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Reach out

Five tips for finding (or giving) help locally


Colorado Springs Resources

No. 1. First things first: 24-hour hotlines. The Suicide Prevention Partnership of the Pikes Peak Region (596-5433) counsels callers through crisis. TESSA (633-3819) provides intervention, information and referral services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Pikes Peak United Way, via its 211 Helpline, provides referrals for assistance with rent/mortgage, utilities, housing and more.

And though it's not a telephone hotline, the website for safe2tell (safe2tell.org) accepts anonymous reports from young people about activities or behaviors endangering them or someone they know. (All these organizations offer other services, too, and websites where you can learn more.)

2. If you're hungry, Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado (2605 Preamble Point, 528-1247, careandshare.org) provides food for agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries and emergency shelters. Individuals needing assistance should call the United Way 211 Helpline.

The El Paso County Department of Human Services (1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road, 636-0000, dhs.elpasoco.com) offers temporary food assistance among its myriad responsibilities. Marian House Soup Kitchen (14 W. Bijou St., 475-7314, ccharitiescs.org) serves meals daily.

The Salvation Army's R.J. Montgomery New Hope Center (709 S. Sierra Madre St., 578-9190) provides meals, too, in addition to case management and more for homeless people. Other groups fighting homelessness include Homeward Pikes Peak (518 N. Nevada Ave., 955-0731, homewardpikespeak.org), Interfaith Hospitality Network of Colorado Springs (519 N. Tejon St., 329-1244, ihn-cos.org), and Springs Rescue Mission (5 W. Las Vegas St., 632-1822, mysrm.org), which also offers dinner Monday through Saturday.

3. When it comes to health care, options exist specifically for those who are low-income, uninsured or underinsured. They include Peak Vista Community Health Centers (multiple locations, 632-5700, peakvista.org), SET Family Medical Clinics (825 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 776-8850, setofcs.org) and Mission Medical Clinic (2125 E. La Salle St., 219-3402, missionmedicalclinic.org).

Also, the county Department of Health and Environment (1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road, 578-3199, elpasocountyhealth.org) provides low-income patients with STI testing, under a sliding-scale payment system.

4. A few nonprofits help with affordable mental health care. AspenPointe (multiple locations, 572-6100, aspenpointe.org) is the biggest, assisting qualifying clients with behavioral health and substance abuse services. The local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (510 E. Willamette Ave., 473-8477, namicoloradosprings.org) can get people, including veterans, in touch with services. And the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (2132 E. Bijou St., #112, 477-1515, dbsacoloradosprings.org) offers free support groups, depression screenings, a resource library and more.

5. A 2013 study counts 1,200-plus nonprofits in this region. You can learn about many via the Center for Nonprofit Excellence (cnecoloradosprings.org), which authored the study, or the Better Business Bureau (southerncolorado.bbb.org). Another good source: indygive.com, site of the Independent's year-end Give! campaign. In 2012, nearly 8,000 unique donors spread $982,222 among 58 organizations.

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