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Concrete Couch: We're making "A Place for All to Meet and Make" 

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I'm responding to comments in the Indy regarding Concrete Couch's plans to develop a permanent home ("Concrete Conscience," Cover story, Aug. 29).

These writers may have missed that we currently do not own the land. Our engagement has been with the owner's permission, and has included building a gate and fence sections, closing two road access points, and picking up garbage, with the help of Fort Carson, a church group, Atlas Prep School, and homeless people who live in this area.

The homeless at this site number between 80 and 120, and they're living on land owned by a foundation, Denver & Rio Grande Western railroad, several private landowners, and the city. We have walked this site about 150 times, and due to our efforts, it's considerably cleaner than it was, although there's still a ways to go.

As the article notes, once we own the site, we will be actively removing people, based on general regulations, including no drug use, littering, etc. Currently there is no daily presence on any of the above- mentioned parcels by any owners. Once we purchase it, we plan to have a daily presence on-site.

Please note what we're actually setting out to do: to make "A Place for All to Meet and Make." We have 20 years of positive experiences in town, and have contributed about 25,000 hours to better the lives of veterans, military families, senior citizens, developmentally differently-abled adults, and underserved youth. All of our programs are free and open to all. We have brought $1.2 million of direct savings and programmatic contributions to the Pikes Peak region. We have helped thousands of people to learn skills and strengthen our community, gain employment, and even start businesses.

Finally, I encourage those who are passionate about this area of town to reach out to the Concrete Couch staff (concretecouch.org) and work together with us. I believe our goals and yours are actually very closely aligned.

— Steve Wood, Executive Director of Concrete Couch

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