Last year, more than 8,000 people – one in 50 countywide – turned to EFAA for help.
For a variety of reasons, thousands in Boulder County had difficulty making ends meet. They may have faced personal challenges. Often external factors are an issue, such as being unable to keep up with the rising housing costs when wages are not keeping pace.
Whatever the cause, food and shelter top the list of needs for those who need help gaining a foothold. EFAA’s immediate assistance provides help with both — and more.
The organization prevents homelessness through rent assistance or actual housing (short-term and transitional) and provides food or other basic needs to help people work toward self-sufficiency and financial stability.
EFAA also offers programs to help overcome the underlying causes of struggle. All assistance is geared to help families stabilize their life and work toward a better future for their children.
EFAA recently started a number of new programs to address these key issues.
Internships to Careers for Motivated Moms
The goal of this program is to help moms – often the family’s only wage-earner – expand their workplace skills, get better jobs, and increase their long-term earning potential. The pilot program was launched in February when EFAA partnered with Workforce Boulder County to help unemployed and under-employed mothers living below the poverty line gain training and experience.
In many cases, graduates of the program may go from a minimum wage job to one earning almost double that, plus the potential of upward mobility in the future.
“When we help low-income mothers — often the sole providers for their families — overcome barriers to supporting their children, we impact not only this generation but the next one, too,” says Julie Van Domelen, EFAA executive director.
To overcome barriers to participation, EFAA case managers will support the success of participants in the program and connect them to childcare and transportation resources when needed.
Expanded Children’s Program
The need is clear: 50 percent of Boulder County’s homeless are families with children, up from 42 percent last year.
Through the Children’s Program, EFAA works to minimize the destructive effects of homelessness on children and create a sense of childhood normalcy.
Last January, EFAA expanded the Children’s Program to include resources to strengthen trauma management, socio-emotional support, school readiness, and communication and life skills. More robust resources are available for parents and their children to help address behaviors, reduce chaos, and provide after-school and summer programming with a trauma-informed curriculum.
The expansion of EFAA’s Children’s Program is a key part of EFAA’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan, targeted at creating conditions for income mobility for the next generation and focused on a longer-term, whole-family approach to addresses issues that contribute to intergenerational poverty.
Bringing School Home
Families that have children five-years-old or younger and are struggling with housing now have a chance to receive permanently affordable housing. The goal is to provide a stable home during this critical time for learning and development so the children improve their opportunity to be ready for school and ultimately ready for life.
The Bringing School Home program is offered by EFAA in collaboration with Boulder Housing Partners.
BHP provides the housing and community support, and EFAA will provides the screening and initial case management.
In order to qualify, families must live or work in the City of Boulder and agree to engage with intensive support to help their children thrive academically.
Expanding Services to Mountain Communities
Longtime mountain resident Kristi Venditti is the new Mountain Resources Liaison, a recently added position that resulted from a year-long collaboration of local organizations on a mission to better understand and meet the needs of Boulder County’s mountain communities.
In this role, Venditti will bring case management, EFAA services and other Boulder County benefits to mountain clients. Venditti will provide services to people who are not able to get to Boulder, as well as gain more on-the-ground insight into the unique issues facing mountain residents, and continue to form important partnerships.
The liasion will work in and travel between Boulder County mountain communities in the Boulder Valley School District, including Nederland, Eldora, Ward, Gold Hill, Jamestown, Eldorado Canyon, Sugarloaf, Sunshine Canyon, Salina and other unincorporated Boulder County areas.
The collaboration is known as the Peak to Peak Housing and Human Services Task Force. It is made up of EFAA, Foothills United Way, Boulder County Housing and Human Services, and the Nederland Food Pantry. The collaborative is made possible by funding from The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, Boulder County Housing and Human Services, EFAA, and the Nederland Food Bank.
For more information on how to request services, click here.
The Boulder Source is pleased to honor Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) as our Featured Friend for June. Read about EFAA’s client stories and fundraising events in our previous posts:
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.
Photo courtesy of EFAA.