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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 2017 to September 2018), TLC provided services to 907 individuals living in 369 households, including 294 children, 138 senior citizens, 49 military (active duty, veterans and family members) and 166 individuals living with a disability. We provided the following services to our clients and the community: (1) 55 households (impacting 152 individuals) were helped with rent or mortgage payments to prevent families from becoming homeless. (2) Over 208,000 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) 776 patient services were provided to 152 unduplicated individuals by the Penrose-St. Francis Neighborhood Nurse Center and the Volunteer Medical Clinic treated 12 patients (4) A total of 8,358 lbs of holiday food bags (Thanksgiving and Christmas) were distributed and 182 children and 73 senior citizens received gifts through the Giving Tree program (5) 68 households (impacting 193 individuals) were helped to keep the lights and heat on, or received help with other utility payments like water bills (6) 145 school children (K-12) received grade-appropriate school supplies, valued at $11,576, to help prepare them to learn in school Through a January 2018 client survey, we have found that: (1) 90% 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 received services from TLC, 88% indicated they experienced a decrease in stress in their lives. An April 2018 survey showed that: (1) 94% of those who received food assistance (Help Yourself Market & Supplemental Groceries) were able to save money to be used for other household expenses such as rent and utilities (2) 87% indicated that their family had more to eat than they would normally have had, but receiving food assistance through TLC.

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: 369 households impacting 907 individuals including 294 children, 138 senior citizens, 49 military (active duty, veterans and family members) and 166 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

92 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been Volunteering at Tri-Lakes Care since 2010, everyone at T.L.C. are like family to me. When things would go wrong in my personal life, they would be there for me. I look forward to the days I volunteer to be with them and help our clients. Its like a home away from home.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Tri-Lakes Cares for several years now and when I decided to choose TLC for my volunteer arena, I thought, gee, how hard can it be, just date a few cans once a week and put them on the shelves? Did I learn differently!

I thought I knew it all. They hand out food, canned goods in particular. They run food drives. But wait, they do so much more. They serve our community in northern El Paso county in ways no one knows. Their programs, such as Help Yourself Market, offers much needed fresh food. Their transportation program helps those who struggle with regular maintenance of their cars that are vital to getting to and from their jobs. Medical assistance, education, financial assistance towards rent or utilities, school supplies, snack packs, holiday meals, and the list goes on and on toward helping lend a hand toward self sufficiency for families trying to break the cycle of dependency.

Being involved has been an eye-opener. It’s a pleasure to serve, not just dating cans, but getting truly involved and having a better understanding of the greater need in the community.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Tri-Lakes Cares is the only resource center serving northern El Paso County. Many of those in need in the community lack reliable transportation and so it is very important for them to have an agency nearby. Tri-Lakes Cares provides not only food, utility and rent assistance and much more, but also a sense of belonging and community. It is very important that Tri-Lakes Cares is able to continue with their mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a volunteer with Tri-LakeCares has many rewards. Whether it is working with other volunteers and staff members or meeting our clients each week, my days are energized with a true sense of sharing and helping others. I have been at TLC almost 10 years, working in the Help Yourself area. It has evolved into a wonderful food pantry with “state of the art” refrigerators and freezers that were generously donated from our Monument community. Our shelves, that showcase nutritious produce, breads, baked goods and pantry canned goods were built by a local Boy Scout group. We continue to find new ways to help our clients at Tri-LakeCares and our community continues to find ways to help us! As part of the Tri-LakeCares team, I salute this great non-profit organization.

Brian W.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Tri-Lakes Cares provides vital support to many community members who do not have access to local government support. The organization sets themselves apart from the norm by making every client they serve feel like they are part of a family and not just another number. The Tri-Lakes area would be a lot worse off without this organization's presence. Thank you to all donors, employees, volunteers, and board members for their continuing support. Without all of you there would be no Tri-Lakes Cares.

Previous Stories

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

Over the last few years I have been involved with Tri-Lakes cares as a volunteer and a board member. One of the hidden needs is food insecurity with school age children. This has been
demonstrated to result in lower attendance, grades and behavior problems. Tri-Lakes Cares in cooperation with D-38 school system provides snack packs to children that may have food insecurity over the week ends. These are provided to around 400 children in elementary, and middle schools on a weekly basis. This program is supported by the communities participation in snack food drives and volunteers packaging the snack packs and delivering to the schools. A program that supports a hidden need in the community and insures that food insecure children have some food over the week end.

Madeline V.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am amazed by how caring and knowledgeable the staff and volunteers are at Tri-Lakes Cares. They do everything they can to help clients change their situation and get back on their feet. They care so deeply for our community and work hard to ensure clients receive the best services to meet their needs.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For several years, my employment has been seasonal. During periods of unemployment, Tri-Lakes Cares has aided me greatly with food and household essentials. Thanks much!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have volunteered there for almost 8 years. I love the personal touch and genuine concern shown to each and every client. I liked TLC so much I took the next step and joined the Board of Directors so I could help ensure the atmosphere never changes! The staff is amazing, we couldn’t ask for a better group.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I could not survive without tri-lakes cares. They GAVE me a car 18 months ago and now I can get to my 4 doctors appointments as sell as church on Saturday evenings. Paula Blair, my caseworker is especially friendly and efficient. She was the one who donated her car to Tri-Lakes and I got it from them in December of 2017. I could not give them a higher rating that 5 stars.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for a number of years. The staff is wonderful ,caring and they always treat the clients with respect.
Great organization!

Client Served

Rating: 4

To begin the folks at TLC are unfailingly kind and helpful. I would not be surviving if not for their assistance. Short version, I put a 'friend' up in my house in a spare Master, I said get settled get a job, we will work it out. Once while I was away over the course of a few weeks she stole my Identification, drained 2 accounts, stole my new vehicle and lost my lease. She is in custody. Meanwhile I have nothing. I have a blood condition and very good insurance but nothing else. TLC feeds me. That is a big plus. Housing has been very difficult but in time I am sure that will work out and then its on to major lawsuits. Until then I love TLC for ALL they have done for me. If you need more I can give more.
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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!

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.

Previous Stories
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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.