Partners in Housing, an agency that assists families experiencing homelessness in Colorado Springs, is in its seventh year of participation with The Gazette-El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund.
The donations from the Empty Stocking Fund pay for salaries, upkeep on homes where the clients live and for the facility where financial classes are held.
Some residents are unable to meet skyrocketing rents, are in financial straits from losing a job or unexpected medical bills or are seeking safety from an abusive relationship.
Mary Stegner, executive director at Partners in Housing, said the agency has been seeing more families struggling with rising rents.
“It takes about $7,500 to support one family for a year, so when people are donating, to put in perspective, that what they’re giving actually does support a family in moving out of homelessness,” said Karen Kantor, development director at Partners in Housing.
Each family is moved into a home owned by Partners in Housing in Colorado Springs.
“We’re paying for upkeep on the houses they’re living in, while they are working on everything that went wrong,” Stegner said.
Partners in Housing places the families in a temporary home for up to a year. The homes are purchased by the organization, and clients pay rent at rates they can afford throughout the time of their lease. While getting the help to house their children, the parents attend classes that teach them self-sufficiency in finances.
The staff at Partners in Housing are persistent in helping their clients get a job that follows a promising path.
The agency has a facility in downtown Colorado Springs where clients can attend classes that teach budgeting skills, resume-building and interviewing skills.
“They need better jobs, not just a job, but a career path,” Stegner said, “so that they can earn a livable wage.”
Partners in Housing participates in fundraising events around Colorado Springs held to raise money for the Empty Stocking Fund. Stegner said the agency is proud to be a recipient of the Empty Stocking Fund.