The Colorado Department of Local Affairs has awarded the Visiting Nurse Association a grant to expand The Haven Senior Assisted Living Center.
DOLA Executive Director Mike Beasley recently sent the VNA a letter granting its request for a $600,000 Energy and Mineral Impact Assitance grant to add a community center to The Haven.
The expansion is part of a $1.4 million project that involves merging The Haven, currently owned by the West Routt Rural Health Council, with the VNA, which will use the facility as a platform for expanding senior services in the Yampa Valley.
"We're delighted to have the backing of the state government," said Sue Birch, executive director of the VNA. "We think it's a wise investment of energy impact dollars."
With the DOLA grant, the VNA has secured more than $800,000 from local governments, foundations, businesses and individuals.
Some DOLA money also will help update phone and computer systems at The Haven and VNA sites in Steamboat Springs and Craig.
The state's support will help secure grants from larger foundations, which sometimes require that grantees reach a funding threshold before receiving foundation money.
About $400,000 in requests are pending with organizations including Adolph Coors Foundation, Boettcher Found--ation, Caring For Colo--rado Foundation and the Gates Family Foundation.
The community center will help the VNA develop an "aging well" system of care that emphasizes arts, wellness and other activities and integrates seniors with residents of all ages throughout the community.
"We're really trying to strengthen the social structure needed to age well," Birch said.
The project also will expand The Haven's kitchen, opening up more possibilities for congregate meals for seniors in West Routt County. The Routt County Council on Aging currently serves meals three days a week at the American Legion. The meals are prepared in Steamboat Springs and delivered to Hayden.
With the DOLA grant secured, the VNA will begin a community fund-raising campaign to complete The Haven acquisition.
Anyone interested in participating or contributing to that campaign or helping develop the aging-well concept, should call Birch at 879-1632.
-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org