Job loss, health emergency, lack of housing, or financial instability. When local families are struggling and need a hand, they have a place to turn.
Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) has been our community’s core safety net provider, offering multi-faceted, 360-degree support for families in crisis. From basic needs like food and housing to case management and children’s programs, EFAA helps families get back on their feet and work toward self-sufficiency.
Founded 100 years ago, EFAA serves Boulder County residents and is one of the largest, most respected social services nonprofits in the county. Last year EFAA helped more than 8,000 people meet their basic needs, which is about 1 in 50 people throughout the county.
Costs and rents are rising and real wages for low- and middle-income jobs have stagnated in Boulder County. In some cases, EFAA helps those who are financially strapped pay a utility bill to keep the heat on, in other cases, providing food from EFAA’s food pantry, offering transportation vouchers or car repair funds, or assistance with minor medical, dental, and vision expenses.
In more acute cases, EFAA helps prevent family homelessness by offering rent assistance or providing short- and longer-term housing in more than 50 apartments the organization either owns or operates in Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, and Boulder.
Often invisible, low-income families can be found doubling or tripling up in apartments, staying with friends and family, or living out of their cars.
EFAA is also the only organization in Boulder County that provides short-term housing to families with children. This is a burning need in a county where 50% of homeless residents are families with children, and the number of children living in poverty in Boulder County has risen 74% since 1990.
1 in 3 children living in poverty in Boulder County is served by EFAA, and the agency has expanded its children’s program to help children in crisis, as well as their parents, access the resources that will enable them to gain the life and school skills needed for future success – and to break the entrenched cycle of poverty.
“EFAA is where people go when they have nowhere else to turn,” says Executive Director Julie Van Domelen. “The people who come through our doors, their stories and their hopes reveal what is happening at the core of our community. Because of this, EFAA is at the forefront of responding to the changing needs of our community.”
EFAA’s goal is to give families the assistance they need to get back on their feet, and to support their efforts toward financial stability and self-sufficiency to thrive long term. Throughout the process, EFAA furnishes their clients with strength-based case management and connects them to a web of resources from other human services agencies.
Almost sixty percent of EFAA’s funding comes directly from local individuals and businesses who are investing in lives of those who are in need, and in our community. Says Ashley Rumble, Director of Development, “…when we come together as a community – when we pool our creativity and resources – we can solve critical problems and make change happen.”
An example of the community creatively pulling together through a grassroots effort to invigorate change by supporting EFAA’s work and clients is the increasingly popular Boulder Block Party. Held at the Boulder Studio, this year was the third year it was held. Hosted by creative agencies including Sterling-Rice Group, Victors & Spoils, School, Anthem Branding, IMM and many more, this incredible blowout event attracts hundreds of attendees and features DJ, food trucks, and local breweries and distilleries. Boulder Block Party donates all ticket sales to EFAA.
When Boulder families are empowered to succeed — and when Boulder County residents and businesses come together to reduce poverty and family homelessness in Boulder — the whole community benefits.
The Boulder Source is pleased to honor Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) as our Featured Friend for June. Stay tuned to learn more about EFAA’s client stories, programs, and fundraising events.
To learn more about EFAA, visit: www.efaa.org
For questions, call EFAA at: 303-442-3042
Learn how you can make an impact by volunteering by clicking here.
To join the cause by donating, click here.
All photos courtesy of EFAA