The story of Providence Network began in the 1980s when a group of Christian business leaders partnered with Andy Cannon, an 18-year veteran of inner-city ministry, to serve people whose lives are characterized by chronic poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, and despair. Andy’s passion—building community among those with “broken lives” so they may heal, change, and grow—served as a foundation for this work.

Andy Cannon, Bob Skold, and Bo Mitchell, along with countless other friends and benefactors, launched Providence Network (originally named “The Executive Network”) with the acquisition of an 18-bedroom historic mansion at 801 N Logan Street in Capitol Hill. This first property is known today as Providence House, which brings together men and women recovering from addictions with male and female staff in a unique, home-like environment.

Andy taught that profound change, the kind that promotes transformational healing and growth, takes place when residents identify with healthy role models and learn to make wise lifestyle choices informed by faith-based truth.

Historical black and white photo of Providence House

Providence House 1948

A Historic Photo of Providence House

Photo of Andy and Linda Cannon at 2003 gala.

Andy & Linda 2003 Gala

Photo of Andy and Linda Cannon at 2003 Gala

In many cases, the root cause of unhealthy lifestyles is the ache and pain of loneliness, isolation, and disconnection. The lonely and alone soon lose hope and, filled with despair, often seek solace in sex, drugs, and alcohol. Providence Network believes the answer is found in Christ-centered community. Their “life-on-life” model of a holistic program staffed by live-in mentors fosters change from the inside out.

Life-changing stories began to pour out of the program and the need remained larger than ever. By 1990, two more homes were opened, Providence House II and III. With the demonstrated success of program replication and expansion, Providence Network created specialized housing for survivors of domestic abuse, launching Joy House in 2000. Joy House serves 11 families of women and children recovering from intimate-partner violence and sometimes substance addiction.

Seeing the need of their FirstStep graduates for affordable, substance-free housing, Providence Network developed its “NextStep” housing model, extending the continuum of care that leads to long-term stability.

In 2006, Providence Network purchased Victory House, its first NextStep apartment community, at 2330 Washington Street. Victory House features 19 one, two, and three-bedroom apartments.

NextStep housing offers graduates an affordable, healthy, sober living community with supportive staff and services. Without the lowered cost of housing, they are often forced to live in environments marred by drugs, violence, and instability, which places them at increased risk of relapse and diminishes their chances for long-term success.

In 2010, Providence House II and III were sold, which put Providence Network in a healthy financial position to begin seeking another NextStep home to serve the growing stable housing need of FirstStep graduates. 

Bob, Andy, and Bo’s 20th Anniversary Party at Governor’s Mansion

Bob, Andy, Bo – 20th Anniversary Celebration at Governor’s Mansion

Bob, Andy, and Bo’s 20th Anniversary Party at Governor’s Mansion

In 2011, Providence Network staff, board members, and friends celebrated the dedication of Clausen House, its second NextStep housing community, located at 2514 Champa Street in historic Curtis Park. It has a combination of 23 studios, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments.

With an equal pairing of FirstStep and NextStep homes, Providence Network had identified a model that was meaningful both to carrying out its mission and to maintaining long-term financial stability. The revenue from its rental units covers all NextStep building operations as well as a portion of the organization’s general fund. This self-sustaining model also gives our NextStep residents the empowering experience of investing back into the ministry that many claim saved their life.

In 2015, Providence Network responded to the growing number of young adults living on the streets with the purchase of its third FirstStep home, Silver Lining House. This beautiful mansion was built in 1895 and is located at 357 N Broadway. Today, this home focuses on serving unhoused young men, generally between the ages of 18 and 25. In a safe and supportive community staffed by peer mentors, these young adults can greatly improve their future by changing the trajectory of their lives before becoming entrenched in unhealthy circumstances.

In 2018, Providence Network purchased its third NextStep home, Champa House, from the Denver Rescue Mission, and later renamed it Gibson House. Gibson House added 13 studio and one-bedroom apartments for single men and women. Like each NextStep home, Gibson House is blessed with live-in staff who help foster community and healthy connections.

In total, Providence Network now operates three transitional housing programs known as FirstStep homes—Providence House, for single adults recovering from addictions; Joy House, for women and children who have experienced domestic violence; and Silver Lining House, for unhoused young men—as well as three affordable housing apartment buildings known as NextStep communities—Victory House, Clausen House, and Gibson House.

After 35 years, Providence Network remains fueled by its vision to develop communities of transformed individuals living out healthy lifestyles characterized by economic self-sufficiency, meaningful social connections, and redemptive beliefs.

Andy Cannon’s 30th Anniversary Surprise Party

Group shot at Andy’s 30th Anniv Surprise Party

Andy Cannon’s 30th Anniversary Surprise Party

35-years of history and mission have only been possible through 35-years of partnership with generous foundations, individuals, families, and friends.

The ripple effect of Providence Network’s work replaces a generational cycle of poverty and abuse with positive physical and mental health, the tools to succeed, and hope for the future. Providence Network has helped more than 4,000 individuals and families in Denver progress from homelessness to self-sufficiency. The story of Providence Network continues onward today with your help.

Please consider helping write the next chapter of the story of Providence Network by joining our monthly-giving community, The Table. Members of The Table give monthly to Providence Network to help our residents pursue economic self-sufficiency, healthy connection, and redemptive beliefs year round. Thank you for investing in our mission.