#Celebrating80Years: 2017 marked 80 years of working with Colorado’s nonprofits as they seek to strengthen their communities. Throughout 2018, we will be looking back on this history of the outstanding organizations and people the Trustees have had the opportunity to support. On the blog you will find a history of the Foundation’s grant making and a representative organization from every year since our founding in 1937.
“Sometimes it's easy to walk by because we know we can't change someone's whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize is that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place.”
― Mike Yankoski, author of Under the Overpass
Large-scale social issues like homelessness can seem difficult or daunting to address, but communities often benefit when they come together to respond to such challenges with compassion and care. La Puente Home, an Alamosa-based nonprofit that serves six counties in the San Luis Valley, has worked since 1982 to “meet immediate needs and empower people to live independently with dignity.”
Grantee Spotlight: La Puente Home
While homelessness and hunger can feel like insurmountable issues, La Puente Home has worked with individuals facing these challenges to provide hope and compassion since 1982. The organization began modestly, originally operating a shelter out of the basement of a local Catholic church, and has grown dramatically, now serving six counties in the region: Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache. La Puente’s Alamosa emergency shelter serves more than 800 individuals annually, and the organization offers transitional housing and self-sufficiency services, homelessness prevention efforts, job training, and family services for clients. In addition to addressing homelessness, La Puente also works to alleviate hunger by operating 13 food banks throughout the Valley. Its volunteers serve roughly 42,000 meals to individuals across the region each year.
El Pomar has provided 31 grants totaling more than $600,000 to La Puente Home since 1991, in support of many of the organization’s diverse programs including the shelter, transitional housing units, the food bank network, and the PALS (Positive Activities Lead to Success) children’s program. The Foundation supports La Puente’s important role in poverty alleviation efforts in the Valley and its embodiment and dedication to providing “simple kindness” and resources to those in need.
El Pomar in 1991:
El Pomar Foundation made 150 grants totaling more than $8.4 million in 1991. The Foundation supported a wide variety of organizations varying from a $2 million grant to Penrose Hospital to a $2,000 grant for the Crook Historical Society in Logan. In addition to its grant to La Puente Home, El Pomar supported other San Luis Valley organizations focused on affordable housing and food security in 1991: Tri-County Senior Citizens and Housing, Inc. and Action Against Hunger and Malnutrition.
Another important development in 1991 was the establishment of the El Pomar Foundation Fellowship. The Foundation welcomed its first two Fellows to a program that now has more than 250 alumni working to benefit their communities across Colorado and the United States.
Images courtesy of http://www.lapuente.net/
Spotlight by Elizabeth Hoffner