As a fellow professional serving youth in this community in my work at Partners Mentoring Youth, I so appreciate the passion and dedication that the Matthews House staff and volunteers offer. They provide impactful service to so many young people and I'm honored to partner with them in the common goal of supporting the youth in our community.
I began volunteering at the Matthews House three years ago as a way to get more involved in the community. I quickly became impressed with the quality and passion of the staff, and the value of the program. The Matthews House has gained a reputation in the community as a highly effective way to help at-risk youth. This is largely due to their model of care that combines case management by a professional with mentoring by a community volunteer, resulting in great outcomes.
Reaching a crossroads in life, I decided that it was time to cut back on the work hours and increase volunteering hours - let the search begin! I came upon The Matthew's House website via Google while looking for volunteer positions working with youth and young adults. Reading the stories, watching the videos - I was moved. I immediately filled out the forms and applied to volunteer to 'hang out at the house'. I can do this! I hang out at my house all the time and not so long ago it was filled with young adults of which some shared the same type of life challenges as The Mathew's House clients.
Soon after submitting the forms, I was contacted by the volunteer coordinator to set up an initial interview so I could learn more about TMH's mission and the role of the 'hang out mom'. I interviewed with the ever so friendly volunteer coordinator, again I was moved as she re-iterated the mission and then gave me a tour of the house. The house was warm and inviting. There are places to hang out, a fridge stocked with food, a quiet work area with a computer, a quaint back yard that includes both places to relax and shoot hoops! The living room filled with comfy furniture, toys for little ones, books for both big and little ones, and my favorite - the guitar in the corner. After this initial interview - I told the superduper volunteer coordinator that I was interested and asked her what was next? Training of course!
The initial training included organization's background and mission delivered by founder Jerri Howe. I now saw the organization through Jerri's eyes and was able to confirm my belief that given the opportunity, resources, support - the kids can do it! This training also opened my eyes to something going on in our community that I was totally unaware of - the volunteers are young! I was expecting to see a lot of 50 something folks like myself - 15 people at the training and my guess is 13 of them were under 25...nice!
Once trained - volunteering began. I'm at the house twice a week, join in on activities when able (fun stuff like ice skating and snow shoing!), and perform other tidbits as needed. The staff, interns, and volunteers are all great to work with. For me as a volunteer at The Matthew's House - what it really comes down to is sitting at the kitchen table while a young adult is filling out a college application, rocking a baby while a client is meeting with a Transition Facilitator, or high fiving the client when he comes in the door with a smile on his face because he got a job.
If you are looking for a place that makes a difference - for you or a loved one as a client, for yourself or your organization to donate some time as a volunteer, or considering a non-profit charitable donation - I strongly recommend that you learn more about The Matthew's House and their commitment to the youth of Northern Colorado.
I've worked with staff and volunteers of the Matthews House for several years. I've been truly impressed with the young people who have been served by the program. Clearly, the practice of listening to and including clients in improvement of services and marketing has made a difference to all of us.
The Matthews House extends genuine love and support to youth who have significantly lacked family support. It provides a safe and honest environment for teens to grow beyond their circumstances. Our church has become increasingly aware of the difference The Matthews House makes in the lives of teens and young adults in northern Colorado. Because we believe in The Matthews House, Peak Community Church regularly supports this organization financially and by mobilizing groups of volunteers to complete projects whenever a need arises.
Our nonprofit agency partners with The Matthews House (TMH) to provide education and training in support of their clients' employment objectives. TMH staff and leadership are extremely dedicated with high levels of understanding and expertise in meeting the needs of their clients. The case management they provide to those they refer to us makes success much more attainable. We find TMH to be a valuable community resource, with everyday impact on those they serve as well as on our community as a whole.
In my role as Community Programs Coordinator for Children, Youth and Family Services of Larimer County, I have had the pleasure of working with staff and youth of the Matthews House over the last four years. The MH provides a warm, friendly and nurturing environment for youth transitioning from foster care, kinship care and sometimes birth parent care into the larger community. While this is one key to the MH's success, the other is a well trained, very professional staff dedicated to the success of these youth who are challenged with finding homes, jobs, transportation and other basic needs. I facilitated a community team committed to working with the MH to improve outcomes for transitioning youth. The Team met directly with these youth to better understand their needs and struggles. On another occasion, the MH worked directly with DHS to convene a forum to hear from a panel of MH youth. The suggestions and ideas articulated by the youth themselves evolved into very specific action plans and programs to increase the success of transitioning youth in our community. I heard, first hand, the remarkable stories of youth who succeeded as a direct result of the support and direction of the MH.
I have become familiar with the Matthews House first through my wife's employment there as a social worker, and with regular involvement thereafter as a volunteer and general community awareness advocate. TMH is, in my opinion, one of the best dolllar for dollar non-profit investments in the region. Most of the kids they serve would be in and out of the system their entire adult life without some intervention at the critical time of early adulthood. Instead, they are shown love and given mentoring opportunities, and so many of them succeed in turning their lives around that you just won't believe it to hear the stories of success they've already accomplished. First in family college graduates abound, stable jobs and homes where there previously was none, etc. etc. etc. Highly effective at what they endeavor to do.
From the perspective of both a spiritual adviser and licensed psychotherapist working with individual, couples and families who suffer from broken and sometimes hostile relationships, there is a systemic approach about The Matthew's House that is so much more than good or great programming. No matter whether it is the hands-on founder, paid staff or the many volunteers that interact with the population who may wander in seeking help, resources or shelter; every at-risk or transient youth is met with caring intent! Of course there is outstanding, well thought out programs for these youth and young adults, but perhaps of even greater importance is the development of human capital that are caring people with names and time to share.
I've had the pleasure of working with the Matthews House from the time when it was still a dream. I met with Jerri Howe to discuss how this "dream" might take form. I've been astonished by development and growth of the organization, which I attribute to the steller leadership of their executive director, Jerri Howe and the outstanding service provided to our community. The Matthews House is an organization truly meeting an unmet need in our community.