IN THE NEWS
Check out what’s going on at Rocky Mountain Communities through recent media coverage, articles and blog posts.
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Resident Profile Series: Jesse Lopez
Navy veteran Jesse Lopez has known significant suffering in his life. In 1981, he became confined to a wheelchair and then lost his 23-year-old daughter in 2016. Despite these losses, Jesse finds ways to contribute positively to Rocky Mountain Communities’ Mountain Terrace apartments in northeast Denver, where he lives.
“Everyone’s my friend. I try to help out where I can,” says Jesse.
Originally from north Denver near Sloan’s Lake, Jesse has lived at Mountain Terrace for 10 years and says he knows most of the folks there.
“I’ve watched kids grow up here and come back with kids of their own,” explains Jesse.
Jesse lives in a two-bedroom apartment that he shared with his daughter until 2016 when she passed away. He says the staff at Mountain Terrace were very understanding about his desire to stay in that apartment despite it just being him.
“They understood this is where I lived with her,” says Jesse. — READ FULL STORY
We Must Work Together to Close the Digital Divide
The pandemic exacerbated a digital divide, a divide between those who have access to technology and Wi-Fi and those who do not. This divide continues more than a year later as we send our kids back to school during the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
While the divide was always there, it became ever apparent during the pandemic and students went from in-person to remote learning. How would our young residents attend remote school without a computer? How would they access their virtual classes without Wi-Fi? How would their parents — many of whom lost their jobs — apply for jobs without a computer or the internet? — READ FULL STORY
Resident Profile Series: Onalee Goss
Onalee Goss appreciates beauty. During the pandemic, she discovered and cultivated a love of plants, which is obvious in the pictures of her apartment which she refers to as a “jungle.” She describes her decorating style as something you would see in a castle in Spain, with plenty of “viney” plants.
“When my little sister comes to visit me, she tells me she feels like she’s walking onto the set of the Lord of the Rings,” laughs Onalee. — READ FULL STORY
A Note of Thanks and Gratitude
We love hearing from our residents! We are grateful for the feedback and appreciate the “thank you” we recently received from a resident at Grand Manor who just moved out. Take a look!
I just wanted to thank you for taking Jake and me into the Grand Manor in November 2003, when I was broke and in a tough spot in my life.
I really appreciate all your help and how well we were taken care of. I always felt safe and respected living there, the buildings are always well maintained and look nice. My maintenance needs were always handled quickly and efficiently. The sliding scale rent is a blessing for those of us who need it. We were very happy in our apartment and with all the managers and staff members throughout the years. Always reaching out to the tenants during holidays with punch, cookies, and presents for the children, or sometimes school supplies. I very much appreciated our time at Grand Manor.
Resident Profile Series: Shari Stratton
Arroyo Village resident Shari Stratton loves playing with her mini–Golden Doodle, Kobe James. She got him in 2020, naming him after Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. She says there is significance behind that. “The worst thing that happened to me last year was Kobe Bryant dying and the best was getting my dog. It was my way to honor [Bryant].”
Shari came to Rocky Mountain Communities’ newest property in 2019, shortly after it opened. After leaving a domestic violence situation, she stayed with various friends and worked at the Rose Andom Center. While there, she was referred to the Delores Project at Arroyo Village, to find shelter. She says the process of applying and screening went quicker than she anticipated — READ FULL STORY
Resident Profile Series: Nicole Bush
Nicole Bush and her 10-year-old son Oscar live in Rocky Mountain Communities’ Townview apartments on the city’s west side. In December of 2020, Nicole graduated from University of Colorado-Denver with a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Now, she’s hoping to find a role in local government, explaining that she wants to solve complex problems in the community.
“I think it’s really interesting that you can use software to provide data to help with policy that makes the built environment better and people’s lives better,” says Nicole. — READ FULL STORY
Resident Profile Series: Victor Torrez
Victor Torrez, a resident of Meeker Commons, loves to golf in the summer and shoot pool year-round at the senior center. Now though, COVID-19 restrictions have shut down the senior center, which means no pool and no watching Broncos games with friends.
“I miss being in the main room and sitting in there. Being at home all the time feels like being in jail,” says Torrez. — READ FULL STORY
RMC Hires New Executives to Support Growth (Press Release)
Colorado-based, affordable housing nonprofit Rocky Mountain Communities (RMC), that owns and manages affordable housing communities across the state, is positioning itself for growth by filling two new executive roles. Mark Marshall has been named the Vice President of Real Estate and Denise Gomez has been named Director of Development, Equity and Engagement for the organization.
“It’s been more than 15 years since RMC last had a VP of Real Estate,” said Dontae Latson, CEO of Rocky Mountain Communities. “With plans of bringing more properties into our portfolio down the road, we knew now was the right time to hire an expert in real estate. Additionally, with the important role that fundraising and partnerships play in the success of a nonprofit, and our focus on providing affordable housing to those who are underserved, this is a pivotal moment for us to bring someone on board who can drive our efforts around fundraising and equity.” — READ FULL STORY
Resident Profile Series: Jane’s Story
The last two years have been nothing short of a nightmare for Jane and her family. When Jane moved to Mountain Terrace in July of 2019, there were several months where she had difficulty paying rent. She fell into a depression as a result of losing custody of her daughter and the difficulty of being a single mom trying to pay the bills. Jane ended an abusive relationship about two years ago. And though she didn’t know it at the time, her oldest daughter, Maggie, was severely impacted by the abuse. — READ FULL STORY
Resident Profile Series: Ken Murphy
Ken Murphy knows Denver inside and out. In 1952, his parents moved two-year-old Murphy and the family from Wytheville, Virginia to Denver’s Lincoln Park projects on the west side. For 68 years, Murphy has watched the city change and grow.
“It’s evolved into a better city,” says Murphy.
He explains that Denver used to be more segregated, but now he sees a significant difference. Murphy attended Denver East High School, which he says was “one of the most diverse in the state.” And aside from the good weather, he says he loves Denver because of the people and what makes them unique. — READ FULL STORY
A Look Back at our Successes in 2020 (Blog Post)
What do we say about 2020 that hasn’t been said already? It was a year of upending the norm, throwing curveballs, and living through something none of us has lived through before… a pandemic. But we came together, supported each other, and most importantly, our communities stayed strong.
I’m proud of the Rocky Mountain Communities team for the way we navigated through the early months of the pandemic and how we continue to support our communities today. Through all the ups and downs, 2020 was a year of great change, shifts, and positive outcomes. — READ FULL STORY
10/5/20 From Denver Business Journal – Dontae Latson’s varied career has included stints in county government, hospital leadership and now, affordable housing. — READ FULL STORY