Women’s Resource Center: Mapping a Course to Self-Sufficiency


When women find themselves in a bind, whether they need help with a custody case, help with tuition or rent, or maybe help moving up the economic ladder, the Women's Resource Center will help them find the resources they need to take care of themselves and their families. Sponsored by Alpine Bank

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Hi, I'm Beth Drum with Alpine Bank. At Alpine Bank, we value the services that our nonprofit community offers. We hope you enjoy meeting some of these change makers as part of the Alpine bank series, Community Matters.

Durango resident, Aimee Beauregard had just purchased the Jitters Java coffee kiosk at Camino Del Rio in Eighth street when the pandemic literally shut down her business. That's when she turned to the Women's Resource Center for help.

Well, I've never had to use resources or anything like that before. I've always been able to, you know, kind of stay on the edge. So it was a new process for me, but it was really, the people were very kind, you know, and I didn't want to take any more than other than what I needed as one person just to get through. And it was amazing the resources we had here. I had no idea, absolutely none.

Beauregard is now back in her kiosk every morning, brewing beverages to order. And she recently expanded her menu to include shaved Italian ice. You'll be able to sample her frosty wares during this second annual Men in Heels event, a fundraiser for the Women's Resource Center scheduled for 5:30 PM, Tuesday, September 14th on East Second avenue between College drive and Seventh street. Yes. Teams of four men run in high heels to compete for prizes. And while the event is filled with frivolity and laughter, it has the serious goal of raising donations to support the resource center's work to help women find the community resources they need to take care of themselves and their families.

Yeah, our priority is to help women in our community, making sure that they are economically self-sufficient, they're getting the education they need, they're taking care of their. We're helping them maybe with some financial strains that they might have through a women aid program, you know, that offers a grant to that person one time in their life of up to $500. It's a one-stop area where they don't have to be bouncing all around and oh yeah, let's go here. Oh no, you need to go over there. So hopefully when they come in, they sit down, they tell us their story and that we can say, well, here's A, B, C, D that can help you with what you're looking at and looking for.

It was absolutely the first stop that opened the door for many others, just pointing me in all directions for any kind of help and very supportive even to me. You know, when I was having hard days, I'd call Tammy and you know, she would support me and say, she's behind me. and you know, hang in there, you can do it. And I'm doing it. I'm still doing it. And I just want to help them in any way. and I can and give back to them.

The Women's Resource Center was founded in 1987 by a group of women who recognize that area women struggling through a divorce or the death of a spouse needed a one-stop shop to find community resources, to help them get back on their feet. Today, the center continues to help women create a roadmap to self-sufficiency by using community resources efficiently. At the same time, it has expanded programming to include a low cost legal program that allows women to consult with an attorney on do-it-yourself divorces and custody cases. The educational opportunity scholarship program provides women with up to a thousand dollars per semester to cover tuition or other educational expenses. An emergency program called Women Aid provides one-time financial assistance of up to $500 for help with rent, car repairs, medical bills, or other expenses that threaten a woman's economic stability. And for women who want to find a more fulfilling and better paying job, the center offers low cost, professional development coaching. Schaerer says the more assistance a woman gets on the front end of a crisis, the less likely she'll be to give up. And the more likely she'll persevere to get the help she needs.

We really are here to help women be successful in life and get back on their feet if they're down and get that education to make that good wage and be able to be self sufficient. And I know it happens because I see it. I run into women in our community after I've seen them in here. So it's rewarding in that respect that you know, that what we do is for the good for all the women and girls in our community that we can.

If you want to know more about the Men in Heels event or to donate to the center, visit WRCdurango.org. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.


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