Small Facility Loan – First Class Impact

Since 1989 Capitol Hill Action and Recreation Group, Inc. (CHARG) has been providing health services free of charge to low-income mentally ill individuals in Capitol Hill and the Denver metro area.

CHARG purchased its current building, the CHARG Resource Center, in 1994 and provides counseling, psychiatric services, group workshops, and other activities for low income mental health consumers who might otherwise never access treatment. Serving approximately 500 people a year, the Resource Center is a place where mentally ill individuals can spend time and feel safe.

Located in the heart of Capitol Hill, the 100-year-old building had been generally well maintained, but was in need of major rehabilitation and upgrades, including the need for replacement of the entire plumbing and sewer system.

“This building is the cornerstone of the community we’ve built over the years,” said Executive Director David Burgess. “My biggest concern was that one of the pressurized water lines was going to break and completely ruin it.”

A $75,000 loan from MHCLF complemented a City of Denver grant, allowing CHARG to move ahead with the critical renovation. The $350,000 project included electrical system upgrades, window and roof replacement, a new main kitchen, new meeting spaces, remodeled kitchens and bathrooms in the two living units, interior and exterior paint, carpeting, flooring and landscaping.

“Typically, people with mental illness have been regulated to substandard facilities,” said Burgess, “By fixing this building we are giving our clients knowledge that they are as worthy of a first-class facility as anyone, and they take pride in the building.”

The CHARG project was the first funded under MHCLF’s recently established TUP Legacy Fund.