Atlas Preparatory School
Atlas Pathway Program Philosophy: Given the socioeconomic starting point of most of our students, we recognize that fulfilling our mission requires an above-and-beyond approach to education. We embrace this enhanced responsibility and accept that we are accountable to each of our students in ensuring they have a clear path to self-fulfillment and a successful life upon graduation. This path is crafted during quarterly parent-teacher conferences with their advisor. It is then put into action, as students enroll in a “Pathway” that will provide specialized opportunities and tailored-instruction designed to prepare them for a successful transition into the career they desire.
Mentor2.0 is a new school-based, technology-enhanced, one-to-one mentoring program for high school students in low-income communities. The purpose of the program is to ensure low-income high school students have the non-cognitive skills and support needed to graduate high school prepared for post-secondary education and the workforce. Ultimately, mentor2.0 promotes and advances economic opportunity in low-income communities.
Students in mentor2.0 are matched in 9th grade with college-educated volunteer mentors, and the mentoring relationship continues through high school graduation. Throughout high school, students work with their mentors one-on-one, in-person and online, to develop strong personal relationships, nurture a college aspiration, navigate the college application process and build critical skills that lead to post-secondary success.
By improving high school graduation rates and college readiness, as well as persistence and completion rates for low-income youth in El Paso County, mentor2.0 will support youth ages 14-19 to develop refine and progress along and complete an informed path toward career, while also providing opportunities and the support needed to earn a life sustaining wage and thereby promote financial stability among at-risk young adults.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Boy Scouts of America 60 Pikes Peak Council
The overall goal of the ScoutReach program is to provide the character building Scout program to under-served and at risk youth in the Pikes Peak Region. With this program we provide a safe place for youth to have meaningful interaction, develop socially with their peers, and give parents a chance to participate with their children. These programs are led by both volunteer and paid leadership.
In these programs we focus on and teach physical fitness, decision making, interpersonal and kind communication. We also help the youth to learn about their environment, the world, and the animals they see and interact with, while developing a new respect for nature. Volunteerism and giving back to the community are important concepts we also touch on to get them started in the path of giving back to their communities.
These programs will contribute to the outcomes selected by challenging our youth. It will put them in new environments and situations. It will expose them to new ideas, challenge their skill sets and push their creativity. They will have to work both independently as well as with others and learn to communicate and work in a team setting successfully. Parents will be encouraged to watch their children and participate in these progressive programs. They will also report on how their own children are doing and any behavioral changes they see as a result of program participation.
The primary goal of this project is to address the needs of the “Whole Child” by integration of three programs within CASA of the Pikes Peak Region – Dependency and Neglect, Life Long Links, and Milton Foster Children’s Fund. All three programs are designed to promote stability, safety and permanency for children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect and/or domestic violence. Dependency and Neglect recruits and trains community volunteers who advocate on behalf of child victims within the 4th Judicial District with the goal to ensure these children achieve safety, stability and permanency. Life Long Links is a family search program for foster youth who are in out-of-home placement with the goal to provide 3-5 meaningful long-term connections so these youth have support and nurturing once they emancipate from the state. Milton Foster Children’s Fund provide unduplicated resources for foster youth enabling them to obtain meaningful employment, education and stability as they enter adulthood.
CASA of the Pikes Peak Region
Catholic Charities Family Strengthening Services includes Family Connections and Income & Relief Services, specifically serving the needs of individuals and families who are low-income, at risk or experiencing homelessness. Through Family Connections (FC) at the Helen Hunt Campus and Income & Relief Services at the Hanifen Center, we provide innovative intervention programs that alleviate crisis and provide a safe place of refuge for individuals and families. Coordinated case management offers an opportunity for more intensive work for greater probability of goal attainment, crisis intervention and triage, emergency supplies, linkage to transportation and housing, job skills and placement, and continuing re-engagement and communication around client needs, including housing and job placement status and administrative oversight. Programs and services delivered through FC and IRS serve the most vulnerable in our community and directly align with two of PPUW’s funding priorities.
The Siemer Institute for Family Stability model targets root causes of student mobility using coordinated case management and a continuum of services. A 2Gen model addresses immediate concerns for the family to promote student success. Families will be assessed, set goals, develop case plans and use a variety of supports/services. Families are also offered opportunities to attend group enrichment events throughout the school year which promote socialization, peer learning and build awareness of community resources and health and well-being issues. Participants commit to the program for up to 24 months. Progress toward goals is evaluated quarterly using the Colorado Family Support Assessment and Arizona Self-Sufficiency Matrix. Decisions about interventions are strengthened through case conferencing between client care team members. Program goals address immediate needs, build resilience through economic supports, provide CCCC services and referrals and develop family case plans built on achievable options for future self-sustainability.
Our Residential Services Program aligns with Pikes Peak United Way’s funding priorities for Health. Cheyenne Village is the largest provider of residential services in the region. Our mission is to help people with disabilities lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. To accomplish this mission, Cheyenne Village provides housing, staff support and healthcare coordination. We believe that health and supported housing are the foundations for a high quality of life. Cheyenne Village provides this vital safety net service in our community to help obtain housing and financial stability for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families so that they don’t slip through the cracks. We want to ensure to the best of our ability that those who cannot care for themselves or need assistance caring for themselves, receive the necessary support. We provide programs and services to help allow the individuals we serve to learn to be more independent, be a part of our community and to “age in place.”
The primary goals of the Aspen Mine Center and our Pikes Peak United Way Financial Health Advocate program are to promote stability and well-being. In 2017, the Aspen Mine Center provided 972 individuals with clothing assistance, 2,953 with financial assistance, 5,424 with food assistance and 453 with medical assistance. We also addressed other life sustaining needs during crisis through emergency rents, utilities, gasoline vouchers, emergency lodging, childcare and other needs. Our Financial Health Advocate program provides individuals and families with comprehensive support services to promote the ability to withstand a future crisis and improve stability. In 2017, this program established a relationship with 47 families and individuals achieving measurable improvements in education, income stability and health. The program addressed 18 domains such as: Housing, Employment, Food, Health Care Coverage, Life Skills, Family Relations, Mobility, Legal, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Disabilities. Participants rate their self-sufficiency in these domains scoring their stability as: in crisis, vulnerable, safe, building capacity or empowered. This assessment ensures development of a plan for comprehensive support services to provide stability and reduce the cycle of crisis.
Community of Caring
Court Care for the Pikes Peak Region
Court Care helps improve family stability and well-being by providing free, licensed childcare for anyone who needs to be in court in the Pikes Peak region. The program’s primary focus is to protect children’s welfare and reduce their exposure to potential trauma. Court Care benefits struggling parents by giving them the freedom to speak with dignity and the right to fully participate in their legal proceedings-without their children present seeing, hearing and possibly distracting them. Court-goers use Court Care’s drop-in childcare service more than 4,000 times each year. Multiple courthouse employees have related this sentiment: “I believe many participants would not come to court if not for the availability of onsite child care.” Many families face court-proceedings during a period of crisis that threaten their stability and well-being. The availability of onsite, free childcare for court-users removes a barrier (lack of safe or available childcare) that could prevent parents from attending compulsory drug treatment programs or probation appointments, from getting protection orders, or from resolving other legal issues that may threaten their independence, safety or livelihood. Additionally, Court care offers external referrals for families in need and reduces parents’ or caregivers’ stress by offering free, onsite childcare throughout their legal proceedings.
Nearly 7,000 young children live in poverty in El Paso County, Colorado. Without an early childhood education, many of these children are at risk for school failure, making them less likely to graduate from high school and more likely to continue a cycle of generational poverty. CPCD prepares these young children for school by offering quality, no cost early childhood education along with medical, dental, behavioral health and family support services. Children often come to CPCD 12 to 18 months developmentally behind their peers. For example, this fall, on average, more than one third (35%) of students were not meeting developmental norms. Health staff found many children did not have ongoing sources of medical (14%) and dental care (34%), which can contribute to poor health. Forty percent (40%) of children were displaying social and emotional concerns and when not addressed these concerns can lead to long-term mental and physical health problems. CPCD’s primary goals that contribute to the outcomes selected for this grant include:
CPCD…giving children a head start
Early Connections Learning Centers
Early Connections Learning Centers was founded in 1897 to provide high quality, comprehensive early care and education for all children. Our program benefits two generations of working families. For all children, the first five years are critical to their success in school and in life. Many lower-income children enter kindergarten significantly behind their more affluent peers. Our early care and education program focuses on school readiness, helping young children develop the skills and attributes they need to enter school prepared to learn and succeed. School success not only has life-long benefits for individuals – including higher educational achievement, higher lifetime earnings and improved health outcomes – but positively impacts a community’s quality of life and economic well-being. For low-income parents, we provide a critical service: reliable, affordable, high quality child care. Child care is a basic need for working parents – especially lower-income, single parents. In El Paso County, high quality child care can cost up to 48% of a single parent’s income, meaning they are often forced to base their child care decisions on availability and affordability, rather than on quality and consistency. Access to dependable, affordable child care enables parents to work or continue their education, helping them to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency and to be productive members of our community.
Established as a project of Early Connections Learning Centers in 2000, The Home Network of the Pikes Peak Region, LLC (Home Network) is a shared services program designed to support quality early care and education in Family Child Care Homes (FCCH) and works to develop career pathways for Family Child Care Providers (FCCP) to improve quality and business sustainability. This work benefits two generations across multiple families – the child, the child’s parents and the FCCP. The Home Network is unique, as while FCCP are a part of the program, they are still independent business owners. Working with 42 FCCP’s in 37 FCCH’s, the Home Network has the capacity to serve 350 children, offering families quality choices of child care settings. FCCH are an isolated, although large, segment of the early childhood education profession working without much external supports or formal training. The lack of coordination and fragmented system of FCCH is difficult for parents to navigate. However, in El Paso County, there are over 45,000 children under the age of five. Even if just half of these children are in need of child care, capacity in licensed centers fall very short of the demand. Increasing the quality of FCCH increases the school readiness of the children who receive early care and education in those homes and is key to closing the “school readiness gap” in our community. At the end of 2017, 79% of accredited FCCP’s in Colorado were coached through the Home Network.
Early Connections Learning Centers
Energy Resource Center
We have a great need in our region for filling the gap. Having heat and hot water is an essential necessity. We are the only no cost service provider in El Paso and Teller counties for those in need. We have staff that are ready to do the work that needs to be done. We are the long term solution to those that call 2-1-1 in need of utility assistance. Clients call ERC with no heat or hot water and are in need of help. If they are on LEAP, HEAP, SNAP, TANF, SSI, SSDI, OAP – they automatically qualify for FREE services. No one else is doing what ERC does – filling the gap for those that spend more of their income on utilities.
The services Amblicab provides meet shared outcomes that United Way is addressing in our community: 1) vulnerable populations are safe, socially engaged and live with dignity and 2) individuals and families have adequate and sustainable resources to support their needs. The overarching purpose of our program is to support healthy, independent and non-institutional living for individuals with disabilities, the elderly and low-income living in the Pikes Peak region. The goals of our services are to allow our clients to improve their financial stability, learn important life skills, receive medical care and experience enriching social interactions, living lives of their choosing. We achieve these goals by providing in-home support services and specialized transportation services to work, educational and volunteer opportunities, medical and dialysis appointments, adult day programs, social outings and more. We provide our services with dependability and respect to enable our riders to maintain their independence and realize their full potential in our community.
Envida (formerly Amblicab)
Greccio Housing Unlimited Inc.
This grant from Pikes Peak United Way supports Resident Relations and Supportive Services. A Resident Relations Specialist assists potential Greccio residents through the waitlist, application and move in process as well as service as another point of contact as they live at one of our 23 properties. This position helps to ensure applicants success in obtaining safe and stable housing as well as helping current residents maintain their affordable housing. The support services meet our residents where they are with access to the necessary services and financial assistance to ensure the household remains stable. The important services provided by Greccio directly address the outcomes as identified by Pikes Peak United Way. Safe and stable housing married with supportive services ensure that our residents are successful in maintaining their living situation while being able to work towards breaking the cycle of poverty. Greccio Housing stands out from other affordable housing providers in Colorado Springs because the focus is to not only provide permanent housing options, but to provide wrap around support services that empower our residents to remain stable and focus on their goal of achieving self-sufficiency.
Housing First is a national, evidence-based program strongly supported by HUD. It emphasizes stable, permanent housing as a primary strategy for ending homelessness through case management and other service. HPP’s Housing First program similarly removes barriers to housing (e.g., past evictions, owing a landlord, criminal history, sobriety, engagement in mental health treatment) and prioritizes those with the most need when possible by housing them as quickly as possible. The program provide housing vouchers for disabled, chronically homeless adults, Veterans and families with substance abuse issues. It can accept clients with no income or insurance, criminal histories, evictions and domestic violence issues. The overall goal of the program is to quickly house the most vulnerable homeless populations in the community and help them achieve long-term sustainability through case management and supportive services. This goal directly aligns with the indicated outcomes: providing safe and stable housing and helping vulnerable populations be safe and live with dignity.
Homeward Pikes Peak
Interfaith Hospitality Network
IHN of Colorado Springs, dba Family Promise of Colorado Springs, provides safe, stable housing, nourishment and wrap-around supportive services as a part of its core program: the IHN Shelter Program. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide housing and supports to families in crisis to help them gain independence. A secondary, but equally important goal, is to ignite the faith-based communities to take action by providing the shelter space for the families. Family Promise only works with families with children facing homelessness. A family may be one or two parents, or a parent and/or grandparent, with one or more children. Most of the families have experienced a devastating circumstance or financial loss that has contributed to their homelessness. Research indicates the best practice in helping these families is to provide immediate housing, trauma informed case management and access to comprehensive services that restore their confidence and self-sufficiency. The IHN Family Shelter consists of 40 congregations annually serving approximately 40 families with children. Safe, comfortable sleeping rooms are provided to guest families for a week at a time using the physical facilities and volunteers at partnering faith-based host congregations. During this time, Family Service Manager works with the families to help them create and manage personal goals, enroll in eligible services and find transitional housing.
The goal of Ithaka’s Transitional Program is to help Colorado Springs adults who are experiencing homelessness to overcome barriers to safe, stable housing. The specific program objectives are to (1) decrease individual barriers to housing, (2) increase mastery of independent living skills and (3) foster social support. If clients can decrease barriers to housing, they will be better able to obtain and maintain safe, stable housing. For instance, decreasing barriers such as legal issues and underemployment empowers clients to afford and qualify for appropriate housing. The objectives of independent living skills and social support directly lead to clients who are safe, socially engaged and live with dignity. Social skills and support help residents to build healthy relations and support systems as well as participate in their greater community through work, volunteering and pro-social activities. Independent living skills enable clients to live safely, independently and with dignity. For instance, developing hygiene skills enables a client to improve their health, maintain a job and live with dignity.
Ithaka Land, Inc.
Lutheran Social Services of Colorado
To help reduce child maltreatment in El Paso County and improve family stability and wellbeing, LFS offers no-cost emergency respite child care to parents or caregivers of young children through the KPC Respite Center (KPC). Respite is temporary child care offered for designated periods of time. This allows a caregiver to tend to other family members; alleviate a work, health or housing crisis; or take a break from the stress of caring for a child. A variety of families are served by KPC, including a single working dad whose wife suddenly left him and his children and moved out of state and a homeless mom new to Colorado Springs who needed childcare while she went on job interviews. The ARCH National Respite Network found that respite reduces the stress experienced by family caregivers, which can improve physical and emotional health, enhance whole family well-being and stability, reduce hospital costs and help to avoid or delay new out-of-home placements. Respite for parents is a preventative measure that enhances quality of care for a child, gives a caregiver a deserved and necessary break and ensures a healthy and safe living situation for a child. The outcomes we hope to achieve include:
Through our program, our goal is to provide homeless families with children a safe, stable place where they gain the knowledge and practical skills to overcome their personal barriers and achieve self-sufficiency. Program objectives include helping families locate or improve their employment situation, increase their income, continue their education, manage their finances and move to their own stable housing. To achieve program objectives, families spend up to one year in the program and participate in numerous services. Through our Life Skills component, clients engage in our “Work It!” series, where they update or create a resume, receive support with their job search and refine their social media presence. The Budget Counseling component utilizes volunteers trained by Consumer Finance Protection Bureau curriculum to assist clients in their financial literacy and establishing financial goals. Our certified Credit Counselor walks each client through their credit report/history and creates a plan to establish better credit along with resolving debts. Caseworkers offer support in identifying a client’s housing barriers and establish a plan to resolve those. Understanding and resolving their housing barriers allows our clients to be much more attractive tenants and leads to successfully obtaining housing.
Partners in Housing
Peak Vista’s Homeless Health Center’s overall goal is to provide primary medical, dental and behavioral health services to homeless individuals living in the Pikes Peak Region. The program is a combination of traditional preventive care, extensive outreach and education. It includes the Homeless Health Center, Homeless Mobile Van and Outreach Program. Through this program, Peak Vista strives to bring homeless individuals into an organized system of care that provides comprehensive care with access to pharmaceuticals, laboratory testing, health education, behavioral health, dentistry and referrals to specialty care, ultimately contributing to the reduction of the need for utilization of emergency rooms. Peak Vista partners with the Pikes Peak Continuum of Care Regional Coordinated Entry System and works with individuals and families to obtain safe and stable housing by providing high-quality primary health care services by collaborating with community partners. Peak Vista’s roles in this system are to conduct housing assessments at the Homeless Health Center and connect patients to the organization with the individual housing unit. The wraparound care provided by Peak Vista’s Homeless Health Clinic and community of alliances helps individuals experiencing homelessness gain access to primary medical, behavioral and dental care. This helps patients become stabilized and connected to the life sustaining resources needed during crises.
We provide safe, permanent, affordable housing solutions to low-income families in El Paso County that earn 35% to 80% of the area median income and could not otherwise qualify for a traditional mortgage. For a family of four, the annual income range is between $25,760 and $58,900. Habitat selects families according to (1) need for affordable housing (overcrowding, unhealthy or unsanitary conditions, paying more than 35% of household income towards rent, unsafe neighborhood, etc.); (2) willingness to partner, such as attending required homeowner education classes and investing 350-450 hours of “sweat equity” to build their house; and (3) ability to make the monthly mortgage payments. Homes are not given to our partner families. They are required to save $2,000 for down-payment/closing costs and pay back their affordable mortgage. Results of our program show that families have more time to spend together, experience greater financial independence, notice improvement in their children’s learning and give back to our community. In 2017, Habitat homeowners paid a total of $85,000 in county property taxes, and since 1986, 28 Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity homeowners have paid off their mortgages.
Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity
The primary purpose of the program is to shelter the homeless. Providing financial education and assisting clients in overcoming barriers will lead clients to obtain and maintain stable housing. Program services begin with sheltering clients and intensive case management. Case management focuses on goal setting, budgeting, saving money, job skills and resume writing. Other services include providing bus passes for transportation, opening bank accounts and learning about credit reports.
Sliver Key’s ultimate goal is to address the challenges of aging by offering wraparound services that allow a senior, over the age of 60, to overcome a crisis and build a stable foundation, helping them to stay independent, active, healthy and connected to their community. Our holistic approach ensures that no matter where a client enters Silver Key for service, there is no “wrong door.” Each client receives a well-rounded, comprehensive solution to their crisis. Whether the initial visit is for food assistance, financial aid or a ride to a medical appointment, the door has been opened to all of the services we provide. Silver Key’s programs empower a senior to lead the life they choose by providing aid with something that is simple yet vital to remain in their own homes, such as access to nutritious food. Silver Key helps with transportation and assists in navigating healthcare benefits. As one client notes: “I’m so grateful for the transportation that allowed me to achieve some measure of independence in my life… The sharing of food has assisted me in attaining some semblance of good health. What an extraordinary service!”
Silver Key Senior Services
Springs Teen Court
Teen Court created the Life Skills Mentoring program to help teenagers in their programs who severely lacked the basic skills needed to become self-sufficient. These students had no educational goals or thoughts of future careers. They often lacked self-esteem or self-confidence to achieve any goals. All high school defendants take either the two-week basic (freshmen and sophomores) or the four-week advanced (juniors and seniors) Life Skills Mentoring classes. The goal of this program is to support youth in creating individual goals, learn effective communication, increase their ability to manage money and provide an informed path toward their desired career.
Pikes Peak United Way funding supports new pathways to stability and self-sufficiency through the provision of TESSA’s Victim Services, which includes the 32-bed Safehouse, a 24/7 crisis line, a Children’s Program that includes therapeutic support, victim advocacy, court accompaniment, hospital advocacy, rural offices, a Clinical Program, Housing First and legal services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The breadth of these services is designed to guide clients through the transition from victim to survivor, empowering them to create safe and self-sufficient lives for themselves and their families. Research indicates that emotional support and intervention by informed, supportive service providers and community services can mitigate the negative effects of domestic and sexual violence. Survivors who receive assistance of this nature have a greater capacity to overcome past traumas and break the cycle of violence for themselves and their children.
The Resource Exchange
TRE will continue the expansion of its evidence-based EI services to children with intellectual disabilities and/or developmental delays and disabilities and their families through age eight. TRE’s ECS Program intends to provide 2-Generation supports to children and their parents who might otherwise struggle to receive supports through traditional therapy models. Research is now prevalent in demonstrating the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACES) on a child’s brain, their development and their social skills. Building the capacity of parents and caregivers to understand the impact of adverse childhood experiences and create an environment for the child that is safe and allows the child to organize the information they are receiving in a more productive way is critical for long-term success. In summary, the program’s overall purpose is to: 1) Improve the identification and engagement of children and families who could be eligible for supports and services; 2) Provide multidisciplinary services and supports to enhance the child’s development and social emotional skills; 3) Provide coaching and mentoring for adults involved in a child’s life, including parents, teachers, other caregivers and support agencies; and 4) Provide community training on effective ways of supporting positive behavior in young children and the effects of ACES.
The goal of TLC is to improve the quality of people’s lives by providing critical assistance to low-income households and individuals. TLC does this by ensuring that economically disadvantaged clients have access to essential needs such as food, housing, medical care and financial assistance to keep them healthy and safe. Low-income households sometimes have to choose between putting food on the table or keeping the lights on, between getting medical care or paying the rent. TLC resolves these difficult questions by providing access to basic services. We focus on three types of programming: emergency assistance in times of crisis, such as an illness or the loss of a job; services that relieve the burden of living in chronic poverty; and services that help people work toward self-sufficiency. To that end, we operate 6 food programs to ensure no resident goes hungry; a Neighborhood Nurse Center for the un- or under- insured; financial assistance to help families stay warm and safe in their homes; self-sufficiency programs to help people move away from poverty; seasonal assistance that provides children with school supplies, gives families a special supply of groceries at Thanksgiving and Christmas in order for them to prepare traditional holiday meals and mobilizes the community to provide holiday gifts for our youth and seniors in need; individualized case management to ensure client’s’ needs are met and so much more.
This grant supports youth experiencing homelessness to access, transition into and maintain safe and stable housing. Our short-term goals are that youth gain knowledge of resources to exit homelessness and that they develop connections with trusted adults who can help. Longer term, the goals are that youth develop skills that aid in their self-sufficiency and that they exit the streets to a safe and stable environment. Urban Peak’s street outreach, shelter and housing programs are instrumental in supporting youth ages 15-24 to improve their stability and well-being. Our resources promote the financial stability of youth via employment case management and job readiness training program. Healthcare coordination helps youth learn how to build healthier lives. Local data from the Point in Time survey shows that 115 youth age 18 to 24 experience homelessness in El Paso County on a one night count in January 2017. Forty-five of those young people were without any shelter at all. Our monthly community dashboard on youth homelessness consistently shows between 35% to 40% of youth in homelessness are staying outdoors. Funds from Pikes Peak United Way support youth to get off the street and into housing with the access to resources that they need to stabilize and change the trajectory of their lives.
This grant goes toward general operating support, primarily in support of Westside CARES direct service budget. With recognition that the needs of people experiencing poverty are as unique as the people themselves, general support allows Westside CARES to allocate funding to emerging needs and otherwise underfunded programs within its scope of service. This includes funding: food pantries, the Lord’s Dinner, clothing and toiletries, clothing vouchers, financial counseling, visits with a registered nurse, documentation assistance, utilities assistance, rental assistance and more.