Denver, COMar 2nd, 2018 to Mar 10th, 2018
Trip Logistics & Participant Requirements:
We’ll be staying in an Airbnb located in downtown Denver! Some bed sharing will be required, but we have access to a full kitchen to cook most of our meals and, according to the description of the owners, one “SUPER comfy CASPER bed” (we can take turns).
The plan is to drive up to NOVA on Friday and spend the night at Sarah’s house before an early flight out the next morning via Dulles. One week later, our return trip will be over the course of just one day – we’ll leave Denver on Saturday morning, get to Dulles in the evening, and drive back to Charlottesville before midnight, so you’ll have a full day to catch up on work and call your family to tell them about your trip. While in Denver, we’ll be renting two cars to take us to our work site.
There are no language requirements for our trip, but we do ask that participants come into it willing to work hard and learn a lot!
We’ll be working with Rebuilding Together Metro Denver, which is an organization solely devoted to providing low-income homeowners with free necessary health and safety repairs. Rebuilding Together is a new partnership for ASB, so we unfortunately don’t have prior experience to inform your future experience. We won’t have specific information about the kind of work we’ll be doing until a few months before the trip, but it could be anything from painting to minor plumbing work. However, Paige has worked with them before, and she just about had the time of her life, so you’re in for a treat with whatever we do!
The city of Denver was founded in 1858 as a gold mining town, quickly becoming a major supply hub for new mines in Colorado. In World War II, the city’s location far from both coasts made it an ideal location for federal and military offices, which were followed by large corporations in the aerospace industry. These new industries brought a wave of money into the city, increasing development and beginning the transition into the city we know today. They also, however, brought a massive wave of white flight, causing Metro Denver to become one of the worst cases of urban sprawl in the country as the suburbs expanded rapidly. Rebuilding old structures is particularly important in the city to prevent further outwards development, which is where our partner organization comes in!
Denver is an extremely diverse place with tons of fascinating people and an unfortunate housing situation. With its recent population boom, much of its urban housing has been gentrified (in order to not exacerbate its urban sprawl), which makes it much more difficult to find affordable housing for those who are low-income in the city. This situation was highlighted in the mayor’s State of the City address this year, and as a result, the Denver City Council created a 10-year, $150 million housing fund to alleviate the problem (according to the Denver Post).
Rebuilding Together Metro Denver has been around since 1999 in order to help with this difficult housing situation – specifically to fix what’s already there rather than devote resources to create more housing (and thus more urban sprawl, another prevalent issue in Denver). By repairing old housing, RTMD is creating more affordable housing while saving the environment at the same time. Its primary projects are roofing, flooring, building porches and windows, and interior painting, which are great projects that allow a volunteer to see the effects of their work first-hand!!
We’ll be devoting most of our evenings to exploring the city! We plan on touring the capitol building, visiting the mile high mark, and checking out some free museums and parks. We’re also planning a day trip to the nearby Rocky Mountains, hopefully with a bit of hiking, weather permitting! We’ll also be spending an evening at ‘home’, playing games and getting to know each other better.
About the Site Leaders:
Paige is a third year from Greenville, South Carolina, and is majoring in Computer Science and Philosophy and minoring in Architecture. At UVa, her favorite involvements are the triathlon team, University Salsa Club, and International Residential College, because they offer many diverse experiences with cool people at a large university. When she’s not engulfed in university life, she’s either eating, swinging on swing-sets, or getting destroyed in chess.
Sarah is a third year Global Sustainability and Computer Science double major from Herndon, VA. She keeps busy on grounds with FeelGood at UVA, the University Singers, and Sustainability Advocates. In her free time, you can typically find her putzing around at the Downtown Mall, scoring veggies (and pastries, let’s be real) at the farmer’s market, or pretending to do work at 1515.