Faced with an unemployment rate that’s one of the highest in Colorado, Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Greeley started Bridges of Hope, a ministry that connects church, government, and community agencies with those who need services.
One evening every month, the church hosts a meal where representatives from up to 20 different agencies are present to offer legal advice, career or budget counseling, and various other forms of professional help.
It is helpful that people who need assistance can find it all under one roof, but Rick Hartman, director of the program, said it’s not all about the assistance.
“People don’t get helped by programs, they get helped by people,” he said. “People are not a number here. We just try to sit down and talk to them, find out what’s going on, and train our volunteers to ask open-ended questions.”
Pat Logan and Cyndi Sagel are two women who have received and now give assistance.
“When we started [volunteering], I had lost my job after 14 years,” Logan said. “Cyndi lost her job, another gal lost her job, and another girl in the class lost her job. . . . I was the breadwinner, the 401K person, the insurance person.”
But because of Bridges of Hope, she did not feel hopeless or alone. “This group is a community coming together,” she said.