AmeriCorps Opportunity to Serve the Homeless in Rural Colorado
La Puente Home Inc

La Puente Home - Serve those in need and experience Colorado

Lots of hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. Fun and involved community.

Year-round

AmeriCorps Opportunity to Serve the Homeless in Rural Colorado

La Puente Home Inc
Location:
Alamosa, Colorado
Wages/Pay:
$1,144.00 / month
Experience:
No experience required
Start Date:
Job starts in 4 months (Feb 01, 2019)

La Puente is located in Colorado's San Luis Valley (SLV), in south-central Colorado and touches the New Mexico Border. Though the area is pristine in its mountainous beauty, it is host of 4 of the 6 poorest counties in Colorado. The poverty and isolation of the Valley give way to a lot of human need. The economy is primarily agricultural, and many of the crops are worked by immigrant migrant farm workers. Spanish is helpful with most AmeriCorps placements.

La Puente utilizes 20-25 AmeriCorps members or full-time volunteers annually to work the front-lines of all of our services. From reading through your interests and skills I thought you might be interested specifically in a position with one of our programs that provides housing services. 

Your service year experience complete training for your position, networking with other La Puente and community services, sharing your work and community experience with 20  like-minded AmeriCorps members, housing support, and access to one of the most beautiful areas of rural Colorado. The work is challenging, yet you will meet incredible people, experience a welcoming community, and gain valuable job skills from your year of service.

La Puente serves the homeless, the hungry, and people living in poverty in the SLV. Our services include:  a homeless shelter (45 beds averaging 700 people/year), a soup kitchen (50,000 meals/year) a supportive housing program for families and individuals, a homeless prevention program, 15 food pantries scattered around the Valley (serving close to 25% of the SLV’s population), a free clothing distribution program, an educational garden program, a food recovery program following the farm harvest, two community thrift stores, and a coffee house.

Shelter

La Puente’s shelter is the oldest established rural shelter in the country!  There are seven positions at the shelter, each one serves 3 days/week as a case manager for the guests and helps oversee the daily operations of the Shelter. Case management involves meeting with shelter guests to help discover the causes of homelessness and connecting them to resources in the community to help them transition to self-sufficiency. Daily operations include, ensuring guests complete chores, preparing and serving meals, overseeing volunteers who come to help cook meals, making showers and hygiene supplies available to guests and community members. This is a unique shelter in that guests do not have to leave in the morning and come back in the evening. It is open all day and has a very "homey" feel to it. It is also unique in that guests are only allowed 30 night stays each year, most shelters do not have a limit. Our guests are treated with dignity and respect, and are encouraged to make significant forward progress while having their immediate needs met.

The other 2 days/week are either at the Outreach Homeless Prevention Program, or at our Vegi Program.

Outreach: Homeless Prevention

The Outreach Program is designed to help hundreds of households with emergency rent, utility, and health assistance, (and more) and provides guidance in assisting families to stability. The program coordinates its services with the homeless shelter, and other local services.  In addition, La Puente Outreach has a backpack drive for children and puts together the largest community Christmas party in our area for almost 600 people. Serving at Outreach allows members to acquire many professional trainings and skills that are highly marketable for transitioning into the workforce. There are 3 full-time positions, and 3 positions split with the Shelter and Outreach.

VEGI is a program of La Puente, which is comprised of six charities and four enterprises, each with their own focus for providing assistance, support, and education to community members in crisis. Though the San Luis Valley is pristine in its mountainous beauty, it is host of 4 of the 6 poorest counties in Colorado. The poverty and isolation of the Valley gives way to a lot of human need. The economy is primarily agricultural, and many of the crops are worked by immigrant migrant farm workers. La Puente utilizes 20-25 AmeriCorps members to run the front lines of all the services. VEGI recognizes hunger in the U.S. as more than a lack of intake of calories. If a child consumes a bag of pork rinds and a Coca-Cola for lunch, he will not feel hungry but he certainly hasn't nurtured or properly fueled his body. VEGI serves multiple school districts with garden science and nutrition education, helping students create a relationship with nutrient-dense food to create a habit of reaching for the produce on their plate. VEGI also provides fresh produce for La Puente's Food Bank and Homeless Shelter. 

Adelante

The Adelante Program is a Strength Based Supportive Service program that provides intensive services to families and individuals with great needs.  The Adelante Program uses a client-centered two generation Family Development approach to empower families to lift themselves out of homelessness or difficult times that may lead to homelessness.  Nationwide, children are the fastest growing population of the homeless, making services like the Adelante program crucial to breaking the cycle of generational poverty and homelessness.  AmeriCorps members serve as intensive case managers to this population, offering guidance, resources, supportive services, life skills training, and accountability as they embark on their journey to stabilization and healthy interdependence. Through weekly home visits and services, case managers partner with the families to empower and support them in accomplishing their goals. Through their journey, the people served learn coping skills, financial literacy and management skills, parenting skills, increased education levels for adult household members, and so much more. If you are passionate about ending the cycle of generational poverty and homelessness, excited to see people accomplish their goals, and are able to offer strong leadership, this program would be a great fit for you. It is incredibly helpful to be able to speak Spanish.  

Benefits

These positions are AmeriCorps positions and receive a living allowance of $1,144/month before taxes, medical insurance, and an education award of $2,960 upon successful completion of a six-month term. La Puente has housing available for $360/month + $40/month toward a $250 damage deposit you are likely to get back when you move out. La Puente housing includes: a private bedroom and shared community spaces, a house vehicle that is shared with housemates for local use, all utilities including heating, electric, water, and city services, and all maintenance upkeep costs. WiFi is not included in the monthly housing cost. All federal loans can be put into forbearance during the service year and the Corporation for National and Community Service will pay any accrued interest on such loans upon successful completion of the service term. All AmeriCorps members are eligible for full food stamps benefits (around $180-$200/month). The year will begin February 1st, 2019

The application deadline is October 10th.

How to Apply

If interested, please email Alicia Salazar at admin.volunteers@lapuente.net

I will send you an application and a detailed description of the program you are most interested in or you can visit our website to fill out the application online.

Contact Info