Garfield County and CMC divvy up senior programs
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GARFIELD COUNTY ” Cheryl Cain, director of the local Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, is thrilled that the future of the program is no longer in limbo.
On March 10, county commissioners unanimously voted for the county to take over The Traveler and Senior Meals programs from Colorado Mountain College, while the volunteer program, RSVP, will remain an entity of CMC, Cain said.
“I’m very pleased with their decision,” Cain said. “Like anything else, I wish it would have come to this quicker, but it’s been a good process, and it’s where we had to go to get to the other side.”
Over the past year, CMC administration was unsure of how to maintain an effective relationship with RSVP while trying to find a place for the senior transportation program, The Traveler, and senior nutrition program, Senior Meals, commonly associated with RSVP. But now that the county has stepped up, CMC and RSVP can get back to business.
“It means refocusing our energy on coming up with a solid program of educational options specifically geared for seniors,” said CMC Executive Vice President Lin Stickler. “Now we can focus on seniors and on keeping the brain active. We are just thrilled and grateful to the local government on this collaboration, it’s awesome.”
With the decision, The Traveler and Senior Meals employees will now work for the county, instead of CMC. But RSVP workers, including Cain, will still be CMC employees. Perhaps the most important aspect is that none of the programs will change the services they provide the senior community throughout the county.
“A lot of people say that they support RSVP because of those two programs,” Cain said. “But we didn’t provide the transportation or the food, we just provided the volunteers that helped with those programs.”
Cain said that the decision by county commissioners to have the county take over the nutrition and transportation programs will help RSVP streamline its ability to do what it does: supply volunteers for nonprofits in the valley. RSVP has been assisting nonprofits in the county for more than 35 years, Cain said. Today, the program helps more than 65 nonprofits up and down the valley. The new arrangement will allow Cain and her volunteers to get their word out to the community about RSVP’s mission to supply volunteers to the nonprofits in the communities.
“We will be able to make it more clear to our community what we are,” Cain said. “And we are going to enjoy the opportunity to grow over the next three years and maintain the partnership with CMC.”
Contact John Gardner: 384-9114
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
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