Meeting the Needs of Mountain Communities
“Many low-income mountain residents are not able to access basic services because of geographic limitations, so their critical needs for food, housing and access to employment and health care can go unmet. We are working together to break down barriers to access for mountain folks in need.” – Amy Hardy, Community Resilience Director at Foothills United Way
Life is different in the mountains, which means the way we address poverty in mountain communities has to be different, too. To do this, the Peak to Peak Housing and Human Services Task Force, a collaborative effort between local human services organizations, has been working to expand the geographic reach of critical human services to Boulder County’s mountain communities and meet the needs of low-income residents in these rural areas. Working in tandem with the Task Force, EFAA has hired a Mountain Resources Liaison to bring more human services to people who may not otherwise have access to them. Other organizations in the collaborative are Foothills United Way, Boulder County Housing and Human Services, and the Nederland Food Pantry. .
Long-time mountain resident Kristi has been hired as the Mountain Resources Liaison. In this role, Kristi will bring case management, EFAA services and other Boulder County benefits to mountain clients. By working in the mountain communities, Kristi can bring services to more people who are not able to get to Boulder, gain more on-the-ground insight into the unique issues facing mountain residents, and continue to form important local partnerships. As the Mountain Resources Liaison, Kristi 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.
“Countywide we work hard to make sure that EFAA services match community need,” says Julie Van Domelen, EFAA’s Executive Director. “This collaborative effort with our partners expands our interface and ability to do this in the mountain communities. It means that fewer people will slip through the cracks, like those who are not able to come to Boulder for services.”
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.