*Sandy, James and their two year old son Zeeke are a family who have been involved with Mountain Resource Center’s parent education services since their son was born. They came to Parents as Teachers wanting to do everything right. And they are! Zeeke is growing up a happy boy with two loving parents who provide a loving and caring home for Zeeke. However, it hasn’t been as easy as that.
James struggles with diabetes. He is able to work, though is often on the road for several days each month, leaving Sandy to keep their humble home warm with the fire. She keeps space heaters on the pipes, as they are partially exposed under the house.
Young Zeeke had some concerns with his hearing early on that has led to language delays, and trips to doctors frequently deplete Sandy’s gas budget and take much of her time and energy. Thanks to the job James has had for the last two years, the family has been able to begin paying toward debt that had been accrued as they set up their household.
Then earlier this year, James suddenly developed an infection and lost part of his foot due to his disease. They weren’t sure if he could return to work, but after some time in recovery without income, James was able to return to limited work which resulted in a significant decrease in pay. The income would not be enough to make ends meet. Sandy decided to return to work. Childcare was certainly not in the budget, so Sandy took a night job in order to get home before James leaves Zeeke and heads to his day job.
Sandy gets very little sleep these days, and still, the income often leaves them short on bills, especially at Christmas time. This is where an angel stepped in…Marshdale General Store with a donation to the family this past holiday season. Despite this difficult lifestyle, Sandy meets with her Parent Educator at Mountain Resource Center twice a month on her days off, always with a smile and a laugh, and always enthusiastic with a story of the next milestone that Zeeke has achieved! It is the kindness of people like Sandy, who comes home from a difficult job and gives her child her best, and local businesses like Marshdale General Store, that partner with Mountain Resource Center to share their blessings with a family whom she’s never met that make the holidays a magical time for all of us.
When *Sara first came to Mountain Resource Center, she said she mainly needed food. After learning about the breadth of support available, Sara revealed that she recently escaped from a violent relationship and was living in a homeless shelter. She had left her home and her job behind in order to be safe, but the reality of ‘starting over’ was terrifying to her. Sara began participating in Mountain Resource Center’s Workforce Program. She learned about trends in job searching, resume writing, and interview skills. She met one-on-one with a Workforce Advocate and opened up about her experience as a successful architect. The Advocate asked her if she was willing to explore jobs as the person she used to be, rather than the person she felt like right now. Sara decided she wanted to try. She and her advocate rewrote her resume and put together a portfolio of past accomplishments. Sara applied for a position with an architecture firm in Grand Junction. She got a call for an interview. However, her car was in no condition to make the trip. Assistance from Mountain Resource Center paid for her car repairs and provided a gas card to fill up her tank. Sara picked out a professional outfit from the Career Closet. She drove to Grand Junction for an interview and was offered a job on the spot! Within two weeks, Sara found an apartment and moved to Grand Junction to start her new life.
*Jack is a single dad with four teenage children. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2010 when his fleet was hit by an IED explosive. Although Jack is happy to be alive and back home with his children, he struggles every day with the effects of his injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Primarily, Jack had difficulty finding employment. It was challenging for him to transfer his military skills to a civilian job. After meeting with Mountain Resource Center’s Veterans Advocate, Jack began using the food pantry weekly and received assistance with rent and utilities to help stabilize his immediate crisis. He also accessed workforce services and progressed through classes. Staff helped connect him with a local employer who valued his military experience and offered him a position. Now stable with employment and income, Jack is coming to the Center to meet with a Financial Coach to set up a budget and savings plan that will help him reach long-term financial goals. Although Jack acknowledges that he may encounter on-going health issues, he has expressed feeling more secure knowing that Mountain Resource Center is there to support him.
To Whom this may concern,
Gail at Mountain Resource Center has provided me with top-notch service in helping me locate and receive services to help me pay my electricity and part of my rent. I was hospitalized for almost 2 weeks, couldn’t work, and basically had no money and didn’t know what I was going to do til I spoke to Gail. She made it easy to go through the process. I don’t know what I would have done without the help of Mountain Resource Center. I would have had no one to help me and I would have lost my house and been without power coming home with oxygen. It would have been terrible and hopeless without these type of services to help people in a tough issue, so thanks a million without you I wouldn’t have made it.
*Becky and Matt never imagined they and their children would be on the brink of homelessness since both held Master’s Degree credentials and stable employment. However, when they lost their jobs simultaneously, they came to Mountain Resource Center feeling frustrated, defeated, and overwhelmed by the severity of their situation. Working with Family Advocates, they obtained rent assistance funds to stave off eviction and accessed the food pantry to ensure their two young children would have nutritious food to eat. With their most immediate crisis averted, Becky and Matt were able to focus on applying for health coverage and employment counseling– all easily accessible at the Center. Becky and Matt have both since secured employment and the family is positioned to thrive once again.
In *Barbara’s own words, “I came to Mountain Resource Center after my husband lost his job of eight months. I was concerned because I had just moved from my home of seventeen years. I didn’t know where to turn for help. It was hard for me to go to an unknown place and ask for help. I found that everyone I encountered at the Center was positive and friendly. I was surprised that no one looked down on me for my situation. The staff helped pay my utilities so they would not be turned off. I was especially grateful for this help because of my Autistic son. He is extremely sensitive to touch. If the utilities were turned off and he couldn’t wash his hands, it would send him into a full-blown panic attack. I was thankful this was not going to happen. I was also given a gas card so my husband could go to job interviews. Fast forward seven years in my life – I am going to graduate with honors from Regis University. I am thankful for help from Mountain Resource Center.”