On the Clock: Matt Korn | SummitDaily.com

On the Clock: Matt Korn

DUFFY HAYESsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

Societies are fragile things. And unfortunately, sometimes the less fortunate among us slip through the cracks.At the local Family & Intercultural Resource Center, or FIRC, their sole purpose is to keep gravity from making that happen.For the past five months or so, Matt Korn has been on the front lines of that fight. As a general assistance coordinator for the nonprofit FIRC, he meets with people down on their luck, or folks going through a temporary rough patch in their lives – and he offers them help.Many times, the people Korn sees are just hurting for a month or so, in between jobs during shoulder season, for example. Often he meets with families just starting out or kids recently out of school who are drawn to the High Country by the lure of jobs, but who soon find out how high the cost of living really is around here.

After assessing their situation, he can offer them rent assistance, or thrift store vouchers for winter clothes, or access to the FIRC’s food bank, among other resources.”Really, we’re looking to help people get through a rough month, but to also make a plan for them so they won’t need to come back the next month,” he says.Korn grew up in Athens, Ohio, attended a small school in Arkansas on a soccer scholarship, and earned a master’s degree in international studies back in Ohio.He says he’s “definitely staying” in Summit County, because he “wants to continue to get to know this impressive community, and really be a part of it.” He’ll be bridging his love of soccer and a passion for cultural integration as an under-14 coach for the influential High Country Soccer Association later this year.

People are drawn to our community, but it poses unique challenges, doesn’t it?”Obviously this is a desirable place to live, but what most people don’t realize is that the cost of living up here is beyond what is normal for the rest of the country. All the sudden it kind of hits them up side the head, and they need to search for some assistance to help them really get going up here.”Integration is really an issue that cuts across all cultures, right?

“A lot of people think it’s mainly the Latino or international population (that needs help) but it really isn’t. It really is a big mix.”What’s it like working with such a dedicated group like you do at the FIRC?”It’s too good to be true. It’s a blast, honestly. These guys go above and beyond what I’ve seen a lot of other organizations do – they just really care about the community. They want to see people taken care of and be successful, which I think is the ultimate goal. It’s a great place to be.”

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