Colorado Springs

EMPTY STOCKING FUND: Westside CARES reaching out to resolves complex challenges | Empty Stocking Fund – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2020-11-21 07:00:00 –

Westside CARES began operations after several regional churches collaborated in 1984 to resettle and support individuals and families who were evacuated when the municipal Poorhouse was closed. Did. At the end of the process, an informal coalition of churches gathered for the celebration. The shared work gave rise to the idea of ​​creating a more formal and lasting relationship to care for all western neighbors. Today, Westside CARES is a non-profit collaboration between heathens in 22 religious communities whose mission is to “provide care and compassion for their needs neighbors.”

Westside CARES serves more than 10,000 unique individuals each year, all of whom live in the western part of El Paso County. Their pantry serves nearly 22,000 people each year, one-third of whom are children.

Westside CARES CEO Kristy Milligan states that their programs fall into one of three categories: home, health, and hope. Home programs provide cooperation and preventive strategies to help needy neighbors get and maintain their homes. Health programs include a healthy 4-day food bag, RN on-site visits (including influenza vaccination, care coordination, dental and visual support, prescription and out-of-pocket support), clothing and laundry support Includes, sanitary goods, SNAP management and more. The Hope Program aims to connect neighbors with a loving community and includes email services, Thanksgiving and Holiday programs, community cleaning, and new semester supplies.

Westside CARES defines success as different for each viewer. In some cases, success is reducing the stigma associated with access to support. In some cases, success is preventing the utility from shutting off. In some cases, success is allowing the family to return to school supplies and holiday support to succeed. They also ask if changes have been made for people. They carry out follow-up calls on rental assistance, effectively avoiding evictions and revealing 85% effectiveness of household stabilization programs. Of the 51 former homeless neighbors who helped them find a home in the last two years, 47 still live today.

Anthony Dugan, one of Westside CARES’s clients since 2017, describes Milligan as “a dynamic leader and a courageous supporter of our community.” Dugan said in a paper that he outlined his immediate goals that he still remembers and helped him achieve those goals. Dugan says that all staff “treat you with dignity and respect.”

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Westside CARES hasn’t missed a day of providing care and compassion to its clients. They implement a robust safety protocol at every site. In addition, the temporary and permanent closure of some partner agencies has allowed Westside CARES to step into a significant gap by increasing rental assistance programs, expanding pantry programs, and increasing laundry help programs. It was.

According to Milligan, Westside CARES has several things that set it apart from other similar organizations. “The first is to see the essential dignity of all human beings passing through the door, so we use the equal word” neighbor “instead of” client “and talk a lot about our beloved community. Neighbors only need us, trust is a conduit for change, and neighbor feedback communicates directly to all our programs. “

Westside CARES is also smaller than many other organizations in the town. (Milligan is the only full-time employee). This allows you to quickly pivot to meet new needs within your community and create a personalized plan for your clients that will allow you to make the transition towards sustainability.

EMPTY STOCKING FUND: Westside CARES reaching out to resolves complex challenges | Empty Stocking Fund Source link EMPTY STOCKING FUND: Westside CARES reaching out to resolves complex challenges | Empty Stocking Fund

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