The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $5 million to three different local nonprofit organizations. The money will be distributed over a four-year period and is aimed at helping approximately 1,000 homeless people in the county of Arvada.
One agency, with headquarters in Woodbridge, is slated to receive $1.5 million. The agency director says that they will focus their resources on educating the homeless. "We will probably build another school-home with this money," he said. "A school-home is exactly what it sounds like. It is a school and a home. We have already built four school-homes throughout the county. We get the homeless off the street, and we educate them so they don't have to return to the street. We teach them how to be auto mechanics, plumbers, landscapers, painters, carpenters, bricklayers, electricians, and air-conditioning repairmen.
"You wouldn't believe the success that we have had. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, our office air-conditioning went out. My secretary called a repairman. The repairman was one of our first homeless students. He now owns his own air-conditioning business, plus two houses, two cars and a boat! He has a dozen employees. Holy cow! He's doing better than I am. He fixed our air-conditioning for free. I think I might sign up for the air-conditioning class myself."