Many local residents struggle at times to make financial ends meet in today’s economy. Fortunately, Park County Human Services stands ready and willing to help with a surprisingly extensive list of services for those in need.

“It seems that we are missing a large segment of our Park County population that could benefit from our services,” said Annie Linnehan, Self Sufficiency Programs Manager for Park County.

Some local residents, especially considering the vast amount of space and sparse population throughout the county, are not in a position to travel to Fairplay or Bailey to apply for assistance.

But because of the efficient work demonstrated over time by six eligibility technicians and others within the Fairplay and Bailey offices, the state recently awarded Park County Human Services with a $3745.00 grant – also known as an Incentive Award. Those funds were used to purchase two laptop computers and scanners that will be utilized to take applications at remote eligibility sites.

“We want to reach out to those citizens through remote eligibility sites, and visit various locations throughout the county to make the process for applying for assistance as convenient as possible. Some people might not be able to visit us in either of our office locations in Fairplay and Bailey, so we hope to go to them.”

While some might not be able to travel to apply for assistance, others might simply be unaware of the many services offered through the county. For those who can verify the financial need, assistance can be garnered in the following areas:

Food Assistance Program- Helps qualified individuals/families buy food.

Medicaid Program- Medical assistance for individuals/families who qualify.

Colorado Works/TANF- Provides financial and employment support for low-income families.

Adult Financial- Financial assistance for low-income adults, including old age pension, aid to needy disabled, aid to the blind, Supplemental Security Income/Colorado Supplement (SSI/CS), and long-term care.

Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP)- Assistance with childcare costs for eligible families.

Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)- Assistance with heat costs. Application period is from Nov. 1 through April 30 each year.

Some Park County residents might be able to travel and aware of the services offered, but are hesitant or unwilling to seek help due to reasons related to confidentiality. According to Linnehan, confidentiality for applicants is a top priority at Park County Human Services.

“We have a staff of extremely conscientcous, compassionate people who understand what it is like to struggle sometimes for a variety of reasons. Some of us have been there ourselves before,” Linnehan said.

“We understand the sensitive nature of our work, and the fact that it is sometimes difficult to ask for help, especially in a small county. So we take confidentiality very, very seriously.”

For those with access to computers, a wealth of information can be found regarding various forms of public assistance for Park County residents at www.parkco.us/397/Public-Assistance-Programs.

Medicaid has an extensive list of programs, including long-term care and the Medicare Savings Program. A list of programs that Human Services can process eligibility for can be found at www.colorado.gov/pacific/hcpf/program-list

The Park County unit also provides Child Support Services and has the ability to establish paternity, child support orders, modify any child support order (if there are changes to one party’s income or overnights, etc.) and enforce those orders. Either party can apply, for a one-time $20.00 application fee, for the life of the case. For more information about Child Support Services, go to  www.parkco.us/516/Child-Support-Services.

Park County Human Services also offers childcare assistance but currently needs more providers. Those interested in becoming a childcare assistance provider working within the assistance program can call Linnehan directly at 303-816-5934, or email her at Annmarie.linnehan@state.co.us.

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