Village of Hope in La Plata County for those who cannot access affordable housing


CCO, Inc., advocates for affordable and available housing to serve those who cannot access affordable housing in La Plata County:

  • Persons in homelessness
  • Households paying over 30% of income on rent
  • Persons with barriers that prevent entry in a shelter or is disqualified for Housing Vouchers
  • Unaccompanied Youth Ages 18-25

Persons agreeing to rental agreement, rules and regulations should prove length of homelessness.

Small House designed for persons in poverty and homelessness will be asvailable as soon as we identify a location for the first Phase One

Phase One

Ten (10) units of the HHi Structural Insulated Panels is planned for the first Village of Hope for people experiencing homelessness and poverty.

CCO reached a Milestone in May 2018 with a dignified insulated lockable safe Small House for people in homelessness and poverty. The Humanitarian House International (HHi) NonProfit in Denver, CO, redesigned an experimental HHi House of PVC Tubing — assessed by the Engineering Design and Practice ENGR 315 during 2018 Spring Semester. Students were under the tutelage of Dr. Don May, Professor of Engineering at Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO.

A Final Report was submitted on April 30th to CCO and HHi as agreed in an agreement to collaborate with Fort Lewis College. The Collaboration shared specific responsibilities according to the November 2017 agreement.

  • CCO provided students with criteria and specific goals;
  • HHi supplied technical assistance and materials according to the architect’s specifications; and,
  • FLC performed accountability of materials, assembled the components, conducted tests, and disassembled the unit to determine the structure’s weight.

In lieu of ordinary frames used in conventional construction, Big Sky R-Control will provide Structural Insulated Panels in a kit with hardware to Ohlson’s specifications.

High Country Homes Builder to manage onsite construction with a training program

CCO’s friends and volunteers, with the help of an experienced and licensed crew at High Country Homes owned and operated by Rick Huber.

Rick has trained individuals in home building and repairs, with a specialty in building self-esteem and personal relationships. CCO is grateful that Rick will be providing our volunteers and friends assistance in the assembly stages of the HHi SIPs small house.

Contact “Donna Mae” Baukat for further information.

Sponsor the cost of a small house

If you would like to sponsor the cost to build one or more small houses, please contact us.

We’re looking for five acres for our Village of Hope

Somewhere in La Plata County, within ten miles from the City of Durango, five acres are waiting for a village for sustainable living. CCO Board of Directors and volunteers identified an unmet need for small houses with great insulation and heating.

We solve panhandling by getting them off the street and into a house where they begin to live as normally as people with a home or apartment.

Who can stop the flow of Homelessness in our region? Community Compassion Outreach is starting with small houses in villages of 10, 20, and 40 units with running water, power and sewage. Five acres will help make this possible.


Fort Lewis College ENGR-315 study of homeless shelters due Thursday, April 26, 2018

Anxiously waiting until Thursday, April 26th at 7:30AM when we attend the final class to hear two presentations on the engineering design and practice of homeless shelters, to include recommendations.

Disassembled components of HHi House built by engineering design students is waiting for a site

HHi House components disassembled and waiting for a site.

Insulated panels were fabricated by the junior class of Fort Lewis College engineering design students under the tutelage of Don May, P.E., Ph.D., professor of the Engineering Department. PVC tube connectors and tube framing & insulated panels lay in wait for relocation if required by the homeless.

CCO, in collaboration with Humanitarian House International and FLC, is raising funds to build the first sanctioned Homeless Village in La Plata County, Colorado. The plan is to start with 10-15 units of the 196-square feet of space.

Re-Designed HHi House

The re-designed HHi House remains portable. HHi Architect Stuart Ohlson decided to eliminate PVC tube connectors and tubing for the frame with insulated panels. In March, 2018, revised plans creates a more substantial space in which the HHi House will accommodate a couple with two children. The flexible spacs allows for two bed spaces with each containing one bunk bed, ideal for singles to share the 196-square foot HHi House. The option to have one bed space created for a couple offers great flexibility and may include underbed storage.

We expect the Fort Lewis College Engineering Design Report to include recommendations for plumbing each unit with water, power and sewage. Those features will create self-sufficient housing units which may become an insulated permanent house for over ten years.

Portable for relocation and reassembly

Imagine a village of HHi Houses for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, with a community building for human and health services that will be available to ensure case management. Residents will be able to live in the village for as long as it is necessary to receive continuum of care for mental illness and drug dependencies. A program to assist residents to enter permanent supportive housing is being developed.


Colorado’s lack of affordable housing and wages do not keep up with cost of living, which impacts rural communities like Durango. Low vacancies of rentals and high median area rent rates in a growing population is preventing low income workers from entering affordable housing. People who have part-time jobs are camping in nearby forest lands, where the current drought is cause for fire concerns. Moreover, there is an unknown number of people sleeping in vehicles, couch surfing, sharing rooms, or sleeping in uninhabitable spaces in this county.

Although Permanent Supportive Housing for 9 people is planned for Durango by a developer of affordable housing in the next year or two, our organization estimates over 30 individuals would like to leave camping in the woods for a tiny house with running water and power.

Community Compassion Outreach, Inc., believes it has found a shelter for the homeless in our community. We are challenged by doubting Thomases and an uninformed public who have negative views toward people living unhoused. CCO is creating educational materials to address myths and to replace those myths with FAQx.

Durango is now home to many individuals and families who have left the big cities for rural, small-town living. We believe we should care for people who have made wrong choices. We believe that every human being is deserving of a safe, lockable, warm and dignified shelter—regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, criminal past, mental or physical disabilities, or ideology.

Call for volunteers!

We have day work projects and other community services to assist individuals and families to survive and exit homelessness.

Contact Mrs. “Donna Mae” Baukat for further information.

We welcome your generous Gift!

Durango Christian Church is a 501(c)(3) Religious Organization. At this time, we are accepting donations made payable to DCC/CCO at this online link HERE.


CCO packing up the disassembled HHi House by FLC Students


The Fort Lewis College Engineering Design & Practice class disassembled the HHi House on April 13, 2018.

04/21/2018 – Pickup FLC HHi House Components

Betty Schwartz-Bozeman & Norbert Schwartz with Loretta Meushaw, Steve Baukat and Donna Mae Baukat,  began early to pack up components of the HHi House onto a friend’s trailer and Durango Christian Church suburban.

Components are being relocated to the Baukat’s property where it will be stored. We hope that a homeless couple gets approval by county officials to reassemble and live in the unit at an undisclosed location.

The PVC tubing was loaded in a third truck.

We started loading at 9:15AM. Unloading at Baukat’s property completed around 11:15AM by CCO’s Team Betty, Norbert, Steve and Donna Mae.

We finished the day with a fabulous, relaxing lunch at Fiesta Mexicana.


What is Homelessness?

Simply put—Homelessness describes a condition in which a person is without housing. CCO has learned to use a kinder phrase for people living on the streets or in makeshift camps.

We use the phrase “people who are experiencing homelessness” — they are not “homeless people”. A person who is without shelter or unhoused may be temporarily or chronically experiencing homelessness.

Fort Lewis College Engineering Students & HHi House for the Homeless


Update: Monday, March 12, 2018

Trim with insect screens on windows. Plexiglas will be installed on another date.

Insect screens and trim were added to dress up the 178 Square Feet HHi House entrance. Starting March 12, 2018, engineering students will perform destructive testing on this model. By the middle of April, after testing is completed, a design report will be made available to Community Compassion Outreach and Humanitarian House International. The Fort Lewis College collaboration was funded by HHi Architect and Designer Stuart Ohlson of Denver.

Stay tuned…

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 – The HHi House is assembled, less furnishings. After Spring Break, engineering design students will begin destructive testing on the unit over a period of four weeks until the design study is complete. A report on the HHi House performance and any modifications is expected on April 20, 2018.
Fully assembled with insulated panels fabricated by Fort Lewis College engineering design students.

All panels installed, the back of the HHi House looks like this:

Back windows of HHi House
These cut outs serve as windows for lighting. Panels will be installed eventually.
Students and a hired helper pause a moment with Community Compassion Outreach Technical Director Steve Baukat.

Insulated foam panels are being fabricated to wrap the PVC Frame. The third tier of the frame is in place for Insulated Panels to be attached to walls and 10-Ft. ceiling. Galvanized metal roofing will be insulated. Due to some practice by students who have never worked on laminating the panels, delays were unavoidable. Extra boards were ordered and delivery made as we are filming this phase.

Humanitarian House International Details

Click the link below to go to Humanitarian HouseInernational Website—to learn more about the designer and his description of the 13’x13’ Structure.

HHI logo
Emergency Shelter / Long-Term Dwelling for Low-Income & People Experiencing Homelessness.

Insulated Flooring and PVC Tube Frame

Updated Friday, January 26, 2018, video by Donna Mae Baukat.

HHi House is awaiting insulated panels on walls and A-Frame corrugated roofing. Engineering students will be fabricating wall and ceiling panels with OSB and foam insulation for this mockup. When engineering analysis and construction of the HHi House are completed, Community Compassion Outreach of Durango Christian Church will prepare proposals for a planned unit development of HHi Houses in La Plata County, for “None-to-Low” barrier restrictions. Continuum of Care programs will be included in the proposal.

A Collaborative of Southwest Colorado is being formed to plan and manage a dignified and affordable temporary, transitional shelter for people in poverty and homelessness. The shelter we are offering is based upon the final design by Architect Stuart Ohlson and Fort Lewis College Engineering Design and Practice ENGR-315 junior class. On or before April 20, 2018, a FLC Design Report with Structural Engineering analysis will be submitted to us.

Volunteers—Steering Committee Forming

A Steering Committee is forming for the purpose of planning and managing a Village for the homeless in Durango, Colorado. We are considering the HHi House as a viable shelter in a community development for low-income workers and the Homeless. We invite anyone with a heart to help end homelessness to our steering committee.  Our first meeting is scheduled March 3, 2018 at Durango Christian Church Fellowship Hall (9:30AM-11:30AM). Contact Donna Mae for information.

Experimental Shelter for Homeless

The components of the HHi House which was built in Denver since 2015 has been disassembled, packed and loaded in a 5’x8’ trailer; and, it was driven to Fort Lewis College Engineering Department for the ENGR-315 class in Durango. Portable and recycled for third time, the HHi House for the Homeless is being introduced to Southwest Colorado.

HHi House Architect & Students
Architect Stuart Ohlson (background) instructs engineering students Natalie Lyon and Eli Dickinson at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO, on constructing the PVC tube framing for the HHi House.

HHi House homeless volunteer helps clear ground

Our organization is a program of Durango Christian Church in Southwest Colorado since January 2017. We are volunteers working with the community of private citizens, faith-base and other nonprofit groups to bring awareness of evidence-based solutions to end homelessness. For further information, please contact “Donna Mae” at (970) 236-2313 for further information.

RSVP Forum on Ending Homelessness

FREE ADMISSION – Public forum on ending homelessness is scheduled on February 17, 2018, 8:30AM to 4:30PM at the La Plata County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall. Learn from FLC Engineering Professor Don May of his class of juniors who are evaluating the HHi House and other homeless shelters some of the students will design.

Register at EVENTBRITE. Click HERE.

Lack of Beds in Shelters Creates Health Problems

A shelter like the HHi House could respond to the crises across the country where there are thousands of homeless people unable to find a bed in shelters. Click Here for the story.


Spring 2018 homeless shelter study course at Fort Lewis College

FeaturedFort Lewis College Engineering Design & Practice Engr 315 Spring 2018.


Read More

On November 13, 2017, Community Compassion Outreach Program (CCOP) of Durango Christian Church met with Professor Don May of the Engineering Department at Fort Lewis College (FLC) in Durango, Colorado. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the details of the Humanitarian House International “HHI House” for the Homeless. The HHI House is one of two or three best designs of the Engineering 315 junior class to be studied by students.

SWColorado Homeless Collaborative
From left to right, Professor Don May, PhD., P.E.; Stuart Ohlson, AIA; Pastor Jon Alsdorf (background); Bob Bennett; and, Sara Carver (CCOP volunteer).

Proposed transitional shelter for La Plata County’s Homeless

The HHI House is proposed as a transitional shelter to provide people experiencing homelessness in La Plata County a dignified, safe, and comfortable space for a short period of time.

Originally intended for equatorial locations outside the United States, Architect Stuart Ohlson of HHI in Denver redesigned the house for colder climates. Maintaining the HHI PVC Tube framing, Ohlson is using structural insulated panels (SIPs) rather than a canvas or plastic membrane. The roof is designed to be made of galvanized steel insulated with SIPs and at a 1:1 pitch for reduction of snow loading.

Modified HHI PVC Tube & Insulated Panel Shelter
A galvanized steel roof modifies this image. This photo shows the existing version of the homeless shelter we are promoting.

Fort Lewis College engineering design & practice study will determine the integrity of the design for our region of Colorado, while offering visual observations of snow loading during Winter 2018. Community Compassion Outreach Program and Humanitarian House International joint venture is to offer the HHI House to the homeless population in La Plata County.

Instead of tents, the Fort Lewis College Engineering Department Collaborative with CCOP and HHI will provide options for a more dignified and safe transitional housing. Competing with Tiny Homes, the Collaborative offers separate sleep spaces with bunk beds in three (3) sizes of the HHI House.

The more substantial large HHI House will be built by students using simple hand tools and according to instructions provided by Ohlson, HHI’s architect. It measures approximately 178-square feet and sleeps six (6) people in three sleep spaces that holds bunk beds; and, the HHI House has room for living quarters, kitchenette, bath/shower. However, kitchen and bathroom appliances are not included.

SWShelter4Homeless Interior
Small (2 persons); Medium (4 persons); Large (6 persons).



Day Work for the Homeless

Give Us Dirty Work began in August 2017. Since then, employers in our program have given jobs to over twelve (12) individuals.

Jobs ranged from digging post holes to working in a restaurant kitchen. An article on this project appeared in the Durango Herald on September 16, 2017. “Give Us Dirty Work offers the homeless employment” by Mary Shinn.

“Employers agree to pay a worker directly for a certain number of hours, and the Give Us Dirty Work program ensures that someone arrives to work and provides supervision.
“For example, the Powerhouse Science Center agreed to employ someone for 10 weeks for a few hours a week to clean and paint and do other tasks, said Anja Davis, director of community engagement and education for the nonprofit. We just thought it would be a great way to give back,” she said.”

As of this date, 18 job opportunities were listed by downtown business owners, private homeowners, and property managers/owners:

  • 4 persons worked for one (1) employer;
  • 7 persons filled nine (9) other jobs;
  • 2 individuals worked the two (2) additional jobs.
  • 5 men were hired by a property manager.

Powerhouse Science Center job involved one (1) individual with weekly jobs through November 10th.

The majority of job offers came through blue flyers originally distributed throughout town. Wages paid directly to workers started at $10/hour; $12.00/hour offered by two employers; and, $15/hour by a property owner.

Contact us for further information.

CCO is a Colorado NonProfit Seeking Tax Exempt Status

On March 29, 2018, Durango Christian Church applied and registered Community Compassion Outreach as a Colorado NonProfit. Currently, we are seeking Tax Exempt Status to qualify as a 501(c)(3) Faith-base Organization.

Tax Deductible donations should be made payable to (link will take you to DCC online giving for CCO): DCC/CCO

Activities of CCO, the NonProfit

CCO Mission Statement is to assist individuals and families to survive and to exit homelessness.

Our volunteers accomplish CCO’s Mission by providing winter protective camping gear; assisting persons to get an ID with appropriate documentation; finding day work for men and women willing to earn a day’s wage; by educating the public and governmental agencies of unmet needs of the homeless; and, by researching unconventional, emergency and temporary shelters to transition to permanent housing.

Click to make your tax deductible donation here.

Contact us for further information.