Government-assistance programs are a lifeline for millions of Americans, and, for many people who are homeless, a gateway to escaping homelessness. The process of obtaining benefits through those programs, however, is anything but simple: applications can extend for dozens of pages and contain nuances that challenge even the most seasoned professionals. For some people who are homeless, that creates a gap that is too wide to bridge.
How do I get help?
Today, in coordination with its other programs and its operations at the Murphy Center, we manage a team of approximately 15 trained volunteers and those volunteers meet with clients and help them apply for benefits under the Peak Colorado program. Dedicated Navigators is the only volunteer-driven program of its kind in the state of Colorado.
The Dedicated Navigator program operates exclusively out of the Murphy Center in Fort Collins, a resource center for people experiencing homelessness. Volunteers provide one-on-one support related to the following benefits applications:
- Aid to the Needy and Disabled (AND)
- Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)
- Food Assistance
- Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
- Old Age Pension (OAP)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Guidance for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Guidance for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
- Murphy Center for Hope, 242 Conifer Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524
How can I help?
Become a Dedicated Navigator! As a Dedicated Navigator, you will receive a formal training and then work alongside another volunteer (volunteers always work in pairs) to help individuals and families apply for benefits. Volunteers must be competent with computers and be able to commit to at least one two- or three-hour shift per month.
Contact Serena Thomas, Community Programs Director, if you would like more information on becoming a Dedicated Navigator.
Serena@HomewardAlliance.org or (970) 430-6150
The Dedicated Navigator program was launched in 2010 by Sister Mary Alice Murphy and Anne Wilberton.