FIRC helps families survive
DILLON – A single mom with three children who had recently lost her job was already a month behind in rent when she sought help at the Family & Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC).Instantly, the nonprofit organization went to work to get her back on her feet. They called her landlord and arranged an agreement so the family wouldn’t be evicted. Next, they found a local church to help her pay the rent that month. They also discovered she was a candidate for additional government assistance and even worked with her to find a new job.”Through the efforts of lots of community members we were able to help her,” said Kameron Holloway, executive director of the FIRC.
FIRC opened about 13 years ago to assist low income families. At the time it was called the Summit County Resource Center, Holloway said. About five years ago the name changed in response to the influx of diversity in the county, he added.”If we want to play one role in the community, we want to help the families of Summit County by working with the community and having a real wrap around service,” Holloway said. “If we can’t help that person or family, we’ll find someone who can.”Today, their main programs are Families United, General Assistance, Summit Thrift & Treasure and Cultural Adjustment.• The Families United program is designed to “strengthen families” through connecting and educating parents and helping young children develop emotionally, psychologically and physically, Holloway said. The organization works with about 120 families in the county.
• General Assistance is a resource and referral service. It helps prevent people from becoming homeless by assisting with housing, jobs, food and linking a network of providers in the community. About 800 people are expected to use the service this year, Holloway said. Also, hundreds of people come into the food bank each day, he added.• Summit Thrift & Treasure store provides low-cost clothing and household goods. The building also serves as a community center where they offer English as a Second Language classes, Holloway said.• Through Cultural Adjustment, FIRC is trying to educate the community on culture and integration. They have translators that can assist people and started a speaker series that focuses on embracing diversity.
Friday, FIRC employees were out partnering with the Adopt an Angel program, handing out goods, clothing and toys that were collected from businesses that held drives throughout the county.”We really want to be a welcoming place for all cultures and all the people of Summit County,” Holloway said.Lory Pounder can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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