The number of Teton Valley residents that the Community Resource Center of Teton Valley (CRCTV) serves has risen every year since we opened our doors in 2016. With many families constantly living on the precipice of financial disaster, a quick change in circumstance can send an unstable situation into a downward spiral of events. This is why the CRCTV exists. Unlike many social service organizations that might focus on providing help with one specific need, the CRCTV seeks to assist anyone in need in a variety of different ways, including connecting people to resources, advocating to solve problems, and providing the one-on-one time needed to effect change.
The past few months have seen a tremendous increase in the need for our services as many families found themselves abruptly unemployed due to COVID-19, often transitioning overnight from a two-income household to no income at all. Many feared eviction, faced food insecurity, and were concerned about utility disconnection. We immediately responded to ensure that basic needs were met for the folks who are our neighbors, friends, and employees. Our Quality of Life Financial Assistance program has provided financial aid to more than 125 families since April 2020. We assisted with applications for energy assistance, connected uninsured clients to Medicaid, and made referrals to the Teton Valley Food Pantry, among many others.
Beyond our ability to remain nimble and respond to a crisis, whether a client’s personal dilemma or a worldwide pandemic, the CRCTV also aims to be a proactive resource for the community. We are steadily working on solutions to empower families to be more active in their overall health, including physical, financial, mental, or otherwise. For example, in 2019 we partnered with the Education Foundation of Teton Valley to launch Teton Valley Cares, a back-to-school event to ensure that every student is ready to succeed. Students were given vision, hearing, dental, and medical screenings, a quick process that could easily identify and prevent future issues at school, medical expenditures, or other hardships.
Our connection. Our advocacy work. Our time spent listening to clients and working through their specific situations. Our role in the community as the “resource hub.” These are the things that matter. Donations through the Tin Cup Challenge allow us to continue our services, broaden our reach, and strive to find more upstream solutions to the many struggles that Teton Valley community members face.