Living the high life — or not 

Street Smarts

We all need a few things to survive: food, water, (arguably) coffee and a roof over our heads. Yet finding a place you can afford is becoming harder and harder.

click to enlarge Eric Kiefer
  • Eric Kiefer

Eric Kiefer of Meridian Ranch is a union sheet metal worker.

Do you live in a house? I do. I've owned it less than two months. It's my wife's therapy house — she has breast cancer and she's going through chemo. We raised three kids, gave them everything they needed, and now it's our turn.

What kind of trouble have you had finding housing in the Springs? Well I lived in my old house for 18 years, so not much. Before that, though... I was actually homeless my senior year of high school. But I just worked my way through and I had friends who were willing to help me out. Been working every day of my life since then.

Affordable housing is a problem everywhere. Any ideas on how to fix it in our city? They need to build more apartments, not just houses. And more lower-end apartments if you don't mind me saying so. They could also buy up old buildings and section them off.

click to enlarge Jonathan Cowles
  • Jonathan Cowles

Jonathan Cowles of the northeast is between jobs.

What kind of troubles have you had finding a place to live in the Springs? It's just tough to find something in a decent location that's not super expensive.

Describe your ideal home. Someplace I feel safe, nothing super fancy but I'd love to just have enough money to pay for my own home and a couple nice things. Stability, that's all.

What about your ideal city? I actually really like Colorado Springs. It's not too clustered, there's enough room to breathe, to spread out. I like that.

click to enlarge Yolanda Medina
  • Yolanda Medina

Yolanda Medina of the Old North End is training to be a customer service representative.

Do you live in a house? A mobile home, actually.

Have you had any issues finding affordable housing in the Springs? There is no affordable housing. The money, the vouchers from the city are all frozen. My kid is special needs, and we can't get in to save our souls. Kids are going to foster homes and their moms are going into shelters.

Any ideas on how to fix that? They need to tell us what they're doing with the money that's supposed to help, or if there even is money. They need to be honest so we can plan for it. If you have to have friends and family to survive, then I wish we were all united on that. I wish we would all work together to help people.

What do you want in a home? Everyone just wants room for opportunity, safe and together. You want to be able to say to friends, "Hey, come over."

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