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Seventeen years ago I had the great pleasure of helping to create a “one-stop-shop” community resource hub in Cripple Creek known as the Aspen Mine Center. This project was founded by some passionate visionaries who volunteered to serve on the board of a fledgling nonprofit called Community of Caring. This organization was founded in response to the challenges and changes the gaming industry brought to the community in the early 1990s. The concept was simple: bring as many agencies to the table as possible to provide quality services to families in southern Teller County. The goals were to minimize and eliminate risk factors, provide access to resources and build a positive, healthy community.

The only way this unique resource center, housing two dozen agencies and programs, could work, was through the dedicated focused vision of agencies, community leaders, stakeholders, and government officials, working together in the best interest of the community. We in Teller County are committed to this process in a way I have never seen before. I experience the power of our collaboration daily. When committed individuals with a common goal work together — without self-interest and territorial agendas — amazing things happen!

This is also a foundational principal behind the Golden Bridge Network (GBN). GBN agencies committed to providing quality services to our ever-growing senior population in Teller County. This integration of services has a direct and positive impact on this population’s quality of life and their ability to remain independent.

The Community of Caring’s Senior Advocate program at the Aspen Mine Center focuses on expanding support services for seniors who are isolated, geographically and socially. Many seniors throughout Teller County have minimal involvement in activities, lack consistent family contact and do not know about or utilize available resources. While there are seniors in Teller County who, at one time, sought to be left alone in the rugged mountains, many now find themselves in need of resources and craving socialization and support in their latter-years.

The Aspen Mine Center has always been a hub for connecting people to community resources. As a proud partner of the Golden Bridge Network, we recognize that the synergy of entities working together creates an impact far greater than all our independent agencies working separately. We are committed to providing greater opportunities for seniors to connect to services and supports that will enhance their quality of life, maximize their productivity and broaden public awareness of issues facing our greatest generational resource.

Ted Borden is the Executive Director for Community of Caring Foundation at the Aspen Mine Center in Cripple Creek and the Chairman for Teller County Salvation Army. For more information about programs and services, visit aspenminecenter.org or call 689-3584.

The Golden Bridge Network bridges seniors and services through enhanced communication and process improvement in Teller County and the neighboring communities. To learn more, visit the Golden Bridge Network Facebook page.

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