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Denver7 viewers raise more than $17,000 to cover housing for Colorado senior feeling priced out

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Posted at 7:15 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 02:13:41-04

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — For more than two months, 84-year-old Ethel Runyon struggled to find a home on a fixed income, but thanks to Denver7 viewers and their generosity, she moved into her new apartment on Tuesday.

Runyon was forced to move out of her home of 17 years after the owner decided it was time to sell the property.

“I hadn’t rented an apartment for a long time, and when I went to look, it was very, very expensive, so I didn’t know what to do,” Runyon said.

Former neighbors of Runyon helped her sell personal belongings to help cover vital expenses for her move. A concerned neighbor and friend contacted Denver7 Gives to help raise money for Runyon, who felt priced out of the housing market and needed a place that was wheelchair accessible as the caretaker of her 61-year-old son, Scott Runyon, who is disabled.

Denver7 shared Runyon’s story of struggle and stress and viewers raised $17,248 to help her. The money will pay for one year of rent and will cover more than a year of expenses for her storage unit.

“I appreciate Channel 7 doing this kind of work for people,” Runyon said. “I am very grateful to everybody, and I plan to pay it forward. Thank you very, very much, all of you.”

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She said she was grateful for her former neighbors' generosity and the family, friends and strangers that chipped in to help.

Runyon moved to Heights by Marston Lake Apartments in Lakewood. She lived in the complex 20 years ago and found comfort in the people and price of rent. She now has a place to call home and so does her son after spending weeks at the hospital.

“He’s coming home Friday. We are very, very happy,” Runyon said.

She walked into her apartment as she prepared for her movers to arrive, reflecting on her next chapter.

“I have given a lot of stuff away, and I plan to do some more,” Runyon said. “I am happy to have this start for Scott and myself, and I do feel like it’s a nice community.”

With rent paid off for a year, Runyon plans to start saving to pay rent for years to come.

Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.