History of Greeley Transitional House dba Greeley Family House

In late 1984, The Greeley Interfaith Association began discussing the need for emergency housing for FAMILIES in the community. After many discussions, the talk progressed to having a formal program that would address homeless families.

Around the same time, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) offered funds to help Weld County with emergency needs. The $9500 grant needed to be spent quickly and the funds were awarded to a new “Transitional Housing Project”. To ensure compliance and focus, a steering commit was established with representatives from the Salvation Army, United Way of Weld County, Greeley Interfaith Association, A Woman’s Place, Weld County Department of Social Services, Weld Information and Referral Services, Colorado Rural Legal Service and Catholic Community Services Northern.

Transitional housing was a new and innovative concept and from the beginning, the philosophy was designed to encourage self-sufficiency. Simple paying the rent was seen as a “band-aid” and could create a cycle of dependency on public assistance.

March 1, 1985 the “Transitional House” opened in a small house provided by the Salvation Army. The house had the capacity to serve 2 families per month. The program allowed a family to stay for just 30 days, while receiving case management for up to six months. During this time, families received numerous referrals to other community resources. Additionally, each family was partnered with a “social concerns” committee with one of the local churches who agreed to be the family’s sponsor. This partnership included friendship, education, emotional support, and assistance in resolving problems.

Soon after opening the house, a formal board of directors was established, and the organization began the process of becoming a nonprofit corporation. The first executive director, George Hunter, was hired in 1986. Under his guidance, the organization was incorporated in October 1986 and IRS 501 (c)(3) designation was received in 1987.

Recognizing the need, the facility moved to a large six-bedroom Victorian home at 1202 6th Street, donated by the City of Greeley. George remained Executive Director until 1988 when Michael Muskin was hired to replace him.

Michael served from 1988 – 1992. During his tenure, he was instrumental in stabilizing the organization and growing the program to include the follow-up housing program that remains today.

Linda Akers took over the role of E.D. from 1992 – 2005. During her 14 years, she worked with Travis Gillmore, GFH Board Member to initiate Capital Campaign and purchase the current location at 1026 10th Street.

Jodi Hartmann assumed the E.D. position in 2005 – 2018. Working with the Board of Directors, she developed a special events fundraiser - Summerfest - increasing event funds from $11,000 (2006) to $200,000 (2023).

Nancy Wiehagen, the current E.D. has served since 2018. During her tenure, she and the Board of Directors added a dba to better reflect the mission and numerous changes in how homelessness is perceived and managed, including serving on the Northern Colorado Continuum of Care (NoCo CoC) Board of Directors.

To date, we have provided shelter and supportive services to over 2,000 families (6,100 individuals) and more than 4,200 children.

Throughout the 39 years, the Boards of Directors have provided substantial vision, leadership, and assistance in building the mission while building and funding the programs.

We are extremely grateful for the more than 100 community leaders who founded and guided the programs.