Submitted by Ann Loyola, Community Resource Center of Teton Valley Board Chair
This piece was originally published in the March 17, 2016 issue of the Teton Valley News as part of the weekly Nonprofit Spotlight presented by the Community Foundation of Teton Valley.
You may believe that it’s easy to get from point A to point B in a small town. People who are struggling with life-changing crises would disagree. For those who have tried to find help with any number of situations ranging from substance abuse to abrupt financial crisis and homelessness, the phone directory is of little use. Often, agencies that are in a position to help are unable to reach out to individuals and families due to a number of obstacles: language barriers, transportation, inconvenient office hours, or limitations to their scope of services.
The Community Resource Center of Teton Valley was formed to help remove those obstacles, guiding people directly to the resources needed to build a higher level of stability for themselves and their families.
“First, it’s necessary to recognize the structural barriers that exist in Teton Valley and then help people overcome those barriers. In the long run, it’s our goal to form pathways out of chronic poverty and acute financial crisis,” says Megan O’Brien, Executive Director.
It’s not uncommon to have an individual seek out financial assistance to make the next mortgage payment and then discover multiple issues that have put their housing at risk such as lack of employment, mental health issues, legal bills from divorce proceedings, etc.
Situations can become complex and overwhelming. Oftentimes, people need a navigator to put them in touch with the right agencies and services at a crucial time in their lives. CRC of Teton Valley services don’t end with referrals to other agencies. We form collaborative relationships with other service professionals and follow-up with our clients as they gain appropriate assistance.
Like any healthy relationship, it has to work both ways. Clients need to share information about their finances, and other issues that may be affecting their livelihoods. The CRC will work with clients who are unable to follow-through on recommendations.
The CRC of Teton Valley was formed as the result of a series of “Filling the Gaps” meetings that were hosted by the Community Foundation of Teton Valley and facilitated by Frances VanHouten of Rainmaker Coaching, Jackson Wyoming. The monthly meetings were attended by a variety of service agency representatives from around the region. It became clear to many attending the meetings that a clearinghouse of information and referrals was needed to pull together all of the bits and pieces.
Charitable contributions from Teton Valley Health Care, the Community Foundation of Teton Valley, the Donald C. Brace Charitable Foundation in memory of Donna Brace Ogilvie, and David and Susie Work made it possible for the doors to open February 29th.
For more information about our nonprofit agency, please contact us at (208) 354-0870 or email [email protected]. Assistance in Spanish is available. Our office is located in Driggs at 81B North Main Street in the Old Livery Building behind First American Title Company.
If you are affiliated with a Teton Valley nonprofit, we want to hear from you to help share why it matters. Each week, the Community Foundation will highlight a local nonprofit in the pages of the Teton Valley News. Email Dawn Banks, Marketing and Programs Director, at [email protected] or call 208.354.0230. We look forward to helping share your story! You can continue the conversation on social media using #WhyItMatters.