VNA agrees to acquire The Haven |

VNA agrees to acquire The Haven

Rob Gebhart

In an effort to increase housing options for the Yampa Valley’s elderly, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is taking over The Haven, an independent living center for the elderly in Hayden.

The VNA has big plans for The Haven. Eventually, VNA director Sue Birch said, the 8-acre site could be developed into a campus for the elderly, complete with dormitory-style living.

But first, the VNA needs some money.

The VNA has agreed to acquire The Haven for $750,000, and the organization is seeking the support of local governments to obtain grant funding for the purchase.

At a meeting Tuesday morning, Birch requested that the Moffat County commissioners contribute $50,000 as matching funds for a pending $600,000 grant from the state Department of Local Affairs.

The grant would fund acquisition fees and immediate renovations, and it would pay for computers and phones.

Birch requested the same amount from the Steamboat Springs City Council and Routt County commissioners, but both of those government entities contributed $25,000.

“I think that as a region, we need to look at how we treat our elderly,” Birch said.

But whatever contributions local governments make are valuable, because they demonstrate to DOLA that the VNA has the support of local governments, Birch said.

“We have to show government is on board,” Birch said.

The Moffat County commissioners did not discuss what amount they might contribute. Birch plans to make a similar request to the Craig City Council.

The commissioners already have signed a letter of support for the VNA’s plans.

Birch said she didn’t expect to make many changes in the first three years the VNA owns The Haven. Mostly, the VNA hopes to break even or run no less than a 15 percent deficit while operating the facility.

But she hopes to someday add a senior day-care center, Section 8 housing, transportation between Steamboat Springs and Craig, and a hospice center.

The Haven has hospice rooms for elderly clients and respite rooms for elderly clients whose families need a break from caring for them.

Birch hopes the project could fill the vacuum created when the Valley View Manor nursing home in Craig closed last year.

The Haven is one of the only elderly housing units in the Yampa Valley that accepts Medicaid, Birch said.

In Craig, neither Rainbow Assisted Living nor The Jewel accept Medicaid.

The merger between the VNA and The Haven should be completed between August and September.

Twenty percent of The Haven’s residents come from Moffat County, as do The Haven’s employees.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or

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