Emergency help from Mercys Gate in El Paso County.

A social service agency in the greater Colorado Springs region is Mercy's Gate. Clothing, personal hygiene items, free food, care from a nurse, financial aid, and shelter are just some of the resources available in the area that staff can refer the applicant too. The charity only covers some zip codes in El Paso County, as noted below. They coordinate emergency help in the community while also advocating with families that are living in poverty.

There are programs focused on different situations as well as ages. Students from low income households may be given free school supplies, while seniors can learn about Medicare application sites or vouchers to pay for prescription medications. Mercy's Gate will also offer support for single mothers (including food or clothing) and many other forms of aid.

Mercy's Gate not only operates an emergency food pantry (that is open Monday and Wednesday), but the organization also partners with charities as well as part of the Food and Nutrition Network. There are many leading agencies that furnish either perishable or canned food for families in need. Donations come from public and private sources in El Paso County. Some of these groups include businesses, food drives, grocery stores, and farms.

The food pantry network consists of many local charities, churches, and volunteers who are dedicated to meeting the nutritional needs of low-income households. They feed the working poor, children, and others. All of the donations as well as distribution to the needy is done while the charity closely follows a set of faith based principles. The pantry on site will always strive to offer the highest quality service and accountability to clients.

Emergency assistance from Mercy's Gate can provide help to a select few. The reason being is that only a small number of families may qualify, and also the funding levels are very limited. There will need to be priority given to certain people in different situations, such as those with an income but are facing a one time crisis.

There may be some assistance for housing expenses, such as rent arrears that if unpaid could lead to an eviction. Mercy's Gate will also either assist with pay due utility bills, or they can refer the resident to government programs such as LIHEAP or local shelters. When there is support available, the non-profit will only help pay a portion of an expense due. The charity will also try to offer basic needs such as clothing and more everyday items.





Mercy's Gate will offer other support as well. Since they do want families to overcome poverty, there may be financial aid to cover a portion of expenses that can help gain a job in Colorado Springs. So if a client needs clothing for work, this may be arranged. Or transportation to a job interview.

Mercy's Gate coordinates free legal services with local attorneys. Sessions are organized from time to time by appointment only. Legal advice and services may cover a wide range of topics such as applying for benefits such as SSI disability, child custody to wills.

Mobile clinics and wellness are part of the programs sponsored by Mercy's Gate. The nurse that is part of the faith based program that offer this service take a holistic approach to wellness and medical care, and as such, counselors are available to support anyone in need of emotional guidance. They can also take care of basic medical needs, such as a physical or given an inexpensive medication. When a patient needs help in paying for their health needs, they they will refer a client to Medicaid or similar public benefits.

Clients of Mercys Gate can learn how mainstream financial institutions operate as part of budgeting and counseling. They will also be able to receive grants and help in saving money. The IDA - Individual Development Account is one local tool. It provides low to moderate-income families with an opportunity open matched savings accounts, into which participants make deposits on a regular basis. The terms are as follows.





-All deposits are then matched by the federal government funded IDA program.

-It combined credit counseling and debt reduction advice.

-After time, each IDA participant will have enough money saved to begin to acquire assets, which can include a small business, a first-time home purchase, pay for a college education or vocational training.

Other counseling around budgeting, saving money, and more is covered in El Paso County. This is a service that will be stressed to clients.

The zip codes covered only include the following. 80907 – 80907. They also support El Paso County families in 80915 – 80927 as well as 38 and 51. The location is only open a couple days per week and hours are limited. The address is 4360 Montebello Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80918. Dial 719-277-7470 for appointments.




By Jon McNamara

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