Connie Zimmerman was born and raised in Colorado. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Metro State University in Denver, Colo. 1972. Connie was the founder/director and the CEO of the nonprofit Colorado Homeless Families, (CHF) for 29 years. She had over 37 years of experience in the field of housing and assistance with refugees, runaway teens, senior citizens and homeless families. Connie has been successful in organizing the homeless families into a self-supporting transitional housing community and, she was a Trustee on the Board of Trustees for Crossroads Church during their building program, and served as chairperson for the 5 of the 6 years she was on the Board. She also served 4 years working with Operation Blessing at the church and was a member of the diaconate board.
These experiences proved valuable in 1987 as Connie founded CHF and started providing homes for the homeless. She was able to rent up to 34 foreclosed HUD properties for homeless families, in 1992 purchase 10 foreclosed RTC properties, in 1996 build 12 townhomes, in 1997 built the Family Education and Resource Center which houses the CHF offices, space for educational seminars, support groups, food bank, and community meeting space and child care.
In 2003, HomeAid came along side of CHF to build 2 duplexes and Extreme Makeover built 1 duplex for CHF. In 2005, a farm house with land was purchased , and 7 more townhomes were built on that property.
In all, Connie had purchased or rented up to 75 properties, 31 HUD properties were sold at cost or very discounted prices to homeless families graduating from CHF. Connie had been successful in soliciting assistance from local, state, and federal government agencies, private foundations, and individuals to address the various needs of the homeless families.
In 2016 Connie, after 29 years retired as CEO and Director of CHF Transitional Housing Community, at that time CHF owned 40 homes and offices completely debt free.
Under Connie’s Leadership CHF housed 503 families for 2 to 3 years each in the transitional housing.
- 420 families were self sufficient upon graduation,
- 161 of these families purchased their own homes
- 259 of these families moved into market rate rentals
- 109 individuals had graduated from colleges, universities or trade schools.
Connie was awarded Arvada’s Women of the Year in 2013,
She received special recognition for her work from HUD, the City of Arvada, from Jefferson County. Colorado, A State Senator, Evie Hudak, and many others.
Connie is married to Larry Zimmerman, she has 2 children, Jennifer and Jason, and 5 grandchildren.
PRAISE FOR KEEPING UP WITH GOD:
“Every once in awhile, you encounter someone driven by a true mission and vision for their life. That is my story with Connie Zimmerman and Colorado Homeless Families.” —Christie Ward, CSP, The Impact Institute
This is the story of one woman who, in 1987, saw a need, raised a prayer, and was given one opportunity to invest in six HUD homes for the paltry sum of one dollar per unit. Her purpose was to offer sustainability to families in need.
Connie Zimmerman convinced the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Realtors, and zoning officials to join her fanciful efforts to help the new poor get off the streets of Colorado.
KEEPING UP WITH GOD, Connie and the board of Colorado Homeless Families became the bridge for hundreds of new poor, working poor, refugees, and the unemployed to pass through to the stable side of America. By receiving grants from private foundations and the government, Connie was able to build and purchase land and homes for 40 transitional units with parks, a basketball court, and offices for a family education and resource center.
- 1993 HUD Award for Exemplary Progress in Program Improvement, Advancement, and Expansion
- 2001 Denver Post Season to Share Grant Award
- 2002 Jefferson County Nonprofit Recognition Award
- 2009 Jefferson County Commitment to Excellence Award
- CoNAHRD Affordable Housing Project Award
- 2012 Arvada Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year
- 2013 Arvada’s Woman of the Year in 2013
- Several special recognitions from the City of Arvada
- Special recognition, Colorado State Senator, Evie Hudak
- Several special recognitions from HUD
- Congolese Communities of Colorado Humanitarian Award
By providing the rigors of housing, education, community cooperation, and a playground, Mrs. Zimmerman created a model that can be copied and used in many towns to give others a future and a hope.