If you think stories about housing and hunger in the Denver metro area are pressing now, wait’ll you see what the future holds.
Nearly 900,000 people could live just within the city of Denver by the year 2040, according to recently published projections.
From the beginning — in fact, from stories emailed to subscribers before we had a website — housing issues have been top of mind for Denverite. And now with the generous support of a cohort of 18 nonprofits, Denverite is adding dedicated reporting power to these critical subject areas.
Starting today, we are hiring for a housing and hunger reporter. (Here’s the job listing.) The reporter will bring the familiar Denverite neighborhood-, city- and state-level focus to these ongoing stories, and will support in the production of several Denverite events that will keep the dialogue going, face-to-face.
The nonprofits are part of a relatively new field of organizations that, though their specific missions vary widely, are united in their desire to improve health equity — that is, the ways that a person’s health and a community’s health are impacted by where people live, the education they get, the work they do, the wages they earn and the opportunities to make decisions that improve their health.
“The cohort chose the priority issue areas of housing affordability and food access or food security for themselves as a group, and those issue areas are really aligned with Denverite’s interest in having a reporter position around housing and hunger,” said Noelle Dorward, who works with the cohort on behalf of The Colorado Trust.
“Even though the cohort is statewide, they recognize the importance of having journalists reporting and paying attention to those issues in the metro area as well.”
From decisions around the size and use of Denver’s affordable housing fund to new challenges and opportunities facing surrounding cities like Aurora and Lakewood to weighing design against cost, density against crowding, housing stories are among the most urgent and talked-about in the city right now.
And while many Denverites might not know it, efforts to address the city’s food deserts face enormous challenges that won’t be solved in time for dinner for residents who either don’t know where their next meal will come from or for whom healthy grocery shopping is so inconvenient as to be unrealistic.
At the direction of the nonprofit organizations comprising the cohort, The Colorado Trust has agreed to fully fund the housing and hunger reporter position through November of 2019.
The new staffer will report directly to me, Denverite editor Dave Burdick, and neither The Colorado Trust nor the nonprofits will be involved in editorial decisions. The nonprofits involved are the Asian Pacific Development Center, Center for Health Progress, Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials, Colorado Center on Law & Policy, Colorado Children’s Campaign, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, Colorado Fiscal Institute, Full Circle of Lake County, Inc., Grand County Rural Health Network, Inc., Growing Healthy Communities Coalition, Lake County Build A Generation, Northwest Colorado Health, Padres & Jóvenes Unidos, Re:Vision, The Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities, Together Colorado, Tri-County Health Network and United for a New Economy.