COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- Thursday morning, Tracy Allen took a tour of her new home, The Commons in Colorado Springs. In just a few weeks, she'll be moving in after years of struggling to find a safe place to stay.
"The experience, it helps me to appreciate a lot more being inside. A shower, to use the bathroom," said Allen.
For the last three years, Allen has been living out of her car. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Allen was on disability. She eventually got kicked out of the hotel she was staying in because she didn't have enough money- forcing her to seek refuge in her car.
"It’s been hard, really hard," said Allen.
The Commons is a new permanent supportive housing community that's the first of its kind in Colorado Springs. The first phase of the project has 50 units available for families, veterans, and individuals. Right now, the supportive housing communities in the Springs either don't house families or people can only stay for a certain amount of time.
Right now, there are more than 1,400 people in El Paso County experiencing homelessness. The goal is to break generational poverty and homelessness.
"The ones that you don’t see on the streets are the families, but don’t let that fool you those families are out there. They’re in places. They’re trying to get shelter for their kids so they may not be visible, but they're here," said Brooke Sulski the lead case manager for The Commons.
Allen was on the street for some time with her two kids and says she did everything to protect them.
"Then I had to put them somewhere because I didn’t want them to be in the car any longer. It was hurting me a lot because we were all squished up in there in my truck," said Allen.
Allen will now have stability and a chance to reunite with her family.
"It means, oh my gosh, I can’t explain it’s a lot because I never had such freedom to be able to buy them and do for them as well as I’m going to be able to now before it was very difficult," said Allen.
The Commons will have support for clients onsite 24/7. They'll also have access to resources for veterans and access to health care services.
The Commons accepts clients with no income or insurance. Clients who do have a job will pay 30 percent of their salary to rent.
There will be a groundbreaking ceremony on April 25 at 1 pm.