The Matthews House: Empowering Youth And Families In Northern Colorado
The Matthews House is a nonprofit organization that serves Larimer County. Their mission statement is: "Empowering youth and families to close the poverty cycle in Northern Colorado".
According to their website, "1 in 10 families in Northern Colorado live at or below the poverty line."
When I interviewed Shawn Keefer, experiential education director, he said: "It started back at the end of 2005 on a park bench in Old Town Fort Collins. One of our founders was just talking to a homeless youth and really quickly found out that if you're over 18 and you don't have kids, there are no services for you." The Matthews House was founded as a way to provide those resources to kids and over the years has expanded to families and the community.
Amongst many resources (housing, academic development, employment), The Matthews House offers classes and after-school activities (including Dungeons & Dragons, how cool is that?).
"One of our founders, Jerri, she would talk about 'the spark'. Like, finding the spark. The thing that makes someone tick. That makes them want to really evolve," said Keefer.
Sometimes all it takes is for a young person to take one of these classes and feel confident about something in their lives or feel like they are being seen by someone. It can help shape their futures.
The Matthews House will be hosting a fundraising in-person gala called "Cultivate Hope" on June 4 for the first time in two years. Tickets will be on sale through the foundation's website in February.
Learn more about The Matthews House by listening to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with Shawn Keefer below.