Western Boulder County houses thousands of hardy souls who have chosen to put up with the complications of living at altitude, despite its weather and terrain challenges. Such isolation, however, also means that access to human services can be limited.
The Peak to Peak Housing and Human Services Alliance was formed in 2012 at the request of Nederland Mayor Joe Gierlach, to provide an opportunity for local & county non-profits and governmental entities to communicate face-to-face, with the intention of bringing more services to mountain residents. The group has been meeting monthly ever since, and now includes over 20 member organizations.
The members include representatives from most local non-profits, local government, Boulder County, EFAA, United Way, VIA and local community advocates and organizations. A complete list can be found on the members page.
MOUNTAIN HUMAN SERVICES COLLABORATIVE
The Mountain Human Services Collaborative is the oversight and operational wing of the Peak to Peak Alliance. Representatives include EDs and other staff members of organizations that serve mountain residents, including the OUR Center, EFAA, Sister Carmen, the Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund (LEAF), Boulder County Housing and Human Services, Foothills United Way, the Nederland Food Pantry and Allenspark Old Gallery. Meeting monthly, the MHSC seeks and administers grants to support the work of the Peak to Peak Alliance and its staff members, and sets policy for the organization. The Collaborative actively looks for gaps in assistance to Peak to Peak residents, and seeks for fill them.
MOUNTAIN HEALTH COLLABORATIVE
The MHC, organized by Peak to Peak Counseling and working in conjunction with non-profits, towns, county, state, and federal agencies, is comprised of local health professionals who volunteer during disasters in The Peak to Peak Region to meet immediate health needs, with the overall goals of increasing community resiliency and recovery rate post-disaster.
The Nederland Interagency Council for Homeless Encampments (NICHE) is a partnership guided by the Community Church and supported by several government offices, law enforcement agencies, human services organizations, and other groups affected by issues regarding homeless camping in the mountains.
The Housing Sub-Committee advocates for good housing policies, connects people in need to existing housing programs, and offers direct maintenance support for substandard housing problems that can’t be addressed through other means.
P2PHHS has identified several areas of need, prioritizing basic needs, housing, transportation and healthcare. Some highlights of actions over the first six years include:
The annual publication of the Where to Get Help Guide, a 30-page listing of names, addresses and contact information for such human services as Addictions, Childcare, Legal and Protective Services, Senior and Youth programs and much more. The guide can be found on many websites including this one, and in paper form distributed throughout the area.
The establishment of the annual Human Services Fair every November, in conjunction with the distribution of Thanksgiving food baskets and a 9 Health Fair.
Emergency response, which has coalesced in the 2013 Flood and the 2016 Cold Springs Fire, during which P2P members ran Evacuation Centers, assisted in sheltering and brought in long term assistance to those affected.
Outgrowths of P2P have included NICHE, the Mountain Human Services Collaborative and the Mountain Health Collaborative. More on these groups below.