2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Outgoing Homeward Pikes Peak leader to open addiction recovery center

Published: March 13, 2014, 5:03 pm, by Jakob Rodgers
Bob Holmes - Gazette file

Bob Holmes – Gazette file

Homeward Pikes Peak’s outgoing chief will soon focus less on combating homelessness and more on helping people recover from crippling drug addictions.

Bob Holmes plans to create a for-profit addiction recovery center called STAR-Colorado, which is expected to open April 1 at 5250 Pikes Peak Highway in Cascade, he said Thursday.

Holmes announced his resignation last week as Homeward Pikes Peak’s chief executive after leading the nonprofit for 11 years. His last day will be March 28.

About 45 people gave him a standing ovation Thursday during a monthly meeting of homeless service providers that Holmes has led for several years. Several people also expressed their gratitude for his work over the years.

Homeward Pikes Peak was founded about 10 years ago to coordinate the region’s services to homeless people and transitional housing programs, which involves several nonprofits that receive federal grants. It operated under a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development mandate to streamline and coordinate federally-funded local housing programs that help homeless people segue from shelters to more permanent housing.

The transition in leadership comes at a turbulent time for the nonprofit, which closed the Aztec Motel – a transitional housing program that ended in November amid deep funding woes. A new initiative that Holmes envisioned to take its place – a transitional housing program for mothers in rehab – has yet to materialize.

Also, the nonprofit gave up its oversight duties due to the fact it was operating as a direct service provider – a conflict of interest for an agency assigned to coordinate regional services.

After the meeting, Holmes attributed his resignation to a few factors, including his long tenure at the nonprofit and the shift in Homeward Pikes Peak’s mission from oversight agency to one solely providing services and support to people in need.

“It was a good time for me to depart – and very positively,” Holmes said.

Holmes new program is a 30-day treatment center that can house up to 16 people who could receive treatment from a staff of clinicians including a physician, a physician’s assistant and a dietitian, he said. Catered meals will be offered 12 times a week, and clients can participate in daily yoga sessions.

“We want to put out an array of techniques for people to cope – not only with their addictions, but to find out what the triggers are for addictions, and then to find out what caused the triggers,” Holmes said. “We’re working back.”