VNA receives Haven grant | SteamboatToday.com
Tamera Manzanares

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VNA receives Haven grant

The Visiting Nurse Association recently added the Gates Family Foundation to its list of supporters for acquiring and expanding The Haven.

The Colorado-based foundation awarded the VNA a $100,000 challenge grant to help the organization improve and expand senior services in the Yampa Valley, starting with the assisted living center in Hayden.

The award coincides with a public campaign to help the VNA raise the remaining $300,000 it needs to pay off debts and create a reserve operating budget for The Haven.

The VNA announced efforts to acquire The Haven in September. The West Routt Rural Health Council, which owns The Haven, had been concerned about operating the center amidst fluctuating resident numbers and economic uncertainty.

Since then, the VNA has garnered significant financial support from foundations, as well as from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance grant program.

The organization also has received numerous private contributions. The Yampa Valley Community Foundation created a fund for the project with an initial contribution of $15,000.

Funds from the Gates Family Foundation will go toward expanding The Haven with a community center, which will be a platform for an “aging well” model of care for seniors. The model emphasizes a social approach to senior care, which includes integrating seniors into the larger community.

The VNA also hopes to partner with other senior organizations, such as the Routt County Council on Aging, to expand transportation, food, care, outreach and other services for seniors who want to remain at home.

In addition to the VNA award, the Gates Family Foundation provided key funding for the town of Hayden’s efforts to plan for growth with a new comprehensive plan.

The successful completion of that project likely encouraged the grant for The Haven expansion, said Dace Kramer, VNA’s aging well coordinator.

“From my perspective, I think this is an extension of their confidence in the town of Hayden and the direction they are going there,” she said.

Additional grants are pending from other organizations, including the Adolph Coors Foundation, The Daniels Fund, El Pomar Foundation, Boettcher Foundation and Caring for Colorado Foundation.

The VNA is continuing its public campaign with community presentations to businesses and groups about what The Haven acquisition will mean for the increasing senior population in the Yampa Valley.

Donations for the project may be sent to the VNA, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487.

— To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com