The Chaffee County Housing + Health initiative is part of the Health Disparities Grant Program, a research and empowerment grant operated by Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment’s Office of Health Equity. The HDGP was designed to "provide prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases to under-represented populations.”
In Chaffee County, we aim to increase housing options and affordability. This means decreasing displacement, gentrification, and homelessness, which lead to poor health outcomes. We are doing this by increasing our community’s capacity to manage complex growth by bringing subject matter experts to our community through the Housing + Health Speaker Series and Storytelling events.
During the series, we are collecting feedback from community participants, which will result in a final report of policy recommendations to increase the availability and affordability of safe, stable housing. We look forward to engaging the community in those discussions and steps forward to ensure our policies are supportive of everyone’s right to a safe and healthy home.
The Housing + Health initiative is a partnership between the Chaffee County Department of Public Health and the Office of Housing. Communications support is provided by a local content and design team.
Director of Housing
Becky has been an advocate for social equity and affordable housing since experiencing her own housing insecurity in the 1990’s. She began her career as a research assistant, evaluating the effectiveness of mental health interventions offered to people experiencing chronic homelessness in Tulsa, Oklahoma. That experience encouraged her to obtain a Bachelors of Liberal Arts from Rogers State University, in Claremore Oklahoma, and a Masters in Technical and Professional Writing, with an emphasis in writing for the government, from Pittsburg State University, in Pittsburg, Kansas.
After completing her formal education, Ms. Gray served 12 rural counties in the southeast corner of Kansas as the Director of Research, Planning, and Grant Development for a non-profit focused on ending the causes and effects of poverty, before being hired by the City of Pittsburg, Kansas as the Director of Housing and Community Development. In 2018, she made her way back to her home state of Colorado to serve Chaffee County as the Director of Housing.
Director of Public Health
Andrea Carlstrom serves as the executive director of Chaffee County Public Health, a position she has held since 2015. She has focused her career on the health and wellness of others – working in healthcare systems, community health foundations, residential mental health, community mental health and public health. She spends much of her spare time volunteering for local non-profits and mission-focused organizations. Since 2016, she has served on the board of Solvista Health and was named Board Member of the Year in 2019. She has volunteered with Ark Valley Helping Hands and Sage Generation. She also is an enthusiastic advocate for Mental Health First Aid, Safe Zone education, parental wellness, legislation and public policy, health equity, and is an active participant of the regional substance abuse coalition.
Andrea has lived in Chaffee County for 8 ½ years. Some of her favorite things about Chaffee: the kindness of the community; being surrounded by beautiful mountains, streams, and wildlife; and being able to hike and run right outside her front door.
Grant Support & Reporting
Throughout Lisa’s career, her passions led her to create healthy environments for current and future generations. Utilizing her Environmental Conservation degree from the University of Colorado, Lisa built a landscape design business based on xeriscape and pesticide-free principles. As Parks Manager for the city of Boulder, Colorado, Lisa created plans and policies that focused on ecosystem and public health including banning pesticide use in public areas, expanding the smoking ban, and partnering with a nonprofit to create a work program for people who are homeless.
After moving to Chaffee County, Lisa participated in the GOCO Inspire Initiative that connects underserved youth and families to the outdoors, taught skiing, and joined the amazing Housing + Health Team in fall 2019. Lisa is currently the Board Chair of the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association, participates on the Chaffee County Housing Policy Action Committee, and is past board member of the Colorado People and Pollinator Action Network and Chaffee County Community Foundation.
Natural landscapes guided Lisa to Chaffee County, and she fell in love with the place because of the people.
Housing Support Specialist
A part-time resident of Salida since 2005, Ryan joined the Housing+Health Team in late 2020, providing administrative support for the Office of Housing. Since completing his Business degree in 2010, Ryan has combined his administrative skills, enthusiasm for education, and love of nature by providing administrative and operational support and leadership for a number of Outdoor Education and Recreation programs in New England; in the off-season, you may have seen him in the kitchen of Salida's Little Red Hen Bakery, or working behind the scenes at Monarch Mountain and the Chaffee County Fairgrounds. Ryan is grateful to contribute toward the creation of more accessible, affordable, equitable, and stable housing opportunities in beautiful Chaffee County.
Janie is passionate about supporting organizations and projects to more effectively use advocacy and communications to fulfill their missions. She has worked for 20 years in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors on issues ranging from health and wellness to the environment and education. She has lived and working in many countries around the world – including Malawi, Africa; the island of Cyprus; and Washington DC – but for the past eight years has been happily “at home” in Salida, Colorado. Learn more about her work.
Heather has been crafting visual messages and designs for over two decades. A BA in liberal arts from the University of Michigan paired with classes in art and design created the foundation for her career. Heather has worked with a variety of engaging national and international projects for both private and non-profit organizations, designing visual assets and branding that drive engagement to each specific project. The spirit of the river and the outdoors drew Heather to Salida, the place that she has called home for over 20 years. Read more about her entrepreneurial spirit here.
To stay updated on our efforts and ways that you can be involved contact us at email@example.com