Editor’s note: Kevin and Dave roamed Bruce Randolph Avenue and talked to most everyone they saw. Every day during Street Week, we’re rolling out mini profiles of the everyday heroes they found. Find more here.
“I came (to Denver) in 1988. I had my three babies, and we drove from El Paso,” Tila Lozoya said.
She stood inside her “Pioneer Woman,” a bubble-gum pink and green RV she’d fashioned in the style of her favorite blogger, Food Network star Ree Drummond. The cups and plates stored in the RV’s cupboards came from Drummond’s shop. The faces on the wall were all of Marilyn Monroe. She was in the process of moving into the camper.
It had been more than 30 years since Lozoya arrived in Denver. Now, it was time to leave.
“We didn’t know where we were going. Wherever God wanted to take us,” she said of her trek from Texas. “I guess, now that we don’t have kids, we’re going to do the same thing.”
The house off Bruce Randolph Avenue where she and her husband, a mechanic, made their home had been a source of stability for the last half-decade. That changed over the summer, when the landlord told them it had sold. Chic modern townhomes, she figured, would takeover the sparse, oversized lot, and their home would be torn down.
“We just lost the house. And they shouldn’t put us out, because of the corona,” she said. “They’re gonna tear it down.”
Evictions related to COVID-19 were briefly outlawed in Colorado. But there are other ways to clear out a property.
“We don’t have nowhere to go,” Lozoya said.
The recession, girded by a deadly and infectious virus, pried open fissures between the city’s haves and have-nots. There are winners and losers in this moment. At the same time, a third of all homes on the market in December cost more than $1 million.
“It’s hard to find a house,” she said. “And they’re very expensive, you know?”
For now, the couple will live in the Pioneer Woman. Their future is open, but it won’t play out in Denver.
It’s a bittersweet pill. On the one hand, they get a fresh start, Lozoya said. On the other hand, Denver is where the work is. They’ll have to wait and see if they can make it work somewhere else.
“So we might drive to La Junta, because it’s country, and see if we can find a little spot,” she said. “We’re going to go and see what’s going on.”
A message emblazoned on the trailer’s rear, visible to anyone passing the couple on their journey elsewhere, says: “It doesn’t get much better than this.”