DENVER, CO - CVS Health announced it will invest $6.5 million with Boston Financial Investment Management to build a 36-unit permanent supportive housing community, known as Charity's House Place, for individuals experiencing homelessness and people with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities in the Five Points neighborhood in Denver. The investment is part of CVS Health's commitment to advancing health equity and addressing social determinants of health in underserved communities.
"Our commitment to advancing health equity is grounded in our company purpose to bring our heart to every moment of health," said David Casey, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health. "By addressing social determinants of health at the community level, like we are in Denver, we're helping people live healthier and creating positive change all around them."
According to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition's 2020 report, Denver ranked second as the most intensely gentrified cities. Five Points, a designated cultural historic district, in recognition of its important role in African-American history is one of the neighborhoods most impacted. In addition, per the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative's 2021 Point in Time Count, Black and African American individuals make up just over 5% of Metro Denver's population, but represent more than 26% of people experiencing homelessness. Charity's House Place will help preserve affordable housing in the Five Points neighborhood while providing residents with the resources they need to maintain stable housing and live healthier lives.
"It takes a whole community response, across sectors, to resolve homelessness and support our most vulnerable residents. That starts with the stability of safe, supportive housing," said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. "I want to thank CVS Health for making this critical investment in our community that will further bolster my Administration's work by advancing equity and connecting our unhoused residents with the housing they need to thrive."
CVS Health is working with BlueLine Development, Inc. and Community Outreach Service Center, Inc. (COSC) to co-develop Charity's House Place. Led by Pastor Robert Woolfolk and his wife Eddie of Agape Christian Church, COSC has been deeply rooted in the Denver community for more than 20 years, helping people impacted by the justice system with transitional housing and counseling with the goal to ultimately have the ability to provide permanent supportive homes.
Through funding from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Colorado Finance Agency and the City of Denvercombined with CVS Health's investment, Charity's House Place will be the realization of that goal. COSC will be providing residents with supportive goods and services, including food, clothing, employment support, spiritual counseling, and computer classes.
Charity's House Place will consist of a four-story residential building located at 3022 Welton Street in Denver. It will provide residents with a community room, fitness facility, on-site property management, central laundry facilities and outdoor decks. In addition to COSC services, the Mental Health Center of Denver will provide residents with an array of mental health, substance abuse and integrated health services.
"CVS Health is committed to providing underserved communities in Denver with opportunities that can help them live healthier lives," said Jim Boyman, North Central Territory President and Heartland Market President, Aetna, a CVS Health company. "Through Charity's House, we're addressing housing insecurities and ensuring local residents have access to resources that can improve their overall health and well-being."
CVS Health is also exploring opportunities to expand its national workforce initiatives program in Colorado to help break the cycle of poverty by providing employment services and training to the community.
As part of CVS Health's overall commitment to advance health equity in America, it invested $185 million in affordable housing nationwide in 2021 and $1.3 billion over the past 20 years. Through these investments, CVS Health has been able to provide underserved communities with quality housing, economic support, educational training opportunities and other health and wellness programs and services based on the unique needs of the population.