Basalt nears first domestic violence shelter
The Roaring Fork Valley is another hurdle closer to its first domestic violence shelter.
The Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend the approval of a 6,770-square-foot, open-facing building with office space, client rooms, a deed-restricted two-bedroom housing unit, and a 17-space parking lot at 325 E Cody Lane.
“It’s really a first-come, first-serve basis,” said Response Executive Director Shannon Meyer, “as long as they meet the threshold criteria of becoming clients of Response and are threatened with homelessness or actually experiencing homelessness as a result of their victimization.”
Some rooms have the capability to open up between units to accommodate a survivor with children. The duration of stay will be up to three months.
Response is an Aspen-based non-profit that has served survivors of domestic and sexual abuse in the Roaring Fork Valley for 40 years.
In 2022, Response assisted 171 survivors, housed 76 survivors and 62 children, and received 93 referrals from local law enforcement. They are also involved in local middle and high schools, teaching students about healthy relationships, teen dating violence, and sexual consent.
Meyer said that Response saw a 20% jump in demand for services following the pandemic, and that their emergency and temporary housing offerings were not sufficient to meet client needs.
Eventually, that conversation evolved into planning for the Basalt public-facing co-location of a shelter and offices, which is succeeding in Gypsum with Bright Future Foundation, Meyer said.
With a lead campaign gift from the Arizona-based Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation — which resulted in the shelter name The Diane and Bruce Halle Center for Hope and Healing — Response is in its capital fundraising phase.
Their overall budget is estimated to be $7.7 million, and they currently have about $3 million raised. At this point, Response has a few grant proposals out with the Colorado Division of Housing and the Department of Local Affairs, among others.
Once they hit 80% of their capital goal, Meyer said, they will turn the campaign fully public.
She also said they plan to approach local municipalities in Response’s service area. The town of Snowmass already committed $30,000, she said.
“It was really impressive for the smallest municipality in our service area to be the first in on the campaign from the municipal side,” she noted.
The goal timeline is for the capital campaign to be wrapped up in the fall in order to break ground on the shelter before winter hits. Then with an approximate 12-month construction schedule, Meyer hopes to open the doors to clients by fall 2024.
The Basalt Town Council approved a PUD amendment in November for a special-use permit to allow the shelter on the lot. Response closed on the lot not long after that first approval from the town.
The shelter plans will face the Basalt Town Council for first reading on May 23.
Amen Wardy in downtown Aspen to close when lease not renewed; lease issues a trend of late
Another closure, another blow to local retail legacy in downtown Aspen. Amen Wardy, at 625 E. Main St., must close by August. There is an immediate sale of up to 50% off numerous items in the sprawling boutique.