Nonprofit hub to a network of programs | VailDaily.com

Nonprofit hub to a network of programs

Connie Steiert

EAGLE COUNTY – The Immigrant Advocacy Program is one of four programs overseen by the Catholic Charities of the Western Slope. The Glenwood Springs headquarters also offers financial services, helping people in need with utility, food and emergency bills. Until recently the organization ran the “Miles for Smiles” dental program, which provided dental work for 750 needy kids. The Catholic Charities’ Transitional Housing program is currently only offered in Garfield County, but may soon be extended to Eagle County.”We help them pay for rents, and gain self-sufficiency skills,” director Tom Ziemann explains. “It’s to help them get back on their feet.” The Resource Center of Eagle County in Avon has applied for a HUD grant to help acquire six units, at an undisclosed location, that would serve as transitional homes for up to two years for families who are victims of domestic violence. Catholic Charities will help provide expertise and in-kind services.”It allows them to have housing for two years at a reduced rate in order for them to get established, and be able to become more self-sufficient,” says Bev Christiansen, the director of the Resource Center, a community, non-profit organization. Christiansen and the Resource Center often work closely with the Immigrant Advocacy Program. She estimates that about 38 percent of domestic violence victims are Spanish-speaking.All of these programs are run with skeletal staffs, and a budget of just $350,000-$400,000 for Eagle and Garfield counties. “It’ s about helping the poor,” Ziemann says. “We help people of all denominations.”Sometimes, people ask the advocacy program’s director, Darlene Montano, what she does for a living. Her answer? “Everything. I’m just resourceful. If I can’t help them figure it out, I’ll find someone who can.”Vail, Colorado




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