Homeless families get day on the slopes
Vail, CO Colorado
KEYSTONE ” Instead of worrying about money or having a place of their own to live, 20 men, women and kids from the Denver Rescue Mission had a full day recently to think about nothing but linking turns on the slopes.
Last Saturday, Keystone Resort hosted the group from The Crossing transitional housing in Denver for the fifth year.
The learn to ski program was started by Keystone resident Char Bloom when she was an instructor at the resort, and the program has grown every year, said the Denver Rescue Mission’s Greta Walker.
Resort employees donate half-day lift passes for the group and organize a winter weather clothing drive to provide coats, scarves and gloves for the visiting skiers and snowboarders.
“That’s been really great for us because those are hard items for us to get on a consistent basis,” Walker said.
The day at Keystone allows the families to forget about their daily hardships and concentrate on being together.
“They aren’t a homeless family. They’re just like everybody else up there learning how to ski,” Walker said.
People who live in The Crossing are typically there because of a lost job or other loss of income, or poor life choices, she said. They attend counseling sessions and classes on budgeting and parenting skills.
The trip to Keystone is a reward to families who are working hard in the program, have attended all meetings with their counselor, and are making an effort to move on to permanent housing.