Marian House Self Sufficiency Center

The Gazette, Bryan Oller

A new resource for people seeking jobs in the Pikes Peak region is taking root in downtown Colorado Springs.

The Hanifen Center, which is adjacent to the Marian House Soup Kitchen, recently underwent a nearly $100,000 renovation as part of its transition into an expanded program for people seeking job assistance. Part of the first floor is now named the Hanifen Employment Center, and it features more room for training sessions and extra space for case managers to help people find work.

An open house will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesday for the public to tour the newly remodeled building, 14 W. Bijou St.

The decision by Catholic Charities of Central Colorado to expand its employment assistance came after the nonprofit’s day center for homeless families, called the Life Skills and Career Development Center, moved into a new facility at the Helen Hunt Campus. The renovations were paid for with a grant from El Pomar Foundation and a bequest by the Laura Everitt estate.

A clothing closet was remodeled into an expanded computer lab with 12 computers. Also, cubicle space was transformed into a training room for computer skills, resume building and financial literacy classes, as well as hiring events.

The average number of jobs filled through the Hanifen Center has almost tripled since the renovations were completed in early February, with the center averaging about 30 jobs filled each month in the last two months.

“It’s just a much bigger space, it’s more functional, it’s specifically tailored to people finding employment,” said Rochelle Schlortt, the nonprofit’s spokeswoman. “The way we look at the Marian House is it’s a meal to a job.”

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