It’s envisioned as a home base for homeless young people 18-25, a stabilizing presence that would allow for personal and professional skill development in a safe and nurturing setting.
And if funding comes together for Launch Pad Pueblo, plans call for the home to be open by fall in time for the start of school.
The local nonprofit will kick off its $200,000 fundraising drive at 10 a.m. Saturday at REPS Union Avenue Sports Gym, 121 Union Ave.
In addition to an opportunity to meet the Launch Pad Pueblo board, the event will see Puebloan Frank Sagona undertake a trial run as he attempts a world record for most push-ups in an hour. Other slated attractions include dance and music performers, a chin-up and push-up competition for high schoolers, a mini-crossfit course for middle schoolers and activities for those 7 and younger. Refreshments will be available.
Ann Ladd, president of Launch Pad Pueblo, said a home, located at 400 E. Routt, is already under contract. A former residence for Catholic nuns, the home as 12 small bedrooms on the top floor, a kitchen and dining room, and five extra rooms on first floor, which are intended to serve as office and administrative space.
Conveniently, it is located 1 mile from Pueblo Community College, one of Launch Pad Pueblo’s alliance partners and the institution that is expected to provide the programs with its first 13 residents.
“Launch Pad is a hand-up, not a handout,” said Ladd. “In addition to housing, food and assistance with going to school or learning a trade, residents will be given personal emotional support and life enrichment activities they missed out on growing up.”
Residents will participate in classes in life skills such as money management, healthy nutrition, stress management, relationship skills and work ethic and enjoy excursions to museums, concerts, campouts and so forth.
Ladd said the $200,000 will be used to first purchase the home ($140,000) and then renovate and furnish it, with money set aside for operating expenses for the first year.
And while the program offers full support, it also demands full accountability, Ladd said.
“The intake process will be rigorous. We will select only those individuals who are not using drugs and who demonstrate a desire to make a change in their life trajectory.
“Participation in training and other activities that advance residents’ life goals is required.”
Ladd estimates that at least 100 Pueblo County young adults would be eligible for entrance into the program.