Stapp Inspires Spotlight: The Inn Between

Welcome back to our Stapp Inspires Spotlight! Throughout the year we partner with different organizations that are making a positive impact on the community we live in. We are proud to turn a spotlight on these organizations and this time is no different. We would like to highlight The Inn Between of Longmont.

The Inn Between Logo

 

The Inn Between was founded in 1993 to address the needs of a diverse population of families and individuals experiencing homelessness by providing time limited housing with case management and life skills training to build their capacity to live self-sufficiently.

 

Each year, The Inn Between serves around 250 adults and children within the St. Vrain Valley. Homelessness in one of the most pressing issues facing our community. And it has the potential to touch everyone. From the aging couple that is facing insurmountable medical bills, to a single mom escaping domestic violence, there is a growing need for supportive housing services in our area. The Inn Between seeks to help fill the gap and set residents up with skills they need to attain sustainable housing.

 

The Inn Between recognizes the needs of the elderly in our community. This year they broke ground on the Micah Homes Project. This new permanent supportive housing project will include six homes, a community room, shared laundry and ongoing support services. This will help provide stability to some of our communities most vulnerable.

 

The Inn Between also provides support to students within the St. Vrain Valley School District. The Student Incentive Program aims to help homeless teens finish high school and provides life skills they will need as they move into adulthood.

Ed Center 2018

 

The Inn Between’s programs have proven effective, with 92% of last year’s program graduates moving on to a more stable life. While at The Inn Between, residents are required to pay rent based on income, complete different life skill training classes and undergo progress reviews every 6 months to ensure they are on the path to self-sufficiency.

 

We hope you will continue to check back as we highlight the different programs The Inn Between provides to those who are facing homelessness. If you want to learn more or get involved check out https://www.theinnbetween.org

 

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Stapp Inspires Spotlight: Longmont Humane Society

Welcome back to our Stapp Inspires Spotlight series, where we highlight different organizations in our community doing incredible work. This month we are featuring Longmont Humane Society.

 

This past weekend LHS hosted their annual Paws in the Park fundraiser. We loved seeing all the dogs and their people show up despite the weather! LHS is dependent on donations to help fund its mission of caring for the animals in our community.

 

Since 1972, Longmont Humane Society has been the premier animal sheltering and welfare organization in north Boulder County. LHS is an open-admission facility that treats each animal as an individual, offering shelter, food, medical and behavioral support.

In addition LHS offers a wide variety of services in support of the animals and the people who love them. In 2017 veterinary staff performed over 3,000 spay and neuter surgeries and 8,400 pets received low-cost veterinary care through their Well Pet Clinic.

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The Longmont Humane Society Public Training Program offers a wide variety of fun and effective training classes for learners of all levels. The Adoption Follow Up Program offers support to all dogs adopted from LHS for the life of the dog. LHS also strives to reunite lost pets with their owners. Pictures and descriptions of the animals are posted online and are updated regularly.  

We invite you to stop by Longmont Humane Society to check out what they are up to. And who knows maybe you will find a new furry friend.

 

Stapp Inspires Spotlight- Longmont Symphony Orchestra

Thanks for checking back into our corner of the universe. This month we want to shine the spotlight on another organization that is providing the soundtrack to our area, the Longmont Symphony Orchestra (LSO). LSO was founded in 1966 and has grown from presenting four concerts a year to presenting a six-concert subscription series, two performances of the 5th Grade Concert, two performances of the Nutcracker Ballet, a Candlelight Concert, a July 4th concert, and a chamber orchestra concert at the Longmont Museum. One of the biggest changes that Symphony has gone through recently is bringing on a new music director, Elliot Moore, after the previous music director retired.

Elliot Moore - Credit Photography Maestro-01

Photo Credit: Photography Maestro

I had a chance to sit down with Elliot and learn a little bit more about the man behind the baton and his vision for the symphony. The phrase “music director of a symphony” stirs up stereotypical images of a stiff, formal, serious maestro, with the audience they are performing to an “elite class” that only certain people can access. Elliot in his short time as the music director has shattered that image to pieces. He is far from what you may picture a music director might be. He cares about his community and wants to help make Longmont a better place to live. He is the type of guy you could catch up with after show. Which by the way, after most performances, Elliot along with members of LSO head over to Bin 46 Wine Bar + Restaurant for an “afterglow” party. This is a great chance to interact with members of LSO, other attendees and support a local business at the same time.

I asked Elliot what exactly does a conductor do? We all know they stand up with their backs to the audience and keep time for everyone else. One of his main focuses is to touch and inspire the audience, to encourage his players to give their best and exceed even what they thought they could do. At each performance he wants to create an atmosphere where everyone feels like they are a part of something greater than themselves. A music director needs to be aware of where the community is in terms of its relationship to music, and what he can do to engage everyone and bring them in to go deeper into the music.

“Music is the greatest expression of the human spirit; it can inspire greatness, transform a community, and change lives.” That quote is what guides Elliot in his leadership of the LSO. When planning out this season he was mindful to offer something for everyone. To the patron who has been coming to LSO performances for years to the young family that bravely decides to take their children to the family concert. He also keeps in the back of his mind, what do the musicians need to grow artistically?

This year’s concert series is entitled “New Frontiers,” appropriate for Elliot’s debut season. This series focuses on bringing music to Longmont that hasn’t been represented in recent years. Music from Mozart and Beethoven will fill the Longmont Museum on April 15, while music from Lady Gaga and other pop divas will take center stage at the May 12 concert. Fun fact, this will be Elliot’s first pops concert he has ever conducted.

Elliot was really excited about the world premiere they just performed on February 24. Mountain Myths was written by Longmont resident Michael Udow. The theme of Mountain Myths is to highlight respect of the land and love of nature, which is so near and dear to many of us in Longmont.

In our conversation, it was evident that this transplant from Michigan cared very deeply about his new community. His first day here he joined the Longmont chief of police for a “Belonging Revolution” community outreach walk. He regularly makes himself available to the community to come and learn about what the LSO is doing and answer questions about what to expect in upcoming concerts. We would encourage everyone to take some time and learn more about what the Longmont Symphony Orchestra is doing to make Longmont a wonderful place to live. Check out their website here We wish Elliot and all the members of the Longmont Symphony Orchestra a great season!

Stapp Inspires Spotlight- A Hope for Longmont

My car said 56 degrees when I arrived at the warehouse. It was mid-December and we hadn’t experienced “winter” yet, but the tell tale winds from the Northwest was a sure sign that this was going to be the first cold night of the winter. It’s late afternoon and when most people are getting ready to go home, this group was getting ready to start their work.

This month we are pleased to start our Stapp Inspires Spotlight of HOPE for Longmont. Throughout the year we will be sharing the stories of the different people involved with this organization. We will introduce you to Lisa, the director of HOPE for Longmont. We will give a glimpse at what happens at the shelter every night. We will look at the different volunteer opportunities. And share the stories of the volunteers who are reaching out to the most vulnerable in our community.

Check out this short video with Lisa Searchinger, Executive Director, for HOPE. Take a look as she gives a little background on the organization.

So what is HOPE for Longmont? HOPE stands for: Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement – H.O.P.E. – supports people experiencing, and at-risk of, homelessness in Longmont, while offering programs and referrals that encourage movement toward self-sufficiency. This fall Boulder county launched the Coordinated Entry System. This system streamlines the process of providing people with the information and support that they need to continue on their journey of self-sufficiency.  In the past help has been spread out amongst different agencies and providers. The new model improves coordination and better aligns resources to those who need it most. With their new coordinated entry program, H.O.P.E strives to break down the barriers in getting the appropriate support and help people need. The ultimate goal has and will always be their clients attaining and sustaining affordable housing.

 

But that does not capture the heart of the people behind the scenes that give of their time and effort to ensure that everyone in our community has a safe place to stay each night. The genuine care and concern was evident in everyone that I met. I walked in the warehouse and Lisa whispers me a “Hello”, she is on the phone explaining the new Coordinated Entry program. I’m then greeted by Sarah, the Program Manager for HOPE, we go on a little tour of their warehouse. The generosity of the community is on full display. The warehouse has blankets, warm clothes, shoes and toiletries. These items will be taken to the shelter or Search and Save in the evening.

Side note: Search and Save is where HOPE volunteers go out each night to look for clients who either do not know about the services available or have barriers accessing the new coordinated system.

We move on to where the Soup Angels will be arriving shortly to drop off hot meals for the evening. Soup Angels volunteer once a month to provide a hot evening meal. Typically two or three different families, or groups volunteer on a single night. Tonight’s volunteers include a lady who has been providing meals for several years and a family that moved to Longmont 3 months ago and wanted to start giving back to their community. As I watch the Soup Angels pack up their meals in the coolers that will go out to the shelter, a few more volunteers arrive. Susie and Scott are teaming up tonight for the Search and Save part of HOPE’s outreach. Both have been volunteering with HOPE for a number of years now. Susie signed up to volunteer this particular evening because Scott had already signed up. Scott didn’t know who was going out with him until he arrived at HOPE and was thrilled when he learned Susie was going out with him. We will be highlighting these two a little later on, you won’t want to miss that.

I chat a little bit with both Susie and Scott as they get the van loaded up for the evening. They pack up the coolers filled with the meals from the Soup Angels and a few extra paper bags of food to hand out while they are out on the streets. Their first stop will be at the shelter to drop off the coolers of food the Soup Angels provided.

The sun has set and night is upon us. It’s time for me to head over to the shelter. The night time shelter rotates between 4 churches in Longmont. Heart of Longmont, United Church of Christ, Faith Baptist and the Journey Church have all partnered with HOPE to provide a warm and safe place for people to sleep for the evening. Tonight’s shelter is being held at the Journey. Once I arrive I find a line of people waiting to check in. People are able to check in two at a time. A volunteer looks to see if a client has been processed through coordinated entry, if not a worker from the county is on site to start the process. Once in clients are asked if they need a shower or a wake up call. Then it is off to find a spot to stay for the evening.

Alice, the HOPE shelter coordinator, offers clients the chance to secure their personal belongings. Due to space restrictions, large backpacks are put in a separate room for safe keeping. After most people have been checked in Alice announces that the meals are here and are ready to be served. I go back to help pass out meals and am struck by the thankfulness of everyone I serve and soon everyone is sitting down to a hot meal.

I watch Alice touch base with all the clients she is serving. Like everyone else I have encountered, the genuine concern for those at the shelter and still on the streets was real.

We are so honored to partner with HOPE for Longmont and help support them in their mission. If you want to learn more about this inspiring organization or would like to get involved please visit http://www.hopeforlongmont.org We hope that you will continue to check back in as we continue to highlight HOPE for Longmont!

HOPE Logo

A Woman’s Work

What do you do when the unexpected comes up? You are usually self sufficient, but life happens. You find yourself in a place where if you could just get over this hurdle, you and your family would be fine. You would be back on your feet, you just need a little help this one time. But most social services programs aren’t designed for people like you. What do you do?

Thankfully for women living and working in the St. Vrain Valley there is a safety net. The mission of A Woman’s Work is to provide financial support for women in the St. Vrain Valley whose immediate needs cannot be met by other sources. They ask only that recipients perform an act of kindness in return.

Stapp Inspires is proud to partner with A Woman’s Work to assist those who are living in our community. This we will be highlighting A Woman’s Work. We hope that you will check back here to learn more about this great organization making a positive impact in our community!

 

Stapp Inspires Spotlight: Longmont Meals On Wheels

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Hi! This is Erin again. I wanted to go a little more in depth with Longmont Meals on Wheels. I spoke with Katie Wiser, Development Coordinator with Longmont Meals on Wheels.

Longmont Meals on Wheels, is a non-profit organization that provides elderly, people with disabilities and people returning from a hospital stay with proper, affordable nutrition in their homes and at the Senior Center. They do not have a wait list, nor is proof of income needed to have meals delivered. Meals are delivered around lunch time Monday through Friday. Home delivery accounts for about 80% of all the meals that are prepared. In 2016 they served over 107,000 meals!

Meals are prepared fresh every day by an in house chef and two assistants. The meals are nutritionally balanced and on a 90 day calendar. They are held to the same standards as a restaurant kitchen and are subject to the Boulder County Health Department. The kitchen is also equipped to handle special dietary needs as well. Low sodium, diabetes, food allergies are just a few of the special needs that they can handle.

I asked Katie some of the biggest misconceptions about Meals on Wheels. She said the biggest was the quality of food. Because they receive no government funding (federal or state) they have fewer restrictions and can offer food that isn’t institutional tasting.

Funding was the second biggest misconception Katie mentioned. While there is a national Meals on Wheels organization, each is independent. They receive no government funding. Longmont Meals on Wheels relies on local donations now and always!

I asked Katie if they had any other programs than the daily meals. I was surprised to learn that they did offer quite a few. One is called Project Homecoming. This is open to anyone who is coming home from the hospital or outpatient care. LMOW will deliver 5 free meals as people transition back from a hospital stay. They offer a free Lockbox Program to Longmont residents 65 and older, those with disabilities or who suffer from a major medical issue at any age.  They will also provide an Emergency Food bag which contains three days worth a food. A lot of these went out during the 2013 Flood. The last program Katie talked about was their Holiday Basket. This contains enough food for two people and a gift card to pick out their own protein.

My next question related back to funding. If LMOW doesn’t receive any government funding, then how do they get the funds needed to operate. Their biggest fundraiser is the Longmont Christmas Home Tour. It is the oldest and largest in the state. 4 homes are decorated for Christmas and visitors have the opportunity to purchase the decorations. Homes that are apart of the tour are announced in October, so check back for that! This year’s Home Tour will run November 30- December 2. We will post more details as the become available.

LMOW had a new fundraiser this year called Tablescapes. Different business and organizations decorated tables that were raffled off! We had a great time at this event!

Longmont Meals on Wheels is a great asset to this community and we are proud to partner with them. Thank you for all you do!

Day of Champions

Hi! This is Erin, the Digital Marketing Manager for Stapp Interstate Toyota. Last week I was able to participate in Longmont Meals on Wheels‘ (LMOW) Day of Champions. Once a year LOMW invited members of the community to join them on their delivery runs and at the Senior Center. Members of the Fire Department, Police Department, EMT, and the mayor were among those who were participating.

I was paired up with a gentleman named Rich. Rich had been delivering once a week for two years. “Although, he said with a smile, ” Starting in April, I’ll be delivering two days a week.”  We sat around and waited for his route number to be called. He already had the cold sacks of food loaded up in the car and ready to go. Before long his name was called and we were loading the hot meals into the insulated bag and we were off.  “I should really, ask for milage and gas re-embursment and a snack when I go on these drives.” Rich commented. Already his sense of humor was showing through, our first stop was a senior apartment complex a few blocks away from where we started at the Senior Center.

We get out of the car and head into the building. I have a job to do, I have the cold sacks of food. The first apartment no one was home. So we left the food in the cooler outside the door and moved on.  And that’s how our route went, some weren’t home at the time and others were.

I was deeply touched by the people we did see. Some accepted the meal, and exchanged a few pleasantries and we were on our way. Others, they wanted to talk for just a little longer. Rich was patient and kind, asking how they were doing. Several commented that they were so glad to see us and what a wonderful person Rich was. In about an hour we had delivered all our meals and were back to the Senior Center. Rich and I shook hands and we went our ways. Rich wanted to try and get a bike ride in before it got too late. I headed back to the dealership, with the thoughts of the last couple hours on my mind.

More than one person commented that this lunch we were bringing them would be their only hot meal of the day, some their only meal. Most were living by themselves and some had mobility problems that limited their ability to get around and get out. I got the feeling that in some cases the volunteers that were delivering the meals, were the only person they might see in a day.

 

As I pulled in the dealership, I had one call I needed to make before I went back to work. The phone rang a few times. The familiar “Hello” as only my grandma says greets me. I say hello and the normal brief pause while she calls my grandpa to pick up another phone. The deep chuckle of my grandpa’s voice fills my car. We talk for a bit and then it’s time to say goodbye.

As I walk up to the dealership I reflect on my day.  I’m thankful that Longmont Meals On Wheels provides such a wonderful service to the elderly, people with disabilities and those coming home from the hospital. Next month as part of Stapp Inspires we will be highlighting Longmont Meals On Wheels and the work they are doing in our community and how you can get involved.  I hope you will join us.