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Walsenburg Family Resource Center a shining example for the rest of the state

WALSENBURG — The Family Resource Center in Walsenburg is a shining example of what a resource center can and should be. Unique among Colorado’s family resource centers, the Walsenburg center recently attracted the attention of the state for its comprehensive and coordinated program. About eighteen months ago, the Family Center Director Terri Patrick submitted an application to include the Walsenburg Family Resource Center in the state-wide Family Resource Center Association. The application was accepted, and in the process of getting it approved and started up, the resource center was mentioned to the head of the Colorado Department of Human Services. The department decided to visit on August 4, while on their tour of Colorado, and were shown around the facilities. They were impressed by the integrated and cooperative efforts of the center and are seriously considering implementing Walsenburg’s integrated model into other resource centers across the state. One of the things that makes the Walsenburg center so well-organized and easy to navigate and use, is the fact it works under the auspices of the Department of Social Services and shares a building with CrossRoads. Most family resource centers are stand-alone entities, but by being connected with Social Services, the Walsenburg resource center is able to obtain Federal grant money to fund programs. The close ties and

cooperation between the Family Resource Center, CrossRoads, and Social Services make it easier for local people to get the help they need from all three groups with a minimal amount of paperwork and extra bureacracy. Information sharing between the groups allows for people to obtain the best possible care, since all groups can work together for the benefit of each individual. The collaboration also means lower costs and shorter wait times for clients across the human services spectrum. One hundred percent of the Family Resource Center’s funding comes from grants. They have three federal grants, two state grants, and one foundation grant.  With that money they can offer programs such as PREP, a comprehensive sex-ed program that has been instrumental in dropping the county’s teen birth rate. They are also able to offer computers for clients searching for jobs and a playgroup that is open to the community for parents and children. The focus of the resource center is prevention, to which end they try to help people solve problems and get out of bad situations before they escalate. There are approximately 1,100 youth in Huerfano County between the ages of 0-18 years old, and the Family Resource Center typically serves 10-12% of those youth in an average year. Last year they served over 400 county youth across all programs. Financial budgeting and help is available on a one-on-one basis for those who ask. The Walsenburg Family Resource Center is a fantastic option for families and individuals who need a little extra help. From finding a job to learning how to work with your children to overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction, the integrated groups at CrossRoads and the Family Resource Center can help. Find the center at 615 Russell Ave in Walsenburg, or call 719-738-2076 for more information, or to see if they can help you.