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.

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.

Unconventional & transitional tiny shelters for people in poverty and homelessness

Community Compassion Outreach, Inc., will model a Village for the Homeless in La Plata County — similar to the Beloved Community Village in Denver. The HHi House is an example of a tiny home/shelter. April 20th, we will know if the HHi House is an acceptable shelter model.

Beloved Community Village

Developed by Denver Homeless Out Loud (advisory members and potential village residents) Amended and fleshed out by Beloved Community Village Residents There will be three inter-related levels of governance within the village: -The Village Council -The Advisory Council -Colorado Village Collaborative The village itself has developed a memorandum of understanding between the Village, the…
— Read on


Winter Critical Supply Bank for the Homeless

“Thirty-five percent of the Homeless are not sheltered…”

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Thank you, BIG AGNES!

Big Agnes! We appreciate the generous donation od several sleeping bags and mats!

Shelters are already full to capacity! Winter in Durango has approximately 40 persons in makeshift tents who camp the arroyos and the woods. For those individuals who call Durango ‘home’ there is a high risk of hyperthermia and fatality.

One life lost is enough–two lives is unconscionable! We don’t want another person to die for lack of warmth and the dampness of clothing through inadequate sleeping bags and tents.

Your generous Tax Deductible Gift of $10 or more will assist in the purchase of winter camping gear. We need approximately ten (10) each of camping sleeping bags, tents and tarps rated at 10 to SubZero DegreesF!

Go online to contribute to Community Compassion Outreach Program and mark your Gift “Critical Supply”. Click to go to CCOP Giving.