPower’s Sheridan on 10th project is expected to be completed in spring 2025.