In the News


The state of senior renters

Originally published by Make Room

The number of senior households paying unaffordable rent has outpaced the growth in the overall senior population during the past decade.

Between 2005 and 2014, the overall population of seniors age 65 and over increased by 25 percent nationwide, from 22.5 million to 28.1 million, while the number of seniors paying more than half of their household income (before taxes) toward rent and utilities shot up by 34 percent, from 1.4 million to 1.8 million.

Graph of high senior rental rates

From <>


Gilpin County “Home, sweet home” to many seniors

Weekly Register Call, November 19, 2015

 Fun-filled show benefits Gilpin County Senior Living with $4,200

by Patty Unruh

The board of Gilpin County Senior Living (GCSL) hosted a lighthearted evening on Saturday, November 14, raising approximately $4,200 for affordable housing for senior citizens in our community, A crowd of about 130 generous residents responded to the Invitation to share dinner, a silent auction, and a talent show at Gilpin County School. Thirty volunteers gave time and effort to ensure the evening’s success.

Lasagna Dinner service 11-15
Volunteers serving up Lasagna Dinners

The evening kicked off with a lasagna dinner in the cafeteria, choreographed by GCSL board member and talented cook Ardetta Robertson, With the help of the able volunteer team, Robertson assembled dozens of pans of meat vegetarian, and gluten-free lasagna, accompanied by salad, Italian bread, and cake.

Folks placed bids at a silent auction that followed in the atrium, Scads of items were donated by generous individuals and businesses ranging from practical to just plain fun. Certificates for services were available from Whyndhams Condominiums, Roy’s Last Shot, Woody’s Pizza in Golden, B & F Mountain Market, Eagles’ Nest Early Learning Center, Mountain Mutts Dog Training, several casinos, plus other businesses. Individual items included art prints, women ‘s jewelry, a folk guitar, pottery, a limited edition of gaming coins, an autographed Avalanche jersey, essential oils gift baskets, and items from Gilpin Stitchers and 92Fifty Bicycle Shop.

Attendees also had an opportunity to purchase a full-color 2016 photo Calendar featuring the Gilpin RE-I fifth graders interviewing Gilpin County seniors. The calendars were produced by GCSL board member Rob Sawyer in just the past month and was selling for only ten dollars each. The students had met with seniors who were either born in Gilpin or have lived here for much of their lives, interviewing them about their school days and other topics of interest about “life back then”.

The assembly enjoyed a show in the auditorium, put on by some of Gilpin’s best talent and emceed by Central City’s mayor, Ron Engels.

Engels said Gilpin’s senior citizens need housing in this community after they are not able to manage their own homes. He thanked GCSL President Sharon Perea and all who worked on the fundraiser.

A dozen acts delighted the crowd with humor, vocal and instrumental, dance and martial arts demonstrations.  The performers were Cora Jeane and Jerry Leenheer; Aucklynn Sacco and Jordana Gagnon; the Gilpin Academy Of Martial Arts; Aubrey Allen; J.D. Paschke; Lindsey James and Keyghan Otten; Katy Marr, the Girl Scouts; Caleb Murphy; and Robbie Zmuda.

Sharon Perea thanked Gilpin School Superintendent Dave MacKenzie and school staff for their assistance, 3 Brothers Printing for donated flyers and programs, the Gilpin County Sheriff for highway message boards, the many volunteers and those who supported GCSL.  She closed with a summary of the group’s objective.

“It’s the goal of our non-profit to offer affordable independent housing for seniors. Lots of us were born and raised here or came here to retire, raise our families or run businesses. It’s hard to leave here.”

Perea noted that the last census showed between 700 and 1,000 seniors in Gilpin County. She noted that as people get older, it’s not so easy to climb stairs, shovel or do other jobs requiring manual labor. Houses are bigger and require more maintenance, People need simpler living space, but Perea said it is hard here because few houses are small enough or have adequate access. Seniors leave because there is no suitable place for them to live.

The GCSL board plans about a 16-unit facility as the first phase of its building process. For further information or to make donations or to purchase event tickets, she directed people to GCSL’s new website, www.gllpincountyseniorliving org


 Gilpin Fifth Graders Help County Senior Project

Press Release by GCSL on November 10, 2015 – Published by The Weekly Register Call 11/13/16

Gilpin County RE 1 Fifth Graders volunteered with the Gilpin County Senior Living Board this past month. The GCSL Fund Development Committee Volunteers came up with the idea of creating a calendar related to seniors living in Gilpin County. The idea grew to include primary school students to contrast with and support our seniors. The Gilpin Elementary School’s fifth grade was eager and willing to help with the project.

Calendar Page 5 small for web
Senior Living Calendar Page

Our fifth grade teachers, Sharon Lutz and Vanessa Grenader, set up a program that allowed their students to interview seniors. All of the 5th graders had been asked to prepare questions to ask the seniors during the recorded and photographed sessions. It took three different afternoons to allow the children to interview all of our attending seniors

The best contrasts appeared when seniors that were born and raised in Gilpin were able to answer the questions from our young interviewers. They told of the differences from their years in school. Some told of having very small classes of 4 or five students, walking to school or using an old “Woodie” station wagon as a school bus in North County. One remembered the great food, with baking biscuits that made your mouth water. The Black Hawk seniors told how they were able to return home for their lunches. They told of the girls wearing proper dresses and following some stricter standards of conduct. The girls were not allowed to play organized sports, but told of the joy of playing in the many other games of the times, such as jacks, hopscotch, rover, kick ball and kick the can. They all reveled in the freedom to run amok in Gilpin County, with only wild animals to watch out for. The fifth graders would write down these seniors’ graduation years, and check out their graduating class pictures on the school walls. Our other senior attendees related the differences in their elementary years. There were stories of coming to Gilpin County every summer to climb 14ers, fish and to hunt. Also shared, were the contrasts of going to large schools and east coast schools.

It worked out as a very nice living history experience. The attending seniors all enjoyed their interactions with the very attentive students. Dorothy Sweet did a nice job of organizing the interviews and recording the sessions. Rob Sawyer was the photographer for the Calendar Pictures. The Calendar will be published to help raise money for the design and building of an Affordable Senior Friendly Housing Development on the County Campus.