Economic struggles affect us all from time to time; the loss of a job, an unexpected illness, divorce, and other life events. Many people we serve include the underemployed, newly unemployed, seniors, people with disabilities, young adults, families, and the largest group experiencing poverty–children.
The federal poverty line for a family of four is $24,600–that’s only $2,050 per month. The average rent cost in Boulder County is $1,424 per month, which means nearly all of your income could easily be used just to pay for housing (never mind other necessities like food, electricity, or childcare).
Because poverty can be complex, we utilize a holistic and strength-based approach to support the entire family with critical services during a challenging time.
Nutrition & Healthy Living
According to our recent poll by Hunger Free Colorado, more than 37% of Coloradans are struggling to afford food—up from 9% the previous year—with families and people of color hit the hardest.
Cynthia’s family was temporarily living in a hotel during a rough time. “The manager of the hotel mentioned Sister Carmen Community Center to me and offered to take me there to get some food. I was expecting…to ask for food and be given food that was already rotting or that I wouldn’t be able to turn into a meal because I wasn’t a professional chef. But I was given food. Real food. Food the children would eat and food I could actually make.”
Each year, we distribute over 1.2 million lbs of food to over 2,000 families like Cynthia’s in our Food Bank. We also grow over 1,000 lbs of fresh, organic produce at our on-site community garden.
Did you know that $2,089 is the monthly income for a family of four living below the poverty line, while $6,238 is the actual monthly cost of living in Boulder County?
Tanya unexpectedly lost her job. She was already behind on a few bills, but now she was behind on her rent and utilities, and was uncertain about getting enough food. She initially came to SCCC for assistance with her past due utility bill. After meeting with one of our Advocates, Tanya left that day with food from our food bank, emergency financial assistance with her rent, enrollment in the Housing Stabilization Program, and her utility bill paid in full. “I have a renewed faith that there people out there wanting to help you.”
Since the COVID-19 crisis began in March, we’ve provided over $1,000,000 in direct financial assistance for things like rent and mortgage.
Community & Family Education
Did you know the largest group we serve are children (34%)?
As an unemployed single mom, Krystal first came to Sister Carmen for food and clothing. After struggling to figure out how best to approach her son’s Attention Deficit Disorder, an Advocate referred her to our Nurturing Parent Program. “Before the Nurturing Parenting classes, my confidence and self-esteem was really low…now I have more confidence and so does my son. I’m able to give my son love and it’s changed our lives.”
Each year, Sister Carmen empowers over 70 parents like Krystal with new skills through our Nurturing Parenting class, which is proven to help reduce child abuse and neglect. We also provide an NPP parenting support group, Circle of Parents for those recovering from substance abuse, and digital literacy classes.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Did you know it takes over $6,000 a day to keep SCCC and all of its programs operational? This includes training and paying expert program staff, building and utility expenses, administrative needs, emergency expenses, and more.
We distribute over 1.2 million lbs of food per year,
and the majority of those food donations
come from community members like you!
Give Thrift Store Items
The Sister Carmen Community Center Thrift Store offers an affordable selection of clothing, household goods and furniture. Proceeds generated from sales directly support SCCC’s programs to help families in crisis.
Give Your Time
Every year, over 1,600 volunteers give 26,600 hours of their time to help this organization run smoothly: in the Food Bank, the Thrift Store, at the front desk, data entry, conducting food drives, and completing special projects.