05.20.20

Grantee Spotlight: Sister Carmen Community Center

We recently reached out to Suzanne Crawford, CEO of the Lafayette-based Sister Carmen Community Center (SCCC) – a grantee of your Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County – to check in on the Center’s efforts to provide assistance to East Boulder County residents during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 
“One of the biggest changes we’ve experienced is the high volume of people seeking food and financial assistance who have never had to access these services before,” says Suzanne. “Last week, for instance, 21% of the folks accessing our drive-through food bank and 16% of the participants requesting financial assistance had never accessed services from us before.
 
“Funds from the Community Foundation have helped us to provide rent and mortgage assistance to more people. Specifically, we’ve been able to offer additional financial assistance to those who are not able to access stimulus funds.”
 
According to Suzanne, SCCC’s Advocate Manager recently spoke with a participant who is a self-employed acupuncturist, and who had to stop working due to the pandemic. “She was doing very well with her business,” says Suzanne. “But COVID-19 obviously affected her and her livelihood, since she can't practice acupuncture safely right now.
 
“She hadn’t received the stimulus yet, since she gets paper checks for her tax returns – and she hadn’t received the self-employed unemployment benefit yet, either. We helped with her full April rent, and partial rent for May. And we also connected her to a Boulder County program for longer-term financial assistance.”
 
Another SCCC advocate reported a participant who called the Center in hopes of receiving rental assistance. “She had stopped working back in November after having her baby,” Suzanne says. “And when she was ready to start working her previous restaurant job again, COVID-19 impacted her and her family.
 
“The local restaurant she was at is currently closed, and her husband works just two days a week in landscaping – and he’s afraid he may be laid off soon. When she called us, she wasn’t expecting us to help her with her full rent of $750. She was very grateful to us … also for giving her extra diapers.”
 
This SCCC participant further shared that – as a monolingual Spanish speaker with limited reading and writing abilities – she’s had a hard time finding a job. Concludes Suzanne, “With the help we provided her and her family, she said a huge weight was lifted off her family’s shoulders.”
 
Learn more about the impact of the foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County, and make a difference today