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Tri Lakes Cares

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Human Services

Mission: Tri-Lakes Cares is a community based, volunteer supported, resource center whose purpose is to improve people’s lives through emergency assistance, self-sufficiency and relief programs.

Results: From our beginnings as a small food pantry in 1984, we have grown to become a comprehensive human services agency serving the Tri-Lakes region of Colorado. While this region appears affluent, there are hidden pockets of poverty in which households must choose between putting food on the table or keeping the lights on, between getting medical care, clothing, and school supplies or paying the rent. Tri-Lakes Cares resolves these difficult questions by providing free access to basic human services to income-qualified residents of northern El Paso County (those earning 50% of area median income or less). Last fiscal year (October 2016 to September 2017), TLC provided 10,883 service visits, benefiting 1,330 people in 490 households, including 446 children/youth, 173 senior citizens, 86 veterans and 233 individuals living with a disability. We provided the following services to our clients and the community: (1) 62 households (impacting 169 individuals) were helped with rent or mortgage payments to prevent families from becoming homeless. (2) Over 219,063 lbs of food and sundries were distributed to those who were hungry, including fresh produce, dairy products and other perishable items through various food pantry program (3) More than 580 patient services were provided to 141 individuals by the Penrose-St. Francis Neighborhood Nurse Center and the Volunteer Medical Clinic treated 15 patients (4) A total of 9,413 lbs of holiday food bags (Thanksgiving and Christmas) were distributed and 197 children and 66 senior citizens received gifts through the Giving Tree program (5) 86 households (impacting 247 individuals) were helped to keep the lights and heat on, or received help with other utility payments like water bills (6) 108 school children (K-12) received grade-appropriate school supplies, valued at $6,765, to help prepare them to learn in school Through a June 2017 client survey, we have found that: (1) 73% of TLC clients found the financial assistance to be very helpful; financial assistance may consist of a rent or mortgage payment, utility payment, car repair, or medical bills assistance. (2) Of the clients who were seen by the nurse in our facility, 61% strongly agree and 35% agree their overall health improved due to our medical services. (3) 65% strongly agree and 33.5% agree that the food received from our food programs increased their family’s overall health. (4) After attending the Getting Ahead classes, 11% of attendees reported an increase in financial stability; 33% reported an increase in their social capital; and 44% increased their emotional resources.

Target demographics: Low-income individuals and families earning up to 50% Area Median Income (AMI) in our service area, based on the zip code they reside. Federal standards and regulations consider 50% of AMI a “very low-income” standard.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 490 households impacting 1,331 individuals including 446 children, 173 senior citizens, 86 veterans and 233 individuals living with a disability.

Geographic areas served: Northern El Paso County, Colorado known as the Tri-Lakes area, north of Colorado Springs. The specific zip codes to which we provide services are 80132, 80133, 80840, 80921 and a large portion of 80908.

Programs: Food (Help Yourself Market, Snack Pack program, Supplemental Groceries), Penrose-St. Francis Neighborhood Nurse Center with medical assistance program, financial assistance for rent (to prevent eviction), utilities (to keep lights and heat on), car repairs, transportation needs, and self-sufficiency programs including Getting Ahead classes, financial budgeting classes, post-secondary education or professional certification and childcare.

Community Stories

80 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TLC is very welcoming to volunteers and appreciative of the time we dedicate. They are not over-controlling. They fill a huge need in our community and do it in a very sensitive way. We have been associated with TLC for over nine years and they do not skip a beat when it comes to helping a community member/family in need. They are awesome and that what makes us volunteering at TLC a very purposeful way of giving of our time. Monument is blessed!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with TLC for over 10 years, and my husband has volunteered there for even longer. The organization has always aided those in need, helping them to face the challenges that poverty and unexpected challenges present. Over those years, TLC has grown from being primarily a food bank to being an organization that provides all sorts of services--food, financial aid, self-sufficiency education, connection with other sources of aid, and counseling/support to help clients most effectively use their limited resources and prepare themselves to take the steps necessary to improve their circumstances. I have been impressed over the years by TLC's ability to grow while still maintaining a "small town atmosphere," an atmosphere that emphasizes the word CARES, always treating clients, volunteers, and staff with dignity, respect, and compassion. I am proud to say that I am a TLC volunteer.

Rafael P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was recently introduced to Tri-Lakes Cares. Over the holidays I had the pleasure of volunteering during the holiday drive. It really shows that what they are doing helps the community, when individuals were taking part and receiving their care packages for the holidays and were smiling so big. Even just putting a smile on one individual or family and being able to help them out, and help their kids out, that's what it's all about. I will continue to volunteer my time and donate to their great cause of helping the Tri-Lakes area!!
Keep doing what you do!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for over the past 5 years, I've seen many clients receive more assistance than they ever had hoped for. The volunteers and staff make it great place to work and seeing clients walk out the door with a big smiles on their faces and sometimes even in tears (of joy) makes it all worthwhile. Thanks TLC.!!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Started years ago as volunteer. Loved what they did for the community. Never tire of the testimonials about the personalized, attentive care for clientele. Amazing dedication by employees and volunteers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

TLC is an absolute God-send. This organization has helped me get on my feet again after a sudden and unexpected divorce that flung me into situational poverty. TLC provides me with supplemental groceries, Christmas gifts for my children, emotional support, workshops/classes to improve my future, and the list goes on. I am so very thankful I live in this community that cares so much about "the least of these." They are family.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've heard so many stories of people in the community being helped by Tri Lakes Cares. I'm so impressed with their compassion and ability to meet the client where they are and help meet their needs. Truly a great human service organization!

Brian W.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great family and friendly atmosphere. Makes you feel welcomed no matter what your need may be. Selfless organization driven with desire to serve the surrounding community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Tri-Lakes Cares for almost 11 years and my wife for 10 years. We have been involved in several of the programs there and have seen over the years just how each of these programs helped the clients. These programs include food assistance, doctor and nurse services, snackpaks for children in our area to have over a weekend, counseling, cooking classes, school supplies, Thanksgiving and Christmas food packages, angel trees at Christmas time, etc.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Tri-Lakes Cares for six years. I researched them after we retired and moved to Monument to see what they did. I liked what I saw. They are not only a food source for those in need, but do so many other wonderful things to help those in our community. New programs are being developed all the time and with the economic conditions that we are experiencing, we are able to reach out and help serve the needs of our clients.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Tri-Lakes Cares for a few years now. The staff and volunteers are very friendly! I enjoy meeting the clients and helping the people in my community.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered here for the past year. I am proud to be a part of this team that cares for the needy in our community. They do a great job of managing their resources.

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Blueskier1948

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a volunteer at Tri Lakes Cares & I can say that this organization helps many people of varying needs. The staff are very kind & caring & involved with the clients. I enjoy interacting with the clients & staff. Volunteering here has been as beneficial to me as it is for the clients served. I look forward to every Monday.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a volunteer at Tri-Lakes Cares. Moving to Monument two years ago, I had no friends. I'm a senior citizen & volunteering at Tri Lakes Cares has benefited me as much as the clients they serve. I look forward to interacting with the many clients every Monday. Their appreciation to the organization is heart warming & I enjoy helping them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with TriLakes for several years and consider the staff, other volunteers, and clients a second family! There is such a spirit of sharing and caring and such warmth of feeling. I can’t imagine how the Monument area could go on without this wonderful place and its people.
Wanda

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Tri-Lakes Cares for over 5 years. I have seen first hand how this organization has changed the lives of our clients. I volunteer in an area where I directly have contact with our clients. They tell me how our help has changed their lives for the better. They tell me they are treated with respect-never judged or looked down upon. I have seen clients that have risen above their circumstances due to the help they have received. This is an organization that is made up of amazing employees & volunteers.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Tri-Lakes Cares is an amazing organization!! The range of services offered is mind boggling. Clients served range in age from babies to senior citizens. The staff & volunteers have empathy, love & an amazing amount of energy. Services are varied. After the Black Forest fire services were offered to all the Black Forest families who lost so much. Clients receive assistance with food, medical services, rent, utilities & clothing available through Hangers - a thrift shop that supports Tri-Lakes Cares. Clients are treated with dignity, compassion & humanity!!!

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer, I can confirm that this is a great organization which treats their clients with respect and empathy. They are a wonderful, fundamental part of this community, assisting clients in their daily needs.

1

Donor

Rating: 4

I was new to the area, so Haley and Francisca took time out from their busy schedules to provide a tour of the Tri Lakes Cares facility in Monument. I was very impressed by how much they do for the people in their community, including assistance with food, health care, case management, job search, rent assistance, gas vouchers, school supplies, and even oil changes (and this is only a small part of their work). Thanks to the staff and volunteers for all they do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Tri Lakes Cares was there to help me when no one else would! They helped me to stay in my house and get us back on our feet so we could be self sufficient again. Without TLC my family and I would have been on the streets. I can't thank them enough for what they have done and continue to do!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The outreach and the caring is tremendous, as a volunteer i am never at a loss of positive things to say about this organization. I can honestly say that they do everything possible to help and assist the folks that need it the most. The one thing that I see that makes the difference is the Getting Ahead program that is offered. This innovative ideas teaches how to break the cycle of poverty and guides those who take the class on a successful road to self sufficiency. Not only does this organization give back to the community but they are committed to making it a better place for everyone. All I can really say in the end is Thank you!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at TLC for over three years and have seen first hand the impact this organization has on its clients. I have seen them implement a new program called Getting Ahead and have witnessed the impact this program has had on clients and heard their stories of this life changing program. Tri-Lakes Cares always puts the clients first and the amazing part is how many staff are local and are committed to their community. I appreciate how we as volunteers get to know the clients, hear their stories and see the impact this organization has!

EW

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family was struggling with finances and on a whim, I stopped into Tri-Lakes Cares. They helped my family with supplemental groceries which allowed that money to go toward other necessities. Poverty can strike anyone at any time, and Tri-Lakes Cares is ready to meet their needs. No one should be stressed about finances, or wondering how to feed their kids. TLC is a wonderful blessing to Monument and the surrounding area.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son and I joke this organization should be actually called, Tri Lakes Really, Really, Cares. No joke though. It's the truth! They really do care. Every staff member and volunteer has their clients best interests at heart. It shows in their interactions, creative problem solving and support. Much more than a food pantry. Tri Lakes Really, Really Cares has come alongside myself and my children during hard times. They have helped to teach us how to stand on our own feet. From medical care and health education to scholarships for continuing education to budget counseling to food and emergency assistance, this organization truly helps individuals and families work towards self-sufficiency. No one likes to admit they are struggling (at least I don't!) and everyone with this organization has contributed to giving me the confidence and possibility to succeed! Thank you Tri-Lakes Really, Really Cares!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Tri Lakes Cares for about a year and a half. I have lived in Monument for 25 years and was aware of TLC (appropriately named!) but my eyes were really opened when I started volunteering. The first-class staff and the wide range of caring volunteers makes it a top-rated nonprofit. I am absolutely amazed at the wonderful services this organization makes available to the local residents. The amount of great assistance TLC provides to those truly in need is most heart-warming. The sincere appreciation shown by those partaking of the TLC services is so genuine and moving that it is a joy to behold!! I will continue to volunteer at this outstanding organization and have made it a regular recipient of our monetary charitable donations.