We had a brief 15 minute follow up with the City of Longmont and a grant that we applied for. We had a feeling that we would not be granted any funds at this time because it seems that you have to have money to get money. Because our organization is new and we don’t have any established programs, etc, we were told that they more than likely would not recommend funds for us at this time.
But our intention in submitting was to get the word out about ETR and our programs but also to meet the community members involved with funding grant applications. It felt good to be in front of everyone and to explain how the Ranch works.
As the questions were asked of us, there was one question that played over in my head. The question was asked by Carmen Sample and it was “why are you only going to help homeless between 18 and 24?” I responded to her question but felt like I could have elaborated.
First, it is my observation that there are many programs out there for homeless veterans and homeless families. But there are rarely programs that serve this growing demographic of homeless youth. Additionally, while the Ranch houses 24 youth between 18 and 24, it also serves the homeless (and non-homeless) communities in surrounding areas.
A big piece of the Ranch is the outreach. It is important for us to impart the importance of service to community and others in need. The Ranch will make our programs available to the kids in the area that are not homeless but who may want to participate in the Art Therapy programs or Music Therapy programs. Maybe they will want to come in and learn how to train the dogs to become assistance animals.
Another important piece is working with the Assisted Living Communities and encouraging them to visit the Ranch and engage with the kids and the animals if they choose. Either way, the Ranch will be a platform for community, connecting and working with others and service to those in need.
Once again, it was a great opportunity to share ETR. And while they told us that they would not be able to recommend any funds for us, we understood and let them know that they will be hearing a lot more about us and ETR. They were pleased with that and told us to come back next year. Indeed we will.
Thank you City of Longmont for the opportunity to share our vision with you.