Haven acquisition close

The Visiting Nurse Association is nearing the top of the fund-raising hill for acquiring The Haven Assisted Living Center in Hayden.

Thanks to a successful public campaign and strong support from nonprofit foundations, the Northwest Colorado VNA is within $85,000 of the $450,000 it needs to purchase the facility, said Suzi Mariano, VNA public information coordinator.

Based on support so far, officials expect the VNA/Haven merger will happen in September, she said.

More than a year ago, the VNA set out to acquire The Haven, which is owned and operated by the nonprofit West Routt Rural Health Council. In the past, the facility has been vulnerable to fluctuating resident numbers and economic downturns.

Fund-raising efforts included grant requests to major foundations and organizations such as the Boettcher and the Adolph Coors foundations, which together pledged $75,000 to the cause.

A local public campaign this summer has raised more than $12,000 from individuals, businesses and organizations, including Yampa Valley Medical Center Auxiliary and the Steamboat Springs Kiwanis Club.

More support recently came from the Babson Carpenter Foundation and The Haven Board of Directors, which together granted $45,000 to the project.

The VNA still is waiting to hear from more foundations and also is counting on the community to help close the funding gap.

After acquisition, there will be at least a year of transition before any new programs or major changes are in place, Mariano said.

Purchasing the Haven is the first step in the VNA's plans to expand and improve senior services throughout the Yampa Valley. In addition to acquisition efforts, the VNA has been planning and raising money to build a community center at The Haven.

The expansion will provide more room for existing senior programs and meals and also allow more "aging well" activities aimed at integrating seniors with other generations within the community, said Dace Kramer, VNA aging well coordinator.

Garnering strong financial support for that project, VNA officials hope to begin construction in the spring, Mariano said.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204

or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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