Meet Chris, a member of our Park County community. Chris and his wife had moved to Park County years ago to enjoy the beautiful land the area has to offer. Chris, who defines himself as a caretaker all of his life, had been taking care of his wife's declining health until she passed in 2014. Listening to the way Chris speaks of her paints a picture of their strong bond and loving dependency on one another. Chris, a man of few words, says that his wife could fill in when he couldn't find the words. "I had skills where she did not, and same the other way around." says Chris. He fondly recalls times where he would be working on their car, and before he could ask her to grab a certain tool, she would already be handing it to him. Her passing was a difficult loss for him and he misses her everyday.
Homes From The Heart CO worked with Chris and the county to ensure he could keep his land and the housing on his property. Chris began working hard to build a wood housing structure for himself. In May 2021, after a trip away for food and supplies, Chris returned to his property to find the structure completely burned to ash. The cause of the fire is unknown. In addition to losing his hard work, time, money and many belongings, Chris also lost his two dogs and a few cats in the fire; beloved pets. Yet, he didn't give up and began cleaning up the debris and ash on his property.
Since the fire, Chris has had no other option except to live in the hazardous conditions of a shipping container. Living in a steel box is extremely dangerous, especially in the intense weather patterns of mountainous Colorado. In the summer, temperatures can rise to well above 100 degrees inside. In the winter, shipping containers can reach temperatures that are 20 degrees lower than the outside climate.
Along with a small cot, Chris stores many of his most prized possessions in the container he calls home. Chris is an extremely talented woodworker, known to sell beautiful home decor items in a local gift shop. He was proud to show off two crafts that he has held onto since he was in 9th grade. During our visit, Chris disappeared into the back of his container and emerged with two beautifully crafted bows, complete with polished wood and inlay. He also showed us a wooden staff with a pristine three dimensional carving of an eagle's head on top. He told stories of his artistry, also including drawings and tattoo art.
Though a man of few words, he was delighted to share his stories and very welcoming to his vistors. He is a devoted son of God and grateful for his ability to help others as well as receiving help when he most needs it. Homes From The Heart CO is tirelessly working to collect monetary donations and volunteers in order to build Chris a safe and sanitary small home. Donations and your time are greatly appreciated. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
- Written by Kat, Marketing - Homes From The Heart CO