Family Mentor Alliance Moves To Catholic Charities

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Springs Rescue Mission and Catholic Charities of Central Colorado announced the Family Mentor Alliance will move to Catholic Charities and become part of the Family Resource Campus in downtown Colorado Springs, currently located in the Marian House.  This move is an extension of the partnership between the two agencies to focus resources on specific populations in need.  Springs Rescue Mission continues to expand its campus to increase services to the chronically homeless population while Catholic Charities expands its services for families in crisis:  those who are homeless, on the verge of homelessness, or in extreme poverty.

Andy Barton, CEO of Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, said, “We could not be more pleased to welcome the Family Mentor Alliance program to our Family Resource Center.  There is no question the program’s leadership and church partners have built a thriving model with the support of Springs Rescue Mission over the past four years.  We are excited to merge the added capacity of the Family Resource Center to the work of the Family Mentor Alliance to help cultivate and grow this important program.”  Larry Yonker, CEO of Springs Rescue Mission, said, “I am so proud of the Family Mentor Alliance staff and volunteer mentors who have made this program such a success for families experiencing homelessness in Colorado Springs.  Collectively, those families have custody of more than 100 children-100 kids whose lives are more stable today because of the program.  With Catholic Charities growing infrastructure for family ministry, I feel confident that the Family Mentor Alliance will grow even stronger in the years to come.”

The Family Mentor Alliance, established at Springs Rescue Mission in 2012, is modeled after Gov. John Hickenlooper’s One Congregation-One Family model and is part of Pathways Home Colorado – the state plan to replicate best practice models, support regional priorities, and become more strategic in preventing and ending homelessness.  The One Congregation-One Family model pairs mentor teams from religious congregations with families experiencing housing instability to help the families achieve self-sufficiency and build community support systems.

Using their experience working with homeless families, Partners in Housing will work to assist families in the Family Mentor Alliance program by providing housing resources as needed.  Recently, Springs Rescue Mission and Partners in Housing were both awarded HUD grants for Rapid Re-Housing.  Partners in Housing will steward the Springs Rescue Mission grant, which will move to Catholic Charities to be used for Family Mentor Alliance families.

Since the program’s inception, 42 families have successfully completed the Family Mentor Alliance program and maintained one year of housing – a 92% success rate.  Michelle Swanson and Summer Tungseth have led the program at Springs Rescue Mission and have developed services for children dealing with the trauma of homelessness, which focus on breaking generational cycles of poverty.  Swanson and Tungseth will transition from the Family Mentor Alliance program to Catholic Charities beginning on July 1st.

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