Chaffee County is a special place built around an incredible landscape and close-knit community. Yet, our valley faces myriad challenges, and principal among these challenges is access to housing for the diverse and growing workforce, families and individuals in crisis, Americorps volunteers, and more who all strive to call this place home.
The Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF) together with the Chaffee Housing Authority (CHA) propose an innovative and flexible housing project near the heart of downtown Salida at the intersection of 3rd & Highway 291 in Salida called Jane’s Place.
What is Jane's Place?
Jane's Place is a legacy project honoring the vision of the late Jane Whitmer. This project will bring 17 housing units to the Salida community, designed to serve immediate local needs. Seasonal employees, new recruits to our workforce, families and individuals in crisis, & Americorps volunteers will be directly served through Jane's Place. In addition, the project will include a nonprofit incubator and social enterprise coffee shop.
Chaffee Housing Authority forms Jane's Place Committee
At its last Board of Directors meeting on May 18, 2023, the Chaffee Housing Authority (CHA) formed an ad hoc committee devoted to ensuring that Jane’s Place begins construction as soon as possible.
“Establishing this Jane’s Place committee is an exciting next step that will ensure this one-of-a-kind project gets to the finish line as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Joseph Teipel, the Committee Chair. “The folks around the table on a weekly basis represent the commitment, diversity, and collaboration that has been intrinsic to this project since day one. With phase I construction complete, we are on the path to going vertical as soon as we possibly can.”
The Jane’s Place Committee has the authority to develop plans and strategies related to the financing, partnership management, funding, future operational planning, and communications for Jane’s Place. Major decisions involving fiduciary oversight will be brought to the full CHA Board for discussion and approval.
The committee is taking on four key initiatives. First, the committee is overseeing, reviewing, and supporting the financing of the project. Second, the committee is working to verify documentation of all partnerships related to the project and open the lines of communications with partners. Third, the committee is creating an implementation plan to close funding gaps, including grant research and writing, individual donor requests, confirmation of naming and sponsorship opportunities, and relationship management. Finally, the committee is developing and implementing a communications plan involving regular status updates to the community and key stakeholders.
The committee is documenting all key initiatives in a written action plan with who/what/when reporting timelines.
In creating the committee, the CHA Board partnered with the Community Foundation and Achieve, two organizations that will occupy space as tenants in the project. In addition to Chair Teipel, other committee members include Monica Haskell (CHA Board Member), Ashley Kappel (CHA Executive Director), Jeff Eaton (CHA Development Committee volunteer), Betsy Dittenber (CCCF Executive Director), Megan Leesley (CCCF Board Chair), Rick Hamilton (CCCF Board Member), Jenny Davis (Achieve Executive Director), and Miki Hodge (community volunteer).
Betsy Dittenber of the Community Foundation had the following comment: “We are honored to have played a role in the Jane's Place project since its inception. Serving as a critical puzzle piece in community-driven initiatives is a core part of our mission as a community foundation. We are glad to have a more formalized structure to continue to help Chaffee Housing Authority advance their project.”
Photo credit Phreckles Photography.
Chaffee Housing Authority hosts
Jane’s Place Celebration of Phase One
The Chaffee Housing Authority celebrated the completion of phase One of the Jane’s Place Project. Jane’s Place is the innovative affordable housing project near downtown Salida honoring the late Jane Whitmer. Key donors and supporters of the project attended the celebration hosted at the Jane’s Place building site on the corner of W 3rd Street and HWY 291, Salida. The program highlighted the importance of local community investment in completing phase one of the project and setting the 2nd phase up for success. Speakers included Keith Baker, Chaffee County Commissioner, Dan Shore, City of Salida Mayor, Joseph Tiepel, Buena Vista Planning Director and Chaffee Housing Authority Vice Chair, and Miki Hodge, close friend and colleague to the late Jane Whitmer.
True to its namesake, the Jane’s Place Project is one of a kind. Jane is remembered as a convener, someone who lifted up those around her and was dedicated to her community and neighbors. “She was a real life Hero,” remembers Miki Hodge, friend and colleague of Jane Whitmer, “She believed that keeping families intact was paramount during turmoil, financial crisis, unsheltered times, unforeseen circumstances and adversity.” When completed, Jane’s Place will bring 17 housing units to the Salida community, designed to serve immediate local needs. Seasonal employees, new recruits to the workforce, families and individuals in crisis, and Americorps volunteers will be directly served through Jane's Place. The project will also include a nonprofit incubator and social enterprise coffee shop.
“This is no traditional housing development. It was specifically designed by locals to meet local solutions and it leverages a variety of funding sources to ensure we can use the space how our community needs it most” shared Chaffee Housing Authority Board Chair, Craig Neilson, “From single family units, to seasonal housing, to space for our unsheltered neighbors - Jane’s Place is as much of a trailblazer in the housing solutions space as Jane was during her lifetime.”
By the completion of phase 1, Chaffee Housing Authority with the support of the community donors will have invested approximately $609,075 in the Jane's Place Project. This important first step was funded primarily by individual donors and local grants and resulted in the completion of the site development including constructing the retaining wall and installing all the underground infrastructure from the street to the building footprints, in preparation for the vertical improvements. The local community investment has set the project up for a successful phase 2, allowing the Chaffee Housing Authority to leverage grant funding and financing to cover the approximate $5,300,000 needed for the construction of the buildings. The last stage of the project is estimated to cost $500,000 and will include the furnishings, furniture, equipment and landscaping.
Jane’s Place was developed as a partnership between the Chaffee County Community Foundation, the CHA, and supporters and friends of Jane Whitmer. Individuals seeking to contribute to the project can make a tax deductible donation at www.chaffeecommunity.org/janesplace.
Photo credit Phreckles Photography.
Video created by 50 West Productions and intern Cooper Hodge.
Questions about this project can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
or call us at 719-530-2590.
Night of the Nutcracker
A grand thank you to everyone who participated in the Night of the Nutcracker. Not only was it a wonderful evening enjoying dance excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, but it was an amazing tribute to our dear friend Jane Whitmer.