Page 1

BUILDING

a community of

HOPE


2


COMMITMENT TO

COMMUNITY Hello Neighbors, My name is Angela Maria. I am 36 years old and I am a mother, a college student, a tri-lingual language service provider, a community activist, a sustainability educator, and an Earth lover. I am from Bogota, Colombia, and I have lived in Boulder, Colorado for almost two decades. Just like everyone else, I have experienced times in which I needed support from my community. From the day I arrived in Colorado until I had my son in 2008, I worked hard to make a living in a new country without a support system or financial means. After my son was born, my husband and I provided for our family by dividing labor – he worked while I had the blessing of staying at home with our son. Having a child made me want to accomplish the dreams I had given up after migrating. One of them was to go to college to further my education. I enrolled in college and completed my first degree at age 31. Unfortunately, my marriage did not survive and when my husband and I separated after ten years together, I found myself responsible for providing for myself and my baby financially. The stress and uncertainty of this time still makes me emotional. I started searching for the resources available in the community that would support me in providing for my son’s well-being. With the help of Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA), I was able to pull together the little money I had saved and put down a security deposit so that my son and I had a place to live. EFAA also connected me with Boulder County Housing and Human Services,

which opened the door to so many resources. With the help of the county and community partners, I began to see a way forward. Boulder County provided opportunities to access housing, health access, food, and they connected me with tools to more successfully control my future. I was raised in a financially unstable home and a different country where my parents were unable to teach me good financial practices. I took classes offered by BCDHHS to expand my financial literacy, which helped me to view, understand, and implement strategies to increase control over my finances and to become more self-sufficient. Today I live in one of the County’s affordable rental homes, where I am surrounded by families who are feeling the same way I do, and who are passionate about moving forward. I believe that it is critical to wrap families like mine in all the support needed to become resilient, because people will be able to design their own paths toward self-sufficiency. I am committed to paying back the assistance I have received by working in our community, so my mission is to connect linguistic minorities, to mediate and translate cultural differences, to share with others the resources available, and show people how to become more resilient by growing their own food, and becoming more sustainable. I love what I do and I do it well. As a mother, I am trying to teach my son the things that I did not learn as a child. This is my commitment to our community. -Angela Maria 3


HOPE FOR THE FUTURE help when you need it

The Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services (BCDHHS) is a 500-person, integrated services delivery organization that is focused on supporting both individuals and whole families. In the ten years since merging our Housing and Human Services departments, we have demonstrated the value of this integrated work. In an average 12 months, we now serve more than 90,000 people across Boulder County with a wide range of wrap-around services, including food, housing, health coverage, child care, safety, education and skill building, parenting supports, and much more.

BUILDING A THRIVING COMMUNITY Working locally, scaling regionally, influencing nationally Over the past decade, we have deepened our expertise in addressing complex systems issues in our unique community. We respond with flexibility and tailored supports that our neighbors want and need. We also know that most issues do not stop at county lines, so we partner with and learn alongside regional stakeholders on shared challenges, including housing affordability, child safety, and homelessness. Our deep connection with our community ensures that when we scale solutions to the regional level, they are effective, efficient, and inclusive. We know that this coordinated work not only drives our systems forward at the local and state levels, but also can help inform national systems and policies. Leaders and policymakers at the federal level are increasingly seeking our input because they recognize the value and positive outcomes of investing resources in prevention-based integrated service delivery across a wide range of supports at the local level.

Moving from collaborating to building together We are proud to work alongside a network of expert collaborators and partners across Boulder County. Our partners, including our clients, community healthcare organizations, schools, family resource centers, non-profits, town councils, neighborhood associations, and engaged citizens, are critical in every aspect of building a thriving community. This inspires us to go beyond collaboration: we design systems, build common infrastructure, evaluate the effectiveness of our services, and decentralize supports until every door in our partner network opens as part of a community hub that delivers the right supports at the right time. 4


OUR PRIORITIES BUILDING COMMUNITY, EMPOWERING PEOPLE, STRENGTHENING FAMILIES Focus on High Acuity Populations (Immediate Priority)

We are building and investing in integrated, community-based supports to serve vulnerable members of our community who are most at risk for expensive and debilitating crisis in the future.

Increase Affordable Housing Capacity (Immediate and Long Term Priority)

We are implementing a regional housing plan that leverages partnerships across the state to build integrated supports to stably house individuals within our community, while increasing the diversity of options and capacity of housing regionally.

Reduce Institutional Services Utilization (Intermediate and Long Term Priority)

We are working to decrease institutionalization rates across detention, placement, incarceration, and homelessness by investing in prevention and early intervention strategies that focus on integrated service delivery to keep problems from escalating in the future.

Service Integration and Implementation (Intermediate and Long Term Priority)

We are developing a department and community-wide agile, responsive, person-centered human service delivery model of care that is designed to support families in achieving long-term sufficiency wherever they are. 5


6


LISTENING to our

COMMUNITY

Our Building a Community of Hope report explores the outcomes of the supports delivered by the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services (BCDHHS) and our partners. In this document, the people who participate in our services are reporting the impact of our collective work, in their own voices.

Meeting our neighbors Throughout this document, we refer to the people who access our supports as “participants” and “neighbors”. It is our privilege to know program participants as who they really are: our neighbors. Counties are at the core of delivering locally-based, integrated supports, but it is our neighbors—who care as much about our community as we do— who are at the heart of this report, this work, and this community. We serve almost one third of Boulder County residents every year, and we know everyone needs help at some point in their lives. We never forget that the people who participate in our services live next door, teach in our schools, grow our food, care for our sick, raise children in our neighborhoods, and invest in our community in countless ways. Throughout this report, you will see numbers highlighted. We use these numbers to showcase the impacts of our work or demonstrate how far we as a community still need to go to ensure everyone in Boulder County is healthy, safe, and thriving. These numbers are real data about real people, representing thousands of Heathers, Karinas, Mikes, and Bills—our neighbors.

90,000

RESIDENTS

in Boulder County access services each year from the Boulder County Department of Housing & Human Services 7


OUR PHILOSOPHY

PREVENTIVE

whole-person, whole-family

SUPPORTS

We address root causes of crisis and instability in the Social Determinants of Health For all of us, health and well-being are central to living well and having a good quality of life. Where we are born, the quality of our schools, the safety of our communities, the availability of jobs, and the levels of stress on ourselves, our families, and our colleagues are among the many factors that impact our health from a young age through adulthood. These are the Social Determinants of Health, and they help inform the services that Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services provides. Because these determinants interact, we integrate our services to ensure each person gets the full range of supports they need to thrive, so every support we provide is one piece of a larger interconnected whole.

We emphasize prevention and early intervention Our focus is on getting services to those in need as early as possible to strengthen families and boost health and well-being. When a family or individual shows signs of distress, we provide a range of supports and services to avoid more difficult and costly crises later. Experience and research are clear that when delivered with a preventive focus, these supports can avert crisis, help people thrive, and achieve a greater return on investment. Social Determinants of Health Framework Interacting service areas for thriving communities

Employment and Income Stability Food and Nutrition

Housing Stability

Health and Well-Being

Safety

Lack of quality, affordable housing is a root cause of instability. We are bringing 26 new affordable homes to the Nederland community at Tungsten Village to help our mountain area neighbors thrive.

8

Environmental Health

Education and Skill Building


We serve the whole family in an integrated way Research is also clear that the well-being of parents and caregivers impacts their children, and when children are thriving, this has a positive impact on parents. We keep the whole family in mind when we deliver supports and services—this is known as the “Two-Generation” or “whole family” approach. We deliver preventionfocused supports based on the Social Determinants of Health framework across generations to strengthen whole families and communities. This approach prompts further services integration, helps ensure the outcomes of our work are sustained over the long-term, and creates resilience and cycles of opportunity for families.

childfocused

child-focused with parent elements parenting skills or family literacy

whole family

parent-focused with child elements child care subsidies or food assistance

parentfocused

We listen to our neighbors Our neighbors are the very heart of our work—they are the people who form our community, and with whom we collaborate to strengthen that community. Our neighbors are determined, inspiring, real people working to build a better future for themselves, their children, and our community. Their stories offer insight into the impact of health, housing, and human services supports, and they bring hope for the future of our community. Social Determinants of Health Areas Scaled to Need Numbers of neighbors served in Boulder County

9


OUR SERVICES IN THE MOST RECENT 12 MONTHS WE OVERSAW: Partnership Spotlight

5,149

Child Welfare Referrals

1,839

27,000

1,500

Food Assistance Households with Homeless Adults (SNAP) Clients Housing Assistance Coordinated Entry Screenings

$7.5M

in Child Care Assistance Benefits

1,433

Adult Protection Referrals

80,775

1,460

People Served with Health First Colorado & CHP+

Personal Finance Sessions & Parent Home Visits

Supports Received by Neighbors Across Boulder County

Longmont

Lyons

Jamestown

Ward Boulder Erie

Lafayette Nederland Louisville

Superior

10

Health First Colorado (Medicaid)/Child Health Plan Plus

Financial Assistance (TANF)

Child Welfare Referrals

Education and Skill Building

Housing Assistance

Food Assistance (SNAP)


c+58+30

BCDHHS FINANCIAL OVERVIEW

Boulder County Department of Housing & Human Services 2018 Budget 2018 Budgeted Expenses by Program

$57,825,506

$50M

$28,925,343

$25M

$0

33+21+1711642A Human Services

27%

Human Services Child Welfare/Family & Children Services: $15,660,761

21%

Eligibility & Case Management: $12,001,813

8%

CO Works: $4,718,626

5%

Juvenile Assessment, Services & Diversion: $3,133,016

5%

Child Care: $3,100,105

4%

Child Support: $2,092,220

30%

Other Community Programs: $17,118,965 Housing Authority

52%

Operations: $15,123,646

48%

Housing Vouchers and Grants: $13,801,697

Housing Authority

2018 Total Community Investments Administered by Boulder County Department of Housing & Human Services

2018 Total Community Investments $23,807,537

33%

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: $7,856,032

21%

Mental Health: $4,973,725

17%

Child Care/Education: $4,029,943

11%

Housing Stability: $2,526,316

6%

Health and Basic Needs: $1,483,839

6%

Additional Program Support: $1,537,418

4%

Family Resource Framework: $968,940

2%

Safety: $431,324 11


12


MEET our

NEIGHBORS

13


BRAVE &

STRONG SUPERHERO superfan

SPAGHETTI favorite meal to cook and eat

1.5 POUNDS birth weight

14


15


OUR NEIGHBOR

CHERRI

Five years ago, accessing insurance through Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) saved the lives of both Cherri and her newborn daughter. Cherri was rushed to the hospital with pregnancy-related complications and her daughter, Autumn, was born 14 weeks premature. Autumn required 76 days of care in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. During the more than two months of her daughter’s hospitalization, Cherri slept on her friend’s couch and commuted the 100+ miles to visit her newborn. But even getting to that point wasn’t easy. “When I first became pregnant, I wasn’t even able to get a doctor’s appointment or apply for Medicaid,” remembers Cherri. “There were so many barriers in place to get any kind of help—it was really scary.” The support and treatment that Autumn received under her Health First Colorado (Medicaid) coverage saved her life, but the family’s journey towards self-sufficiency was just beginning. Health First Colorado connected Cherri with the county’s Community Infant Program (CIP), which supports new parents in areas such as positive parenting, healthy nutrition and feeding practices, and creating family support systems. Simultaneously, Cherri was able to afford an apartment of her own through the county’s rental assistance program and began job training activities with Workforce Boulder County while Autumn was thriving at daycare—a cost defrayed by the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Cherri was looking for experience in an office setting, because she knew it would be difficult to be self-sufficient on retail or service industry wages.

That was a pretty scary thing for a parent and I can’t imagine how scary it would have been with the looming thought of medical bills.

96%

After my daughter was born, she was in the NICU for 76 days.

of RESIDENTS in Boulder County are now covered by health insurance

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80,000+ PEOPLE

are covered over a 12 month period by Health First Colorado in Boulder County

Without Medicaid, I would have died.

For me, Medicaid saved my life and definitely my daughter’s life. It was a high definition ultrasound—covered by Medicaid—that discovered that I was so sick.

“When I met with Workforce, I told them I wanted any office job that would get me experience,” remembers Cherri. Her internship opened the door to a full-time job as an eligibility technician on the Boulder County Housing and Human Services phone team. Cherri now offers the same hope and support she received to other neighbors and, after two and a half years, she has supported a lot of people. When asked about the impact of the 50 to 60 support calls her team receives every day, Cherri says, “There have been a lot of women who are in the same spot that I was when I first came to Boulder County six years ago. They don’t know where to start, they don’t know how to use their Health First Colorado benefits, they don’t know how to get doctors’ appointments. It’s nice to be able to offer them a little relief.” Cherri stresses the connected nature of the supports that helped her whenever she councils people. “I used to do a lot of outreach around CCAP, because I felt that the medical piece and the child care piece were so closely tied together that you can’t really move forward if either of those things are in jeopardy,” says Cherri. “Now I’d probably add housing to that list.” Outside of work, Cherri spends her time raising Autumn, who is now five years old and describes herself as brave and strong. The family enjoys cooking, reading, making art and “all things superhero”, especially Batman.

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BUILDING HEALTHY

COMMUNITIES The foundation of a healthy community is healthy kids and adults. In Boulder County, we work hard to improve community health by linking all eligible children, adults, families, and pregnant women with the benefits and health coverage available through Health First Colorado (Medicaid), free health insurance that helps more than 80,000 people each year in Boulder County.

not only helped deal with having a sick kid, but also some pretty serious things that had gone on in my life. -Cherri, BCDHHS Health First Colorado recipient

Having Medicaid allowed us to be a part of the Community Infant Program and allowed me to have a therapist come to the house who

Successfully enrolling our neighbors in affordable health insurance benefits gives them access to preventive care and early interventions, keeping illnesses and crises from escalating in the future. This proactive approach is particularly important for children and pregnant women. Research is clear that healthy kids are more likely to grow up to be healthy adults, so getting children access to early care can set them up for lifelong health. The cost of children’s health care is also significantly less than adult care, so early intervention is also a smart investment of our resources. In addition to getting people covered with health insurance, we also know it’s critical to those we serve to understand how to use it. Our community engagement efforts focus on educating our neighbors about the range of benefits they can get through their health coverage as well as where they can get the help. We do this through both in-person opportunities and online benefits management portals such as Colorado PEAK and Boulder County Connect. Our Healthy Kids and Adults! program team supports families from within their communities, helping them navigate complex systems and circumstances, empowering them to strengthen their own selfsufficiency, and linking them to additional supports through the PEAK and Boulder County Connect portals. These online benefit portals also help reduce the amount of time our participants spend managing their supports and looking for additional information. For example, PEAK streamlines the Health First Colorado and SNAP (food assistance) applications and benefits tracking systems so families can manage their food and health supports at the same time, and Boulder County Connect provides information about other supports our neighbors may be eligible for in addition to the benefits their currently receiving.

27,194

NEIGHBORS in Boulder County access health care with the help of Healthy Kids and Adults! and Healthy Communities

18

1,000,000

COLORADANS served by PEAK, Colorado’s online benefit management platform


INVESTING IN THE

FUTURE

The Boulder County Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) supports children and their parents and caregivers by making quality, dependable child care more affordable. The program helps cover the costs of quality child care for parents who are working, going to school, or searching for a job. CCAP is an excellent example of the value of acting early to boost child well-being and reduce instability— both for the children and the parents. The first five years of a child’s life are most critical, as 90% or more of a child’s brain development happens during this time. Research is clear that programs targeted toward the earliest years of development (ages 0 to 3) have the most impact, and BCDHHS is committed to making this investment. BCDHHS supplements state funding for CCAP in Boulder County so more parents can work or look for a job, and more young children can get the quality early care they deserve. Together, all these supports significantly reduce risk for our neighbors.

1,400

CHILDREN received quality childcare in Boulder County through CCAP in 2017

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DAILY COMMUTE the perfect time to chat

2

YEARS

in the same home

COOKING favorite activity

20


SWEET, AMAZING, &

INTELLIGENT

21


OUR NEIGHBOR

HEATHER

It’s difficult for the mother and domestic abuse survivor to speak openly about the challenges that first brought her to BCDHHS and to Juana. “I needed some help paying bills, supporting my son, and finding housing that was stable and safe,” says Heather. “Landon was removed from the home for a couple months—domestic violence and drugs were involved.” Even after two years of hard work and stability—including sobriety, living in the same house, and cooking dinner every night with Landon—discussing the past is visibly painful for Heather. She’s working hard to give her son a wonderful life, addressing her own mental health and trauma along the way.

22

“We were living at a family shelter and then at a hotel for a while. It was really hard on the both of us,” Heather says. “Landon asked me who we were sharing the bathroom with this time, and that was really hard. So, I was really excited when we got the housing voucher, got a home of our own.” Early in her work with Heather, Juana was able to get her a Housing Choice Voucher, which helps the young mother cover the cost of her rental home. Working as a team, Juana reinforces Heather’s efforts with BCDHHS supports and services to help the family access food assistance, health insurance, help with housing, financial assistance, mental health counseling, and a network of community partners. All this collaboration means Landon can grow up in a safe place and that the family can thrive. “I am glad that he has a stable place—he knows where we are going to be living the next month and the next. It’s so nice to see him feel safe.”

423

CHILDREN

stayed in their homes, receiving prevention-focused child welfare services in Boulder County in FY 2017

I always battled with depression and got in to substance abuse to battle that depression. But whenever I felt like I couldn’t do it any more,

I just imagined what Landon would think growing up believing I didn’t want to be around him.

“Heather has been through a lot,” states BCDHHS Early Intervention Team member Juana Mendoza. “Heather is deeply self-reliant, not someone who calls for help unless she really needs support.” During their last call, Juana reminded Heather that, “She has worked so hard, building her castle out of concrete instead of sand. She is so strong.” Juana stands nearby, lending silent support as Heather begins to tell her own story, offering quiet praise for her young son, Landon. “He’s 8 years old, sweet, amazing, and intelligent,” describes Heather, her face alight with pride.


have a better life than I had growing up.

“

“

My main goal is to provide for Landon so he can make better choices than I’ve made and

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Schools

Co u n t y Coordination

Mental Health

e rov Imp

Local Government

in rd oo dC

Community Partners

at

Domestic Violence Support Services

ion an dP lan n

ing

ti o n a r t s Regional Admini

BUILDING A

NETWORK The Family Resource Network (FRN) is a collaborative of experts—including service providers and past service participants—in communities across Boulder County who are working together to best serve children and their families. Members of the FRN are collaborating on a service delivery model that is rooted in their communities and informed by the group’s collective expertise. Connecting family resource organizations with each other amplifies and elevates what they each have to offer local families and children. The goal of the FRN is to co-create a better system that helps families thrive where they live, work, and play, based on the insight of all who are helping them. FRN members work directly on improving the self-reliance of families and the social, emotional, and academic well-being of children and youth in Boulder County. We know families do better when we connect with them where they are, in their community. The FRN operates through four Local Area Collaboratives in Boulder, Longmont, East County (Lafayette, Louisville, Superior) and the Mountains (Nederland, Jamestown, Lyons). These “LACs” know their communities well, can best respond to the needs of families quickly, and can help inform regional decisions about how to work together. 24


FAMILY RESOURCE

CENTERS

Community HUB

Boulder County family resource centers are a special kind of community hub—physical, unique neighborhood institutions that provide a multitude of services. Each family resource center is connected to BCDHHS, serves a specific part of the county, collaborates through the Family Resource Network, and tailors supports to seamlessly meet the specific needs of their neighbors.

Sister Carmen Community Center (SCCC), located in Lafayette, is a lot of things to a lot of people—by design. Sister Carmen has served East Boulder County for over forty years, helping individuals and families thrive by offering resources to meet basic needs, prevent homelessness, find employment, support parenting, and put together meaningful family- and child-centered activities. Sister Carmen works with BCDHHS to make sure that local families get what they need, where they are.

Our mission is to help people in need in Eastern Boulder County. That has been our mission for over 40 years—our services have evolved and changed based on the needs of the community, but our mission remains the same.

It really serves the people in need so much better if we are all working together as partners. We all collaborate to share our resources, information, and ideas to strengthen the safety net. -Edwina Salazar, OUR Center Executive Director

The Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA), located in Boulder, focuses on the essential elements that keep a household working, which are the same for everyone. EFAA empowers families in crisis to build a brighter future by working with each family to help them meet critical immediate needs and access the resources they need for long-term success and stability.

Outreach United Resource (OUR) Center, located in Longmont, helps people move toward self-sufficiency by unifying community resources and providing services and supports to neighbors and families. In 2017, OUR Center served 107,600 meals in its hospitality center, distributed 1,000,569 pounds of emergency groceries to 18,064 households, and collaborated with 35 community partners to help families and individuals thrive.

-Suzanne Crawford, SCCC Chief Executive Officer

We build real relationships with our clients so that when circumstances change—housing becomes too expensive, a child gets sick, or a family member loses a job—they know they can come back and we will help. -Julie Van Domelen, EFAA Executive Director

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FULL of LIFE

26


WATCHING MOVIES favorite family activity

NEVER on time for anything

2+3

=FIVE

in other words, our family

27


OUR NEIGHBORS

“We had one other foster opportunity for about two months, before these guys,” says Tasha. “She was successfully reunited with her grandparents and then with mom.” Both parents agree, “that’s what it’s all about, so if it can happen, great!”

Then, Tasha and Billy were contacted about two siblings—boy and girl twins. Due to the unique needs of the boy twin, the couple fostered him while the girl twin and their older sister stayed in another home. After six months, it became clear that the siblings needed to be together if they couldn’t be reunified with their birth parents. When the call came about taking both of the girls as well, Tasha and Billy didn’t hesitate.

When children are removed from their homes of origin in Boulder County, they are connected with a team of supporters that represent the children and are responsible for their wellbeing first. The team works together to negotiate physical, emotional, and legal issues, while navigating the unique circumstances of every family and child.

Obviously, the county wants to keep all the kids together.

The size of Billy and Tasha’s family grew from two members to five in less than six months. “We decided to become foster parents because we felt like it was something we could do for the community,” explains Billy. Billy works as a property manager and Tasha spends her days directing the before and after school program at a local public school district. The couple knew they were interested in fostering kids, so they attended an information session. From that point on, the classes, certification, and placement happened rapidly.

BILLY & TASHA

We found out that if we couldn’t take all three siblings, most likely they would end up in a group home.

28

So, we took all three.


80%

of CHILD WELFARE involvements now receive Family Assessment Responses, which focus on supporting families to keep them together whenever possible

Boulder County’s foster children receive health insurance, child care assistance, food assistance, and mental health services. The family also receives parenting and educational services to wrap them all in supports and help them thrive. Foster parents like Tasha and Billy often care for kids who are eventually reunited with their biological parents or family members. That is ultimately the goal, because research is clear that keeping families together whenever safely possible is best for children. But it isn’t always possible, so foster parents sometimes become adoptive parents.

It’s a double edged sword, because we had just gained our family, but another family was torn apart. I struggled with that for months.

I had to pull over because I was crying so hard.

In this case, Billy and Tasha adopted all three children. This new family is already building traditions and routines, but it takes time for kids to process and heal from this kind of trauma. The family gets a lot of support from professionals, community partners, and their own network of family and friends. Tasha admits that there is still one group of people who could provide their help and make a big difference: strangers. “I’ve received some pretty dirty looks when I have one of the kids out and about and they throw a tantrum,” says Tasha. “Onlookers look at us as my child is throwing a fit, but they don’t know the whole spectrum of it. There is so much going on, you don’t even know.” Many aspects of the family’s story are unique, but listening to Billy and Tasha it is also easy to hear the typical joys and challenges of parenthood. The couple grins as they remember the classes they took to become certified foster parents. “The classes and trainings are great, but nothing can train you for parenthood,” chuckles Billy. “Be prepared!” They both firmly agree on two things: they are absolutely never on time for anything these days, and they love spending time together as a family most of all. Billy and Tasha describe their three adopted children using words like “outgoing, unafraid, busy, stubborn and full of life.” When asked to describe their interests and hobbies now that they have three kids, both Tasha and Billy pause. “I guess I’d say this: you still have the same hobbies that you did before kids…you just don’t get to do them as often,” Billy admits with a grin. 29


INVENTIVE &

CURIOUS SCIENTIFIC minds that love learning

SATURDAYS spent on the field

2 BIG

BROTHERS 1 little sister

30


31


OUR NEIGHBOR

ADRIANNA

Adrianna is extremely determined and extremely busy—the single mom of three kids, all under the age of ten, spends her Saturdays shuttling the family to sports practices and activities. Adrianna grew up in foster care and—while she is quick to admit that the system is “nothing like the scary stories you hear”—she is determined that her kids have a very different childhood. Adrianna credits the Chafee Foster Care Independence (Chafee) program as one of the critical supports in helping her create this new way forward for her family. Chafee supports youth as they transition from the foster care system to living independently. This program connected Adrianna with BCDHHS services and linked her to a peer network during a time of big transitions— into independence, adulthood, and motherhood. Getting Adrianna and her kids where they need to be—thriving—is the central goal of a community of people at BCDHHS and partner groups who all work together with Adrianna to wrap her family in supports and services, including stable housing. “My Chafee caseworker told me about something called Youth Advisory Board. When I started, I was so isolated—I was young and I had this kid,” says Adrianna. “Youth Advisory Board built me a community that I use still to this day, seven years later. I have this community that has been there consistently, it’s like a family that I didn’t have.” Quick to mention the names of her caseworkers and mentors, Adrianna has so many stories about staff members going above and beyond to help the young family. Names like Milo, Elliaha, and Eric

I want my kids to be proud of where they come from and not be ashamed that they were on assistance.

I want them to know it is okay to need help, to need a stepping stone to get to where you need to go.

32

I also want them to know that their mom worked hard to get them to where they need to be.


are referenced alongside important milestones and life events. “I’m so thankful for the people that I got. I am genuinely so grateful.” Adrianna says she not only benefited from the support of this community—she also works with Chafee’s Youth Advisory Board to help improve the foster care system statewide for others. “I wanted to be part of the Youth Advisory Board because there were some things in foster care that I wanted to change, and being part of something bigger was a way I could help people who were in my situation,” she says.

$8,121.63 AVERAGE

savings in Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) participant escrow accounts for future use purchasing a home

Research is clear that the well-being of parents and caregivers impacts their children, and that when children are thriving, there is a positive impact on parents. Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services programs consider education and workforce development as critical supports for both parents and children. Through BCDHHS wrapped services, the Family Self-Sufficiency program’s savings and housing supports, and two scholarships from community partners, Adrianna is currently pursuing her associates degree in sonography. “I want to graduate from school and then I want to focus on buying a home,” says Adrianna. “I was the first member of my family to graduate high school and will be the first to graduate college. I want my kids to grow old in their home, paint their room different crazy colors, and have a backyard.” 33


SUPPORTING SUCCESSFUL

TRANSITIONS

Picture the teenager or young adult in your life—what support, advice, life-skills, and family influence do they need to become happy, healthy adults? Now imagine that young adult trying to grow and thrive without those supports, while maintaining stable housing and navigating the adult world independently for the first time. Youth aging out of the foster care system need the same supports as any 18-year old, but must look outside traditional family networks to find them. The Chafee Foster Care Independence Program provides critical, tailored, and long-lasting support to these young adults, connecting them to services and forming a stable community. The Chafee Program team approaches their work differently with each participating youth. “Chafee was developed to help these youth receive the skills that they would have received in their home of origin,” explains BCDHHS Chafee Caseworker, Nicole Kuzma. “Well-being, household management, money management, career and education, community resources, permanent connections are the highlights.” Chafee also provides housing case management in partnership with BCDHHS, which allows program staff to stay involved after youth graduate from the program at age 21. “There’s a team of us—five—and we’ve all worked together for eight years,” says Milo Woodson, BCDHHS Chafee Caseworker. “We all have a few youth we’ve kept in touch with for almost a decade.”

that should be obvious, but I don't know that it is to everyone - that has stunted a lot of different development areas and that looks different for each individual coming out of our systems. - BCDHHS Caseworker Nichole Kuzma

41.9%

ofstatewide HOMELESS YOUTH report they were once involved with foster care 34

A lot of our youth have trauma -


BUILDING PROACTIVE

SUPPORTS

“It’s hard to describe what we do, because it looks different for every family. We begin by developing a deep relationship with our program participants, building trust, before we can understand what they actually need to succeed,” says Juana Mendoza, BCDHHS Early Intervention Team member when explaining the team's proactive approach to supporting families. When it comes to keeping children safe, acting early to prevent circumstances from getting worse is critical. There are times when a family exhibits warning signs that they are struggling, but do not yet meet the threshold for actual safety concerns. Even though these families are “screened out,” we proactively engage them to address the root causes of crisis, and provide supports and services that are tailored to that family’s unique set of circumstances and challenges.

A + 21 79 79%

SINGLE MOMS receiving housing assistance through the Family Unification Program

168

CHILDREN

served by the Family Unification Program (FY 2016-17) Our flexible approach allows us to meet a whole family where they are, learn what will best support them, address the root causes of instability, and have a better chance at preventing more acute crisis. Research and experience demonstrate that whenever possible, it is better to strengthen families, not separate them. “We have been working since 2011 with the Early Intervention Team to think differently about child welfare—moving towards preventing crisis by providing comprehensive support to families as soon as possible,” says Wade Branstetter, BCDHHS Early Intervention Team Manager. 35


36


THERE for

HIM ART

favorite activity

1,065 MILES between father and son

YELLOWSTONE future father-son road trip

37


OUR NEIGHBOR

MIKE

Mike describes his 9 year old son Kenyon as a “minime”, grinning as he catalogs the activities they both enjoy: art, sports, movies, and reading Goosebumps books. If you ask Mike, his relationship with his son has changed for the better over the past three years, a shift that began under less than ideal circumstances. “I was getting arrested for drinking and going to detox,” remembers the 35 year old father. “They found out that I was behind on child support and I went to jail for that.” For the six years leading up to this time, Mike navigated his alcoholism and the challenges of parenting from a different state on his own. Today, he has a very different approach and support system. “I’ve been working with BCDHHS Responsible Payers Program for almost three years now,” he says. “It’s supposed to be a two year program but I’ve been with it for three. They’ve helped me with so many different things, like being on time with child support and finding housing.” Mike works collaboratively with his network at BCDHHS as he addresses the issues that prevented him from paying child support in the past, while making on-time payments in the present. These root causes—like joblessness, addiction, lack of stable housing—impact Mike and other non-custodial parents’ ability not only to financially support their children, but also to offer emotional support. Addressing these things together made a difference for both Mike and Kenyon.

I think that asking for help was the hardest thing for me because I thought that it was like asking for money. But you really just need help finding resources and you need help communicating with different people that know different people.

38

It’s all about connection.

70% FULL

CHILD SUPPORT

paid on time by parents voluntarily participating in the Responsible Payers Program (compared to 20% on program entry)


“I’ve done all the financial programs, parenting classes, pretty much all the programs and workshops that they offered. Everything that BCDHHS has offered, I’ve tried out and worked on.” Mike is currently sober, paying his child support ontime, and pursuing a career in graphic design. He is excited and optimistic about the future for his family. “I think I am more focused now and am able to see what’s ahead. These are opportunities I have for a better living situation for my son when I do have him, which is a very important thing. Watching him grow is crazy and I want to do everything that I possibly can and be there for him.”

My big goals are to get back into school and finish up an art program. I want to get into social work as well. so it would be awesome to give back that help to others.

Going through this program has made me want to help other people because they don’t know what help is out there. They are struggling as much as I am and don’t know how to get started,

39


BUILDING

WHOLE-FAMILY SUPPORTS We are taking an innovative approach to child support to prevent further crisis for families and children. Rather than simply taking a punitive approach, our child support programs—including the Responsible Payers Program— seek to understand and address the reasons why parents are struggling to support themselves and their families. Parents who have lost jobs or who are homeless have less ability to pay child support and there are many other less obvious obstacles. Punishing these parents with jail time does not address the root causes of their failure to pay child support. Rather, lost time and future constraint of resources often hurts their chances of achieving stability, both in their lives and with their children. BCDHHS staff work with parents and with other Boulder County supports and services to more directly engage in a structured plan to help families become stable for themselves and the children they want to financially support. In partnership with the courts, we interact directly with parents who are struggling to pay their child support by providing an opportunity to enroll in intensive case management with court participation. This fresh take on the child support program is a state-wide model for preventive, integrated service delivery. It also helps promote good outcomes for both children and parents.

We asked ourselves, if we are doing all these things for people who we are taking to court, why don’t we do these things before they get there? -Jim Hayen, BCDHHS Child Support Program Manager

40

Our goal is to help people earlier in the process, before we have to take them to court.


Check Out Our New Online Supports Management Site!

Boulder County Use Boulder County Connect to: • • •

Manage your supports Upload important documents, saving you time and trips to our office Learn about new programs and other resources offered throughout our community

www.BoulderCountyConnect.org

Live chat with a specialist!

CONNECTING

INFORMATION

Boulder County Connect (BCC) is an award-winning web-based portal for our participants to use to manage their supports, learn about other resources, and connect with us when they have questions or need help. BCC is designed to be responsive, personalized, transparent, and data-driven and offer a variety of ways to connect with our neighbors.

This isn’t just about the technology; it is the vision behind the whole department’s practice. -John Green, BCDHHS Senior Data Analyst

BCC is more than just a website, it’s a virtual “community hub” and a tool to reduce barriers and integrate services. The platform takes a whole-person approach and connects our neighbors with the services, supports, and partners that will help them thrive. BCC helps reduce the time and effort our neighbors spend telling their stories, offering multiple services in one place. Within its first two years in operation, there were over 5,000 unique client program enrollments on Boulder County Connect and over 4,000 referrals placed. During that same time period, nearly 4,000 client accounts were created, and over 120 case managers were already using the system. BCDHHS and our partners are finding new ways to utilize BC Connect—one example is that BCC now supports Boulder County’s Homeless System Coordinated Entry initiative. “We have some amazing people on our tech team—just like we have in our department—and we don’t develop anything in a black box. Our focus is supporting the vision of the department: integrated service delivery,” says BCDHHS Senior Data Analyst, John Green.

We built this system so that people could tell their stories once and get the help they need.

24/7 ACCESS

to information

5,000+ Within 2 Years CHAT LIVE

with technician 41


RIDING BIKES favorite activity

NINE

5K races completed together

THE BEACH dream vacation

42


CREATING a COMMUNITY

43


OUR NEIGHBOR

VICTOR

system, but l was being helped instead of punished,” said King. Working as a team, Victor’s caseworkers empowered him to reconnect to his extended family and engaged the Boulder County Family Integrated Treatment Court (FITC) in his custody case. FITC uses an integrated services approach to engage struggling parents in justice, human services, and addiction treatment. The FITC team—which includes lawyers, advocates, caseworkers, therapists and more—worked extensively with Victor on a pathway to sobriety, family reunification, and thriving. After participating in the FITC program, Victor was granted sole custody of his son, Octavius.

Within a year’s time, I was transformed from a homeless drug addict to a working parent. I graduated drug court and had full custody of my son.

Victor King is a single father, mental health peer counselor, and--in his own words—has “signed up for every acronym that I could—CCAP, WIC, FSS, SNAP, etc.” Victor began accessing Boulder County Housing and Human Services (BCDHHS) supports and services when he found himself addicted, homeless, isolated, and unable to see a path forward. In 2015, Victor was incarcerated and his young son placed in foster care. This experience catalyzed the single father, offering both a call to action and an opportunity to seek services and supports. During his 210 days incarcerated, Victor participated in jail-based counseling services, anger management courses, emotional intelligence classes, and even yoga. “I was knee deep in a legal

I was assisted not by a single program, but by many who worked together to make sure my outcome was positive and that I had an outcome worth living.

44


Despite successful reunification, the family still needed access to stable housing, employment, and continuing support to thrive. Victor and his caseworker continued to champion a solution for permanent housing until he was finally able to work with the Housing Stabilization program, which provides temporary rental assistance to those who need the support. “One of my therapists thought I might make a good peer support specialist for Mental Health Partners—I applied for the job from jail with a handwritten resume that was very warmly received. I was encouraged to reapply when I’d been out of jail for a year, which I did after attending a oneweek job training course.

I always thought that I would have to be ashamed of my past, but here I got a chance to

use my experiences to help other people in a professional environment.

Victor engaged in a nine-month application and appeal process to participate in the FSS program and—by accessing the expertise of his support team and effective self-advocacy—was eventually able to receive that support. “I was able to successfully advocate for myself, and the need for keeping my fragile family unit under the umbrella of housing and human services,” he says. Today, Victor’s life is filled with the demands of fatherhood, career, and family, as well as the support of an entire community.

1,838

Neighbors

received affordable housing supports in 2016-2017 45


TREATING WITH

COLLABORATION Boulder County's Family Integrated Treatment Court (FITC) has been providing services to the families in our community for 10 years. FITC is a collaborative effort of justice, treatment, and human services in Boulder County that focuses on stabilizing and preserving families impacted by drugs and alcohol, ensuring the protection of children, and reducing substance abuse. The FITC partnership coordinates substance abuse and therapeutic interventions and provides consistent court interaction with a focus on accountability and community support to break the cycle of addiction, child maltreatment, and crime in future generations.

“

“

Shifting the focus to family and away from punishment

allowed the emphasis to be on reunification with my son and opened up doors that would not be available on the criminal side of the court. -Victor, FITC participant

Over the last ten years, FITC has served 143 participants over the life of program and 53 graduates. FITC is comprised of a team of dedicated professionals who see the hope and promise in each parent who decides to join the program. The team is committed to working together to support parents, in part through ensuring they remain accountable for their choices.

53

GRADUATES benefited from a team of advocates through FITC

46


FOCUSING OUR

EFFORTS

When retired seniors John and Lois applied to participate in the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and Longs Peak Energy Conservation (LPEC) programs, they were thinking about saving energy, money, and the planet. “We both applied for the LPEC program a year ago and were accepted into it. We had many energy improvements done on the house—insulation was blown in, a more efficient furnace installed, vapor barriers were installed in the attic.” The couple notices the difference. “They even changed our light bulbs and put in a water-saving showerhead,” laughs Lois. “It was more than we bargained for and we are very happy.” The LPEC program saved Boulder County residents a total of $46,412.00 in energy bill costs in 2016-2017. The program was successful as a country program serving county residents, however, in 2018 changes in program administration at the state level reduced the investment in Boulder County residents, inadequately funded county staff and systems, and diminished the return on investment of scarce funds. Although the program was successful in the past, BCDHHS made the difficult decision to discontinue the program once it became clear that it no longer best served our neighbors. By declining to continue the program under these new guidelines, we were able to prioritize our weatherization and maintenance efforts for our own housing portfolio across the county, including in mountain communities such as Nederland. Our work continues.

Some of the members of the Housing team | 2018

$46,412

IN SAVINGS the average amount saved due to the LPEC program in 2016-17

3,559

METRIC TONS of CO2 reduction, due to energy improvements in 2016-17

47


PROUD &

48

HUMBLE


4 served YEARS in the U.S. NAVY

2 PETS

Tweak and Sam

100+

PIECES

of jewelry created 49


OUR NEIGHBOR

BILL

reduced income. Like so many in Boulder County, Bill was surprised to find himself in urgent need of affordable housing in a place that had always been home. The single father reached out to friends and his adult son—who is in the Army, stationed out of state—for possible solutions. “I was literally looking at being homeless,” remembers Bill. “I had always been self-sufficient. I explained to my son what was going on before we found this place, and he and his wife were talking about taking out a loan to help. But he didn’t have to, and everything worked out.” For Bill, finding Kestrel was an immense relief that is only now starting to feel real.

Finding out about Kestrel came at the right time.

“I am fortunate to be living at Kestrel here in the senior building,” says Bill, a Navy veteran and jewelry-making enthusiast. Bill is full of stories about his youth in the service, the adventures of single fatherhood, deep connections with the Lakota people, and his route to finding a home in BCDHHS’s newest affordable community. But not long ago, Bill was facing a crisis. After more than 18 years in the same Louisville home, he could no longer afford rising rent costs. When he began looking for a new place to live, Bill was alarmed to discover that—even with a roommate—the choices in his community were much too expensive for a senior’s

I was literally at the end of my rope and did not know what I was going to do. For about six months, I knew I had to move, but I didn’t know how where I was going to go.

ONLY 5% OF EXISTING housing in Boulder County is considered affordable

50


Bill, his roommate Joel, and their pets Tweak the cat and Sam the dog, are getting settled into their new apartment and finding lots to love. The unit’s friendly pet policy, laundry facilities, and community activities all make the list. “There are planters here where you can plant veggies and they had a thing where they were giving away veggie starters. That’s cool!” marveled Bill. Now that Bill is living at Kestrel, he finds himself discussing the need for affordable homes for ‘real people’ more than ever with friends and family. “What a long, strange trip it’s been,” Bill remarks with a grin.

Please support Boulder County affordable housing!

The rent kept going up, and I kept meaning to move, but there was always something that happened and I’d decide to stay just another year and then another year.

All of sudden, like Pink Floyd says, suddenly ten years have gone behind you.

+ 45%

should equal no more than

BUILDING ACCESSIBLE

COMMUNITIES

of monthly income

The Mobility for All (M4A) program promotes multiple transportation options (bus, bike, etc.) that are affordable and available to our community. Transportation plays a central role in the quality of life in our communities, where affordable living (defined as spending no more than 15% of a household’s income on transportation and no more than 30% on housing) has increasingly become a challenge for many county residents. Despite transportation being one of the largest components of a low-income family’s budget, there are very few resources to help with transportation costs. Reducing this cost burden is a critical step on the path to self-sufficiency and helps boost access to other health and human services. M4A’s work addressing the need for multiple transportation options in our communities fosters collaboration between transportation and human service organizations, and also focuses on public outreach and education. 51


PRIORITIZING

AFFORDABILITY

We are facing a crisis around access to safe, stable, and affordable housing in Boulder County. To address this, we are implementing an innovative regional housing plan that leverages partnership across the state to build integrated supports for stably housing individuals within the community, and increase the diversity of housing options to promote family well-being.

Building New Affordable Neighborhoods and Nurturing Communities We prioritize housing affordablity because data clearly demonstrate that safe, stable and affordable housing has tremendous, broad, and positive impacts on the health of entire communities. The Kestrel community, our newest affordable multi-generational development, was completed in 2017 and quickly filled. Kestrel’s 200 affordable workforce and senior homes are leased to local low- and moderate-income residents and families. The community has been recognized at the municipal and federal levels for its forward-looking approach to expanding access to affordable housing, and for its environmentally sustainable design.

Kestrel Grand Opening Celebration | May 1st, 2018

33%

INCREASE

in affordable housing stock in Louisville alone due to Kestrel Kestrel, our newest community located in Louisville, opened in April 2017 and includes 200 affordable homes, 71 of which are specifically designated for residents age 55 or older and their caregivers.

16

UNIQUE floor plans

52

UTILITIES included

$

VERY LOW

security deposit

FREE

Eco Pass

21 OUTDOOR gathering spaces


EXPANDING ACCESS TO

DIVERSE HOUSING

Boulder County Housing and Human Services is part of a local collaborative of community partners, government agencies, and non-profit leaders that participated in the creation and adoption of the Boulder County Regional Housing Plan. Under this plan, local jurisdictions and partners working together in the public and private sectors are prioritizing the development and preservation of diverse and affordable housing options. Over the 15 year implementation phase of the regional plan, collaborators will implement a variety of activities to ensure that 12% of the region’s total housing stock is permanently affordable by 2035...a tripling of affordable housing across Boulder County in just over 15 years. Regional Community Goal for Affordable Housing

12% GOAL

12,000

6,000

Affordable Homes Currently

+

Additional Affordable Homes Supported by Regional Housing Partnership

=

18,000

Total Affordable Homes by 2035

Architectural Renderings of Affordable Neighborhood | Coffman Street, Longmont

we’re working to address it collaboratively in a long-term, sustainable way. -Mayor Bob Muckle, Louisville

Housing affordability is a significant issue across Boulder County and

53


REPTILES

EXPERT

unexpected family members goal maker and achiever 54

MODELING financial independence


INDEPENDENT &

DRIVEN

55


OUR NEIGHBOR

KARINA

Karina entered the Boulder County Personal Finance Program’s office with an important goal: finding an ally in her search for stable housing for herself and her two young children. Karina had recently divorced and was responsible for the full-time care of her daughter and son—who has Type-1 diabetes—and the family had no place to live. “When I separated from my ex-husband, I wasn’t able to find a place to live because I didn’t have any credit history,” Karina remembers. “I was eventually able to rent a one bedroom apartment for all of us, from a friend.” While this bilingual, newly single mother of two had a long-time job in the health care industry, she had never been in charge of household finances before. She knew that living with her two children in a small one bedroom apartment was unsustainable and that she had to find a way forward. Karina’s goal quickly became buying a house—to achieve this goal, she needed to learn to manage money on her own, for the first time. 56

39%

OF NEIGHBORS working with the Boulder County Personal Finance Program reduced their debt in the first three months

The road to financial independence started with meeting her family’s basic needs and continued with making lots of plans and sticking to them. “The personal finance coach helped me sign up for food assistance, helped me figure out how to open a bank account, figure out how to create credit history, get a loan, and do all of these financial budgeting exercises,” says Karina. “One of the biggest things my coach helped me with was learning how to be financially independent. When I was living with my husband, he was doing the finances for us and I wasn’t involved.”


Working with her coach, Karina built a financial roadmap, setting goals and benchmarks toward owning a home for her family. During this time, BCDHHS programs like food assistance and health insurance offered critical supports for keeping her family healthy. Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) covered critical care for Karina’s young son’s chronic disease.

I wasn’t sure how I could help my son —who has Type-1 diabetes—without that insurance.

Without insurance, his supplies cost over one thousand dollars a month.

Over the next four years, Karina worked diligently with BCDHHS to become financially self-sufficient. Karina identified Habitat for Humanity as a good partner and worked with both BCDHHS and Habitat staff to create a purchase plan. In 2016, after years of hard work and education from multiple BCDHHS economic self-sufficiency programs, Karina achieved her goal and bought a house for her family. Karina is happy to be home and is already passing on valuable financial literacy lessons. “This is what I am teaching my kids now—this isn’t something that we learn at a very young age but I think it’s very important,” she says Even though Karina successfully achieved her personal and financial goal, she is far from finished working with her network of supporters. Next on her list: going back to school to become a therapist or counselor.

2,780 HOURS

of Personal Finance Coaching provided to neighbors by Boulder County in 2017 57


BUILDING

FINANCIAL STABILITY

A critical component of self-sufficiency for every member of our community is the ability to earn a living and manage money in a sustainable way. Building financial security is a big project and—for everyone—requires a network of experts, community partners, institutions, and service providers. Boulder County Department of Community Services and BCDHHS partner closely with community partners to support our neighbors in finding stable work and achieving financial independence. This goal requires a broad spectrum of supports and services.

Creating a financial blueprint

Boulder County connects neighbors to a team of staff financial coaches who offer individualized support through the Personal Finance Program. Coaches work with individuals and families to create a financial plan for the future that focuses on building credit, creating good habits, and learning how to save for the future. These counselors connect their clients to two of BCDHHS’s critical partners—Workforce Boulder County and Bank On Boulder County—to support our neighbors by providing pathways to financial stability and independence. Connecting our neighbors to these multiple supports helps them create a blueprint for financial stability that benefits them and their families for a lifetime.

Building skills for employment

Workforce Boulder County is a physical and virtual community hub for both job seekers and employers across the county. Workforce Boulder County (WfBC) is connecting our neighbors to training, support, and employment opportunities so that they can achieve meaningful careers and self-sufficiency. Accessing meaningful employment is an important part of an individual or family’s ability to thrive, and contributes broadly toward building a flourishing community.

BCDHHS Personal Finance Coach, Meredith Caley and Karina

$11,211

MORE PER MO. average earnings above those who did not use WfBC services in 2015

Planning for the future

Bank On Boulder County is a partnership between banks, credit unions, community organizations and Boulder County to offer low-cost checking accounts and extra customer service to support people on the path to longterm financial stability. Bank On Boulder County removes barriers for people who do not have bank accounts and provide support for those who have had bad experiences or are unfamiliar with using banks. People who are “unbanked” often pay high prices to cash paychecks and send money orders to pay for things like rent and utilities. Accessing banks, using bank accounts to save, and learning basic financial literacy is essential for self-sufficiency. 58

BOULDER COUNTY Your Money, Your Path

$42,000 IN FEES

the average amount an unbanked person will pay over their lifetime


FOCUSING ON

HOPE

Geneva Z. Bailey posing with a display of her own photographs We are grateful to Geneva Z. Bailey for capturing all of the images within this report. For over seven years—in addition to her role as Lead Administrative Technician—Geneva Bailey has made Boulder County a more beautiful place with her gift for seeing people and moments, and photographing them. Geneva eloquently captures the heart and soul of our work: the real people and families who make up our community. Her photographs communicate the strength, humor, and resilience of our neighbors. Her talent for focusing on hope helps us visualize what we are building together. Geneva began her photography career in New Orleans, assisting Giles Mateau in his studio. After taking hundreds of photos of children with Santa, the Easter Bunny, and a giant Mickey Mouse, she put her camera down and didn’t come back to it for 20 years. Then, as managing editor and owner of a weekly newspaper and periodical tourist publication in Durango, Colorado, she had an opportunity to hone her graphic design and photography skills. These days, photography is Geneva’s labor of love—from abandoned buildings to capturing the lives and faces of BCDHHS clients and staff. In the early days of Flickr, Geneva started submitting photos online. In just a few years, her photos had been seen over a million times.

Geneva, thank you for sharing your talent and focusing on hope.

As the resident BCDHHS photographer,

I have been fortunate to capture beautiful moments in the lives of our clients.

I love seeing the photos go from idea all the way to published images. Working with the communications team to create our messaging and outreach into the community makes a real difference. -Geneva Z. Bailey, Photographer and BCDHHS Lead Tech

59


MERMAIDS

all three girls love to swim

OUTSIDE favorite place to be

FISHING official family sport

60


ADVENTUROUS &

OUTGOING

61


OUR NEIGHBORS

BRANDIE & BRAD Brandie and Brad’s home is decorated with numerous collages of family photos. The kitchen, which boasts an entire wall covered in homemade cards and art, is a central family gathering space. As the couple describes their favorite meals to prepare and eat as a family, Brandie notes the importance of her food assistance benefits. These monthly stipends help ensure the whole family has access to adequate nutrition. “Buying food for my kids is so big for me,” explains Brandie. “Making sure that they are healthy and have enough to eat is so important.”

or the whole group of people. Having them all really takes a weight off of my shoulders.” Brad and Brandie live with their three young daughters in an affordable rental home and are participating in a BCDHHS program that helps them save money to someday buy a home of their own. This family of proud Colorado natives hopes their future home will be in Boulder County, close to their families, support networks, and landscapes that they love. “The girls are all very adventurous and outdoorsy— they love fishing and being around the water,” laughs Brad. “I swear all three kids are mermaids.”

Both Brad and Brandie also talk about the role of teamwork and integrated supports in their family’s journey to stability. “I think all of these programs intertwine—from food assistance, to housing, to Medicaid,” says Brandie. “The programs work together and they balance—I honestly don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have all the supports

Nitzie wants to be a dentist, just like I am. I’m a dental assistant and I go out of my way to make sure their teeth are good.

She wants to take care of people and make them feel good about themselves.

62


MEETING BASIC

NEEDS

Regular access to healthy food is important to Brandie’s family and to every single member of our community. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides financial assistance that helps families— across the country and in our local community—buy groceries. Last year, approximately 27,000 families in Boulder County relied on SNAP benefits to get more food for themselves and their families. Boulder County’s Healthy Kids and Adults program team helps families get enough to eat by spreading the word about food assistance programs at the same time they are helping people get enrolled in health insurance. “We serve people from birth to death, really,” says Sarah Reynolds with the Boulder County Health Kids and Adults! team. “We touch people in the school districts and we do a lot of outreach within the local clinics, so we see people of all ages and demographics there. It’s really anybody in Boulder County who meets the threshold for income eligibility. It’s all ages and lots of people who are working. Most of our clients are working and still qualify for these programs.” Even with food assistance, many of our community members still find themselves unable to get enough food, especially with the rising cost of housing in our community. For neighbors struggling to make ends meet, BCDHHS partner organizations such as Community Food Share provides critical support. Community Food Share rescues safe, surplus food from going to waste so that it can instead help nourish those struggling with hunger. Retail grocers, farmers, producers, distributors, and food service operators donate food that is not profitable to sell, close-dated, overstock, seasonal, or cosmetically damaged. Through a network of food pantries and banks, Community Food Share distributes enough food for 22,500 meals every day to people experiencing food insecurity.

$150-250 MONTHLY

average household SNAP support for a family of four in Boulder County

63


64


HEALTHY &

THRIVING PROUD homeowners

MIDDLE SCHOOL sweathearts

RESEARCH career in medical science

65


OUR NEIGHBOR

ANDREA

Andrea speaks bravely and openly about her experiences as a survivor. Today, the mother of two is married to her middle school sweetheart, Doug, and works for a company producing rare, life-saving medicine for genetic diseases. Andrea’s journey includes surviving parental and partner abuse, homelessness, single-motherhood, significant trauma, and more recently, incredibly hard work toward a better life for her family. Along the way, BCDHHS services and community partner supports helped Andrea find her path to thriving. After leaving an abusive relationship and fleeing her home in fear, Andrea arrived at Boulder-based partner organization, Mother House, pregnant and alone. “I don’t know what I would have done without Mother House,” marvels Andrea. “One requirement of living there was getting prenatal care. I was told to go to People’s Clinic in Boulder and they would help me. Before I could be seen at People’s Clinic I had to have health insurance and that’s where my story with Housing and Human services starts.” The BCDHHS team helped Andrea enroll in Medicaid and for the first time in almost a decade, Andrea had access to healthcare. She also began to seek other available supports, including stable housing.

About two weeks before my daughter was born, I moved into my new apartment. I loved my little apartment! Growing up the way I did, I never felt like I had a home or belonged anywhere.

66

For the first time in my entire life I had a HOME. A safe, warm, clean, beautiful home. It felt like a miracle.


Today, I know how to navigate my diseases and am a much happier, healthier person for it. I am also a better mother for it.

I learned to take care of myself and not give up when I felt like something was wrong with me.

As Andrea participated in BCDHHS programs to access stable housing, nutritious food, continuing education, affordable childcare and financial planning, the next generation of her family also benefited. Andrea credits the support she received—and the parenting group she attended—for helping break the generational cycle of abuse in her family. “When you are raised with shame, guilt, abuse and neglect, knowing how to raise a child in a healthy way is nearly impossible,” Andrea says. “In the Love and Logic parenting classes I was given tools for how to set loving, healthy boundaries with my precious daughter, Sierra. I didn’t have to yell. I didn’t have to shame. I didn’t have to guilt. I still use those tools to this day with my beloved two year old son, Jaxon.” Ten years after Andrea began working with BCDHHS, she is a Cum Laude graduate from University of Northern Colorado and uses words like “thriving”, “love”, “homeowners”, and “healthy” to describe herself and her family.

74%

RENTAL ASSISTANCE supports in Boulder County go to female heads of households

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BLUEPRINT for the

FUTURE

The next few years will be crucial to building healthy, connected communities. In Washington, D.C. and across our state, there is increasing recognition of the leadership of local communities in prevention-focused, wholefamily, integrated health, housing, and human services delivery. We have a strong vision that empowers people and strengthens families by confronting the root causes of crisis and instability. We will continue to work closely with colleagues at the federal, state, and local levels to demonstrate prevention’s significant return on investment in the following areas: Reduce Institutional Utilization: We will seek increases in funding to address root causes and reduce the need for institutional services, including advocating for federal and state Child Welfare resources to focus on prevention and well-being. Our work in safely keeping families together in Boulder County through investing in supportive prevention services is very strong, and we are excited to work with communities across the country to improve child and family well-being. Address Housing Affordability Crisis: We will push for sustainable solutions that extend well beyond the local level, pulling together diverse stakeholders to help ensure funding and support for a tripling of our region’s affordable housing stock by 2035. We will work with communities across the country to connect our housing solutions, and we will ensure that safe, affordable housing is emphasized as one of the important Social Determinants for thriving families and individuals. Focus on Early Childhood: We will continue to lead and invest in supports for children ages 0 to 5, because we know that one of the best ways to improve child and family well-being and reduce childhood trauma — and its debilitating and expensive impacts — is to focus resources on services early in life. We will advocate at the federal and state levels for increased funding for child care assistance, universal home visitation, and family housing programs.

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LET’S BUILD

TOGETHER Our future is bright because we have seen – and helped create – the successes of our past. We ask for your help in spreading the word. As active and engaged members of our community, please work with us to ensure that every family and every individual is empowered to reach their full potential and achieve their aspirations.

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HELP WHEN YOU

NEED IT

General Information

Family & Children Services

BoulderCountyHHS.org BoulderCountyConnect.org 303.441.1000

To report child abuse or neglect, call 303.441.1309. Screeners are available 24/7 to take questions or reports.

For more information about the supports we offer our community, please visit us online.

Early Intervention Program Colorado Community Response Family Dependency Integrated Treatment Court Foster Care and Adoption Juvenile Integrated Treatment Court Out of Home Placement Project REACH

Follow us on social media: Facebook.com/BCDHHS Twitter: @bouldercohhs Check out our video library on YouTube YouTube.com/BCDHHS

Family & Children Services

Housing

Family &Food Children Services Assistance

BoulderCountyHousing.org Short-term Housing Assistance Family Unification Program (FUP) Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Subsidized Housing Housing Stabilization Program (HSP) Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Below-Market-Rate Rentals *Homeownership Training Classes

Housing

F Ass

Hope for the

Housing Financial Assistance

Food Elder Assistance Services

Financial Health Assistance Coverage

BoulderCountyFoodAssistance.org 720.722.1454 TTY: 1.800.659.3656

Hope for thewhen future, w Hope for the future, help youhelp need

*Program administered by Workforce Boulder County

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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) *Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) *Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) *Program administered by Boulder County Public Health


g

Food Family & Children Services Assistance

Financial Housing Assistance

Food Elder Assistance Services

Elder Education & Services Skill Building

Financial Health Assistance Coverage

Health Coverage

BoulderCountyHHS.org BoulderCountyConnect.org 303.441.1000

To report elder abuse or neglect, call 303.441.1309. Screeners are available 24/7 to take questions or reports.

Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND) Aid to the Blind (AB) Colorado Works (TANF) BoulderCountyColoradoWorks.org Old Age Pension (OAP) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) BoulderCountyChildCare.org Child Support Services BoulderCountyCSS.org

Adult Protective Services *Community Protection Division Old Age Pension (OAP) **Senior Tax Programs Senior Housing Sites Burial Assistance Program Various Medicare Programs

Edu Skill

Hope help for the future, when r the future, when youhelp need it. you need it.

Food Elder Assistance Services

Financial Health Assistance Coverage

Elder Education & Services Skill Building

Healthy Kids and Adults! 720.722.1454 bchk@BoulderCounty.org Healthy Communities healthycommunities@BoulderCounty.org 303.678.6141 or 303.413.7518 Connect for Health Colorado Assistance Site WhyMeBoulderCounty.org

*Program administered by Boulder County District Attorney’s office **Program administered by Boulder County Assessor and Treasurer’s offices

Health Coverage

Education & Skill Building

Boulder County Personal Finance Program BoulderCountyPFP.org 720.564.2279

future, when phe when youhelp need it. you need it. Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP) Old Age Pension (OAP) Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) Colorado Health Insurance Marketplace Assistance

Personal Finance Counseling *Financial Workshops *Career Development *Homeownership Training Class Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Parents as Teachers **Boulder County Youth Corps *Program administered by Workforce Boulder County **Program administered by Boulder County Parks and Open Space

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Contact us: Email:

hhsfrontdesk@bouldercounty.org

Phone: 303-441-1000 Benefits: 3460 Broadway, Boulder 515 Coffman, Longmont

www.BoulderCountyHHS.org Follow us on social media. Facebook.com/BCDHHS and Twitter: @bouldercohhs

Profile for Boulder County Dept. of Housing & Human Services

Building a Community of Hope  

Building a Community of Hope  

Profile for bcdhhs