About Nivas

Every human being deserves the fundamental basics for a successful life: access to healthy food, basic health care, clean water, education- in whatever form it may come, and a safe place to call home.

The geographic location a person was born into, the political climate of their region, circumstances of violence against individuals and families should not determine whether one has access to these simple needs for basic happiness & growth because it's clear that there are plenty of resources to go around. At Nivas we aim to provide a safe haven, a sanctuary, for those who have been stripped of many of these simple requirements for living a happy and dignified life. A home can be refuge from a chaotic life. It can be protection from violence. It can be a place of learning, a place to find family, a place to heal from the past, a place to flourish.

Because safe, healthy homes can be the foundation of great change in a community, we're making it our mission to support one project per year with funding, planning, design, and (where needed) volunteer assistance to provide distressed individuals and families with safe housing. This may mean a dormitory for children who cannot go to school unless they're able to live nearby, new roofs for a community that has been damaged by a natural disaster, funding the salary of security guards for a women's shelter in an unsafe area, basic bathrooms in a region where healthy sanitation does not exist... the possibilities are endless. Follow our Projects section below to see what we currently have in the works.

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Nivas Team

Executive Director
Lindsey Kruger

Heart of Gold until you’re up against her in a game of Bananagrams, Lindsey is our resident visionary. She founded Nivas after working on the ground in the Solukhumbu and Dhading districts of Nepal where she saw first-hand that what folks in under-served communities need most are things she and the design + building community can offer: professional assistance in design, construction and engineering and access to funding for extremely low income communities. She has been working in the design industry for the past 12 years and started her business, Kruger Design Studio, in 2008. In addition, Lindsey has worked on the board of Architecture for Humanity Denver where she dove into international humanitarian aid projects and served for 4 years as an advocate for RAAP, Denver’s rape crisis program.

Director of Fundraising
Ken Storm

Our analytical dreamer, Ken is in charge of inspiring all of those around him to join forces and think BIG. 7 out of 10 of his ideas aren’t even that crazy. Ken grew his knowledge of community-based design while working for and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in South Carolina, Colorado and New Zealand. As principal of Storm Design/Build, Ken is inspired by projects with constraints and unique challenges. His daily practice of architecture and project management bring a pivotal attribute to Nivas. As one of the founding board members of Nivas, Ken strives to see the organization positively affect the lives of those most in need.

Director of Project Management
Jesse Young

Jesse brings true enthusiasm to Nivas and a critical eye for construction management and methods. As CEO of Landwise LLC, a landscape design/build company in Denver, Colorado, Jesse knows the strategic success of a well organized project. He also holds a seat as the president of the Denver Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects. His passion for craftsmanship and leadership help Nivas run projects that are successful and wide-reaching.

Director of Public Relations
Paulette DePumpo

A sort of Mother-Teresa-type who knows how to throw a party, Paulette is energetic and positive to no end. Thus she is in charge of all things social at Nivas. As a super star real estate agent, she also takes the lead on the home-renovation portion of our funding structure. Paulette has been in real estate for the past 10 years and owned a small construction business prior to that. Her volunteer life has been dedicated to helping marginalized children to be heard and to find safety, love and inspiration. She served for 3 years with CASA [Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children] both as an advocate and on their board and volunteered for 5 years in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.


Executive Director TSW
In-Country Partner
Karma Sherpa

A man of action, Karma was born into a nomadic family in mountainous Nepal. On the day of his birth his mother was alone, but instead of waiting for help, she put her newborn son in the basket she carried on her back, tied him in place, and hiked on to find her family’s new camp location. Just like his mother, Karma has the wherewithal to do what needs to be done without reservation. His love for giving-back grew straight from being a recipient of aid himself. He began his education through a scholarship from a trekker and continued on to a degree in business. Karma is the Executive Director of our partner organization The Small World. His skills in community organization and project management are exceptional. The Small World has been in operation for 8 years and is very highly regarded in Solukhumbu and the Kathmandu Valley.

District Program Officer
Utra Man Rai

A contagious laugh with courageous positivity, Utra Man has a way of communicating that allows everyone’s voice to be heard. With a degree from Solukhumbu Multiple Campus, he uses his skills to keep on-the-ground operations up and running.

Social Mobilizers
Dhiraj Rai + Lalit Karki

Dhiraj and Lalit are two determined young men. They are the folks who return week after week to individual community members to discuss their needs and fears and to educate about the topic at hand. With degrees from Solukhumbu Multiple Campus and Tribhuvan University respectively, Dhiraj and Lalit are integral members of our team on the ground.

Translator and
Cultural Advisor
Pemarinji Sherpa

Pemarinji has been Nivas’s right hand while we’re on the ground. She has the compassion of a saint and helps eliminate any language barrier that may exist so that all can be heard and understood. Currently a student at Tribhuvan University, Pema has a strong interest in Psychology and Social Work and is truly an asset to any community she works in.

Taksindu Sanitation Project

Taksindu is a district of 9 villages located just southwest of Mount Everest. That has been terraced by subsistence farmers for hundreds of years.

Status: Completed on April 1st, 2015
Project Launched in September 2014

A great success! 500 families achieved creating sanitary toilets in 7 months! A very heartfelt thank you to all of those who joined in the effort to make this a reality for the residents of Taksindu.

The Taksindu Village District of rural Nepal had identified that becoming Open- Defecation-Free was one of their top community actions toward removing the barriers of illness and poverty. Nivas and our on-the-ground partners have signed on to help this 9 village district achieve their goals. Having lived centuries in this area without knowledge of or access to improved human waste sanitation, the people of this region have suffered greatly from cholera and diarrhea outbursts. This has kept children out of school and away from their goal of graduation. In time this has left their educated work forces severely diminished making community progress and development difficult to achieve. An even more acute effect of the increased illness, is its people have suffered high rates of infant and elderly mortality. Based on all our supporters resounding cheers for the importance of this project, we jumped in feet first to help Taksindu get this project accomplished.

The Taksindu Sanitation Project comprised of an extensive education process during which families signed documents dedicating themselves to making their 9 village district an Open Defecation Free Zone. Each family in the district built a sanitary outhouse for their home with low-income families receiving physical and financial assistance. All families receiving financial assistance dedicated themselves to matching the donation. Because this is a highly impoverished region of small crop farmers, this means local material and labor donations (ie: families provide sustainably harvested wood from the forest and physical labor to off-set the cost of the toilet structure by half).

Such a strong percentage of the population believed in the importance of this project they were able to achieve 100% community buy-in and finalize construction in just over 6 months! A few members of the community had a hard time believing in the concept, but after many discussions with our TSW social mobilizers they came to understand why good sanitation is important for them and their neighbors too. During our board member site visit in late March/early April 2015, some of the former skeptics took it upon themselves to stand up at community celebrations and tell their story of how they came to be convinced that this is a very important thing for their community. We couldnʼt be more proud of the success of this partnership and the residents of Taksindu feel the same. Beautiful structures built by beautiful people.

Project Completion Celebration:
Nepal government officials surveyed the area and determined Taksindu has reached the country-wide goal of becoming Open Defecation Free.

Here are a handful of the many beautiful structures that were built.

Elementary School Toilets:
Nivas directors helped the residents of Chhanga village repair two former open-pit (unsanitary) toilets to be safe and healthy.

Post Construction Meetings:
Community members gather and discuss the implications of their new structures.

Happy Taksindu Residents:
Here are some of the smiling faces that were effected by you, our generous supporters.


BECAUSE WE LOVE HOMES, we teamed up with supporting contractors in 2012 to begin funding projects through the renovation and sale of homes here in the U.S. Since the earthquakes hit, we haven't been able to continue flipping homes due to all of our time being focused on relief efforts. Currently we are funded entirely by our generous supporters and local grants. But we still owe it to these folks for their dedication to our mission and to providing well-crafted residences right here at home

[because we believe in the power of good homes]


1200 Bannock Street
Denver, CO 80204

P: 720-333-5560