Who Are We? Where Did We Come From?

Our Story

In the 1970s, Bo Mitchell and Bob Beltz served a devoted following of Denver-based business executives with their message centered on focusing your life around the priority of right relationships: faith, family, friends and fellow man. Through these ideas and relationships, Providence Network (PN) was established as a vehicle for them to make a difference in a tangible way. Soon after, Bob Skold joined the team to help develop support for the new initiative.

Thus began a search in Denver’s inner city to identify a strategic investment that would enlarge the hearts of our donors. Ray and Marilyn Stransky of Hope Communities introduced Bo and Bob to Pastor Andy Cannon of Open Door Fellowship, and they quickly discovered his passion: building community among those with broken lives, so they may heal, change and grow. In 1988, a partnership forged between PN and Andy, an 18-year veteran of inner-city ministry leadership, melding his solid street-wise experience with access to PN’s financial resources, organizational skills, and relational connections. We started Providence Network with the acquisition of an 18-bedroom mansion at 801 Logan Street.

Andy showed us that profound, permanent change, (the kind that promotes healing and growth), takes place when residents identify with healthy role models and learn to make wise lifestyle choices informed by faith-based truth. The answer is found in building community. Using the “living-in-community” model and offering a life-building program staffed with live-in mentors, we emphasized the life-to-life learning and teaching approach to foster change from the inside out.

 

Changed Lives and Lasting Results 

Soon the first home was full, and we all recognized the need was huge. We had also witnessed first-hand the remarkable life-changing stories of the residents. We knew that here was a workable solution to homelessness and recovery from addictions and abuse in all forms. At the time, most of the fundraising was done over coffee. Passion fuels dreams, though, and Bo & Bob were able to build relationships, generate funds and honor the donors in the process. The donors were served with powerful stories of changed lives, and residents were given the resources and the hope for life-transformation. Our donors got excited about our success with this new concept of "tranformational housing."

 

One Home Has Now Become Four!

Joy House, serving low income women and their children recovering from the devastating effects of domestic violence, opened in August of 2000 through the energy and extraordinary social venture capital instincts of Abigail Bach.

In August, 2006, we opened Victory House, a "NextStep" affordable housing community for our "FirstStep" transitional housing graduates, with the hope that they will continue to benefit and thrive from living in a healthy, supportive environment among friends and mentors.

On November 20, 2011 Providence Network staff, Board members and friends celebrated the dedication of Clausen House, our newest NextStep affordable housing complex. The purchase of this building was made possible through our successful NextStep Capital Campaign, thanks to the generosity of many individuals and a matching gift from the Anschutz Foundation. It was named "Clausen House" as a tribute to long-time Providence Network donor and friend, Ken Clausen, who was instrumental in the purchase of this building.

Clausen House has a combination of 23 studios, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, which will provide affordable housing to our FirstStep graduates. Ken's legacy of friendship, generosity, and compassion for those who are seeking to overcome the obstacles of poverty, homelessness and domestic violence, will carry on at Clausen House.